If you’re like most homeowners, your gutters aren’t something you really worry about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality 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!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most houses in Denver. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to create a path of least resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they are in good shape, your rain gutters will route runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the reason for any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a strong indication that your gutters have some type of damage.
Once you find a possible 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 trust a gutter specialist for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the rain runoff away from your home the way they are supposed to. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas surrounding your house consistently soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew indicate that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a possible issue with the rain gutters could be the cause. Remember that mold and mildew are more likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re appearing, it might just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a scenario when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Denver would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s raining to discover this type of gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it looked at right away.
Depending on the construction of your basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we mentioned earlier could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in good shape!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
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 isn’t supposed to. This pooling water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building 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 pooling water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You usually see water marks under the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that water is streaming down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy tips Denver Gutters Plus recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once each year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the less issues you’ll have with them.
The best time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, 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.
Check your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will 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 ensure that your gutters are functioning correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of an issue 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 be replaced very affordably and quickly.
But, if you let the problem go on for too long, you might end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.