Gutters are important because – although they are simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to prevent your home from damages.
And it’s much simpler than you might think.
Identifying a gutter leak early can protect your entire home. Below, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a number of signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn to determine if the signs of a gutter leak are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the home, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the house might not cause a leak yet, but these things will ultimately lead to problems. Having these defects repaired is much more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling Water – If water is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is close to your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water near your house can be harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak. These minor leaks will occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as tightening them, but it could also be important to cover the hole so no more water can escape from around the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other materials adhere to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more extreme sign you’ll see after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be fixed, but if your gutters are rusty, they will definitely have to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you could have a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also are related to aging building materials, so all of these factors should be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty simple fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that has to be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire an Albany gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or other pest can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can 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 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 strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs mean there are problems with your rain gutter that must be addressed immediately. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Albany can be of great help. They can determine if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to take on the project 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with good customer reviews like ABC Albany Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly determine the issue. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!