If you’re like most people, your rain gutters are not something you often think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you understand how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Akron. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to provide a path of least resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good shape, your gutters will route runoff away from the 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 cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the reason for any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a pretty good indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you find a possible gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you should hire a gutter service to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your house the way they should be. Pooling water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas surrounding your house perpetually wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or on the sides of your home. Mold and mildew mean there is excessive moisture around that area – a potential issue with the gutters could be the cause. Remember that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where they’re appearing, it may be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a situation where the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Akron would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s raining to notice this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned out. In either case, you need to have it looked at right away.
Based on the construction of your home’s basement, your leak could be due to any number of things. The pooling problem we discussed before could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters pour directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This pooling water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You usually see water marks beneath the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that rain water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some simple ways AllClean Akron Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least once a year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the less issues you’ll experience with them.
The best time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the issues we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection after each season to be sure that your gutters are working the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem before it becomes too bad can save you 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 needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.