Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to prevent your house from major damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leaking gutter early can protect an entire home. Here, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot of signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the lawn to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the home, it causes stress on the connectors. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house might not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will certainly cause 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 pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is close to your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your house can be harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the more noticeable signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
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 overflowing, there is an unseen leak. These minor leaks will 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 gutters likely means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as tightening them, but it can also be important to cover the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris stick to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned and the gutters fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree 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 could 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 aging building materials, so all factors should be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that needs to be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Kansas City gutter cleaning company – or 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 for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are issues with your gutter that must be addressed immediately. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Kansas City can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it it can be time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are eager to complete the project 1-2 times a year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like KC Gutter Cleaning. Then let us do an inspection to correctly diagnose the problem. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time to install new gutters, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!