Rain Gutters are really important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your home from damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Identifying a gutter leak early can protect the entire house. Below, we’ve listed a few signs that you can look for (without calling a roofer) to see if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of signs that suggest 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 present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the house, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, low quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home may not be causing a leak yet, but these things will certainly result in issues. Getting these defects fixed is more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just to be sure.
Pooling water by your house can be really harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These minor leaks will occur if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the gutters means a leak is going to begin 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 starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as refastening them, but it could also be necessary to cover the hole so no water can leak from around 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 evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other materials stick to the wet surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a 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 around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you might have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging building materials, so all of these factors need to be taken into account 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 problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this or hire a Virginia Beach gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a 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 the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are issues with your gutter that must be addressed immediately. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Virginia Beach can be of great help. 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, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to complete the project a couple of times a year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like Virginia Beach Gutter Solutions. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly diagnose the issue. 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 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!