Rain Gutters are really important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help protect your home from major damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you probably think.
Spotting a leak in your gutters early can protect your entire house. Below, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are several signs that indicate a leaking gutter, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, 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 definitely create issues. Getting these defects repaired is much more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If water is pooling 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 house, just to be careful.
Pooling water around your house can be really damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak. These tiny leaks can happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as refastening them, but it may also be important to cover the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently there. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned away and the gutters can be repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you could have leaking gutters.
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 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 may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this or hire a Chicopee gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or in your downspout, which will also 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 pooling – 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 small now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean there are problems with your gutter that need to be addressed right away. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Chicopee can be of great help. 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, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to take on the project 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like Clean & Clear Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we think 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!