Gutters are very important because – although they are simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your home from damages.
And it’s really much easier than you might think.
Finding a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire home. Here, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roofer) to see if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are several warning signs that suggest a leaking gutter, even if you don’t see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the roof, it causes stress on the connectors. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, low quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the house may not cause a leak yet, but these things will definitely result in issues. Having these defects repaired is more affordable than installing new gutters 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 present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just in case.
Pooling water near your house can be very harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – 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 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 working their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area 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 tightening them, but it may also be important to seal the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or the 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 – Water leaves behind evidence, especially if it is constantly or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to notice 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 indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all factors should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this or hire a Oakland gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are problems 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 when a professional gutter service in Oakland can be helpful. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do basic gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are eager to take on the chore 1-2 times each year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Oakland Gutter Service. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we believe 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!