Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your house from major damages.
And it’s a lot simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire house. In this blog post, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a number of warning signs that suggest a leaking gutter, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the home, it causes stress on the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof may not be causing a leak just yet, but will ultimately create problems. Having these defects repaired is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If rain is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just in case.
Pooling water around your home can be really harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These minor leaks will happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding 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 starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as tightening them, but it can also be important to cover the hole so no more water can escape from around the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other debris stick to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters can be repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting 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 a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from somewhere 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 major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is usually an easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that needs to be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Lake Oswego gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or 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 pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are issues with your rain gutter that have to be addressed right away. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Lake Oswego can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do simple gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are eager to complete the chore 1-2 times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond gutter cleaning is best left to professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Lake Oswego Gutter Service. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are gutter 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 right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!