Rain Gutters are really important because – while they are simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home investments, like the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your home from major damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire house. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are several warning signs that suggest leaking gutters, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, low quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the home might not cause a leak just yet, but these things will ultimately result in issues. Getting these defects fixed is more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – 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 other water source that is close to your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water by your home can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These minor leaks can happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters likely means a leak is going to 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 starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as refastening them, but it could also be important to seal the hole so no water can leak from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other debris stick to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after you see water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your porch 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 older building materials, so all of these factors need to be taken into account 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 problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Des Moines gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are issues with your gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Des Moines can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do basic gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to complete the chore a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with good customer reviews like Des Moines Gutter Service. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time for gutter replacement, 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!