If you’re like most homeowners, your 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 their job that you realize just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most houses in St Louis. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to provide a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they’re in good shape, your rain gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the reason for major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good clue that your gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you identify a gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you’d rather trust a gutter company for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your home the way they should be. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas surrounding your house consistently 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 the sides of your house. Mold and mildew indicate there is a lot of moisture around that area – a possible problem with the gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a time where the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in St Louis would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s actually raining to notice this type of gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned. In either case, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the construction of your home’s basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The pooling issue we mentioned before could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in good shape!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This rain water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks right under the gutters or 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 final sign of gutter damage is the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess any damage to the roof, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few simple tips St. Louis Gutter Solutions recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least one time each year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer issues you’ll experience with them.
The best time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we wrote about above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to ensure that your gutters are working properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of an issue 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 easily be replaced very affordably.
But, 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 section of landscaping.