If you are like many people, your rain gutters aren’t something you really worry about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most houses in Wilmington. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to create a route of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof quickly. When they are in good shape, your gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the cause of major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a strong indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you identify a gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you’d rather trust a gutter repairman for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your house the way they should be. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas surrounding your home perpetually wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the sides of your house. Mold and mildew mean that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a potential issue with the gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it might be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a situation when the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Wilmington would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to find this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. In either case, you need to have it looked at right away.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, your leak could be due to any number of things. The pooling problem we mentioned earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually find water marks under the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is streaming down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your home to identify any possible damage to the roof, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few simple ways WeClean Wilmington Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once a year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the less issues you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we discussed above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to confirm that your gutters are working correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of a problem before it becomes too bad can save you time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably and quickly.
However, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.