If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your rain gutters aren’t something you really think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most homes in Des Moines. They fade into the exterior unless the homeowner preferred copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to provide a path of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good condition, your rain gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to fix to be the cause of major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a pretty strong clue that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you notice a gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you should hire a gutter specialist for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the water runoff away from your home the way they should be. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas around your home perpetually wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the exterior of your house. Mold and mildew mean that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a possible issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it may be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a situation when the advice and expertise of a professional in Des Moines would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s raining to find this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Depending on the construction of your basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The standing water problem we discussed before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is necessary to keep your gutters in good shape!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing rain water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually find water marks right under the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that rain water is streaming down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to assess any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few simple ways Des Moines Gutter Service recommends to help 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 maintain your gutters, the less problems you’ll experience with them.
The recommended time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the mess 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 discussed above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure that your gutters are working the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing an issue before it becomes too bad can save you a lot of time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can be replaced very affordably.
But, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.