Gutters are very important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home investments, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from damages.
And it’s really much easier than you might think.
Spotting a gutter leak early can protect an entire house. Here, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are many warning signs that point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the safety of your lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the home, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, low quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof might not cause a leak just yet, but these things will certainly result in issues. Having these defects repaired is much more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just in case.
Pooling water near your home can be especially harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak. These tiny leaks can occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as refastening them, but it might also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can leak from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is back in place. 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 constantly or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to see 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 a place it shouldn’t. 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 might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty simple fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that has to be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a New Brunswick gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small 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 mean there are issues with your gutter that need to be addressed right away. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in New Brunswick can be helpful. They can determine if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time-consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are ready to take on the chore 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond gutter cleaning is best left to professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Select Gutter Service. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately determine the problem. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!