Gutters are so important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to prevent your house from major damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire home. Below, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are a lot of warning signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the home, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roof may not be causing a leak yet, but these things will certainly cause issues. Getting these defects fixed is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If rain is puddling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your house, just to be sure.
Pooling water around your house can be harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several of them.
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 a hidden leak. These small leaks can happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters likely means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area 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 simple as refastening them, but it could also be necessary to seal the hole so no water can escape from the edge of the screw or 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 evidence behind, especially when it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other materials stick to the moist surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters repaired, but if 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 beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these factors need to be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is usually an easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that needs to be removed. You can do this yourself or hire an Akron gutter cleaning service – or 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 a while, you will start seeing 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 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 destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that must be addressed immediately. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Akron can be helpful. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to take on the chore 1-2 times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning is best left to professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like AllClean Akron Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We offer free inspections for new 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 right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!