If you’re like many people, your gutters are not something you often think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you understand just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Virginia Beach. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to provide a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof quickly. When they are in good shape, your gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to repair to be the reason for any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a good indication that your gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you find a gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather hire a gutter company for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your house the way they should be. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas around your home constantly wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the exterior of your house. Mold and mildew mean that there is too much moisture in that area – a possible issue with the gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a situation where the advice and knowledge of a professional in Virginia Beach would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s raining to find this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned out. In either case, you want to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the construction of your basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The standing water problem we mentioned before could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This standing rain water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
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. You will usually find water marks under the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy tips Virginia Beach Gutter Solutions recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time a year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the less issues you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the signs we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to confirm that your gutters are functioning properly.
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 easily be replaced very affordably.
But, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.