If you are like many people, your gutters are not something you often think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your 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 houses in Boise. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … building materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to provide a route of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof quickly. When they are in good shape, your rain gutters will route runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the reason for any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
Once you notice a possible gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather hire a gutter specialist for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the rain runoff away from your home the way they are supposed to. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas around your house perpetually wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or on the sides of your house. Mold and mildew indicate that there is too much moisture around that area – a potential problem with the rain gutters could be the cause. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it may be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a situation where the advice and expertise of a professional in Boise would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s raining to discover this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it checked right away.
Based on the construction of your basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The pooling problem we mentioned earlier could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls can only block 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 in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This rain water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks right under the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a usually a sign that rain water is streaming down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they definitely have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some simple ways Boise Gutters & More! recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time a year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the less problems you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Check 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 problems we discussed above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to ensure that your gutters are functioning the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of 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 and quickly.
But, if you let the problem go on for too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.