Gutters are important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to prevent your home from damages.
And it’s really much easier than you probably think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire house. Here, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roofer) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a lot of warning signs that point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing might not cause a leak just yet, but these things will ultimately result in problems. Getting these defects fixed is more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water around your house can be very harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of a gutter leak 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 and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These minor leaks will happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the gutters likely means a leak is going to 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 answer is as easy as tightening them, but it may also be necessary to seal the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or the 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 there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials stick to the moist 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 can be cleaned away and the gutters can be fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting 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 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 factors need to 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 might 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 cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Lexington gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which will 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 gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs indicate there are issues with your gutter that need to be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Lexington can be helpful. They can determine if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to take on the project 1-2 times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like LikeNew Lexington Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we feel 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!