Rain Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to prevent your home from damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you might think.
Identifying a gutter leak early can protect the entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a lot of warning signs that point to leaking gutters, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it stresses the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the house might not cause a leak just yet, but will certainly result in problems. Getting these defects repaired is much more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is close to your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water near your home can be especially harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These small leaks can occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters 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 solution is as easy as tightening them, but it might also be necessary to seal the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris stick to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. Most water stains can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t 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 or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging building materials, so all of these factors should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is usually an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a St Louis gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or in your downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start seeing some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that have to be addressed right away. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a gutter service in St Louis can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are willing to take on the project 1-2 times a year to save some money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like St. Louis Gutter Solutions. Then let us do an inspection to correctly diagnose the issue. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!