Rain Gutters are important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your home from damages.
And it’s really a lot easier than you might think.
Spotting a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire home. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your ground to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here are some things to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the house, it causes stress on the connectors. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, low quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house might not cause a leak yet, but these things will ultimately result in issues. Getting these defects repaired is a lot more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If water is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water near your home can be especially harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming 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 a hidden leak. These tiny leaks can happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as tightening them, but it might also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can escape from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other materials stick to the wet surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts 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 somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging building materials, so all factors need to be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that needs to be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Berkeley gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can also 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 little debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean there are issues with your gutter that have to be addressed right away. 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 Berkeley can be helpful. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are eager to take on the project a couple of times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Berkeley Gutter Service. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!