Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to prevent your home from major damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Identifying a gutter leak early can protect the entire house. Here, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of signs that point to a leaking gutter, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home might not be causing a leak yet, but will definitely create problems. Having these defects repaired is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just in case.
Pooling water near your home can be really harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your rain gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These minor leaks can occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as refastening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no more water can leak from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the moist surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. water stains can be cleaned and the gutters can be repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all factors need to be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that needs to be removed. You can do this or hire a Wilmington gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or another pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a while, you will start to see some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are problems with your rain gutter that have to be addressed immediately. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Wilmington can be helpful. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it can be time-consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to complete the project 1-2 times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like WeClean Wilmington Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!