Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your home from major damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire home. Below, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring 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 point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here’s what to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the roof, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing might not cause a leak yet, but these things will definitely result in issues. Having these defects repaired is more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If water is pooling around your home, 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 house, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your house can be especially damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak. These tiny leaks will happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters likely 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 tightening them, but it may also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can escape from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other organic debris adhere to the wet surface better than on 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 away and the gutters can be repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you could 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 factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak might not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is typically an easy fix. It’s probably not a gutter leak, but a clog that has to be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Salt Lake City gutter cleaning company – 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 in your downspout, which will also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see 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 rain gutter with little debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs indicate there are problems with your rain gutter that must be addressed immediately. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Salt Lake City can be helpful. They can determine 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 all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are eager to take on the chore a couple of times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter specialist with excellent customer reviews like SLC Gutter Solutions. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!