Gutters are so important because – although they are simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to protect your house from damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you probably think.
Spotting a leaking gutter early can protect your entire home. Below, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to see if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are several signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roof might not cause a leak yet, but these things will ultimately create problems. Having these defects fixed is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your home can be bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
A drip coming from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak. These tiny leaks will happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the gutters means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the answer is as simple as refastening them, but it can also be necessary to cover the hole so no more water can leak from around the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can buy 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 organic debris adhere to the moist surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the product of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after water stains. water stains can be cleaned and the gutters repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on your roof, but you’re beginning to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or mold on your window sills, you might have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also are related to aging building materials, so all 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 might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty simple fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that has to be removed. You can do this or hire a Pittsburgh gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or another pest can quickly build a nest in your gutters or downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a while, 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 it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout really strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these obvious signs indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that have to be addressed right away. 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 Pittsburgh can be of great help. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary 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 basic gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, on their own. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are eager to complete the project a couple of times each year to save a little money.
However, anything beyond gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Prime Pittsburgh Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly determine the issue. 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 right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!