Gutters are really important because – while they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your home from major damages.
And it’s much simpler than you might think.
Finding a leaking gutter early can protect an entire house. Below, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to determine if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a number of warning signs that suggest leaking gutters, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your lawn to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing may not be causing a leak just yet, but will certainly lead to issues. 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 house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water around your house can be very bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These tiny leaks can happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters means a leak will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in starts to become a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as refastening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters repaired, 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 starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have a gutter leak.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to older building materials, so all of these factors need to be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is a pretty easy fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Denver gutter cleaning service – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there awhile, you will start seeing 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 easily take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are issues with your gutter that must be addressed right away. By quickly checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is where a gutter service in Denver can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do basic gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are ready to take on the project a couple of times a year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with good customer reviews like Denver Gutters Plus. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly diagnose the problem. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!