Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from major damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Spotting a gutter leak early can protect an entire home. Below, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roof specialist) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are several warning signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the home, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, poor quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roof may not cause a leak yet, but will certainly lead to issues. Having these defects fixed is much more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your house, just in case.
Pooling water near your house can be very damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your 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 tiny leaks will happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as refastening them, but it may also be important to cover the hole so no water can escape from around the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your 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 aging building materials, so all 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 common gutter issues, a leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that should be removed. You can do this yourself or hire a Boise gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean there are issues with your rain gutter that must be addressed immediately. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Boise can be of great help. They can distinguish 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.
Some homeowners choose to do basic gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are willing to take on the chore a couple of times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Boise Gutters & More!. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!