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7 Signs Of Gutter Damage

7 Signs of Gutter Damage

If you’re like most people, your gutters are not something you really worry about. They need professional gutter cleaning, but otherwise, the concept of their functionality is incredibly simple.

It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!

What Do Gutters Do?

Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most homes. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood…materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.

The purpose of gutters is to provide a path of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof quickly. When they are in good shape, your gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from rust.

When they are damaged, gutters can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.

Signs of Gutter Damage

Gutter repair is too simple to be the cause of major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good indication that your gutters have some type of damage.

Once you identify a possible gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather trust a gutter specialist for.

Pools of water around your home

Pooling is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the water runoff away from your home the way they are supposed to. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the area around your home perpetually soggy and muddy.

Mold or mildew

Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see them on the gutters or the sides of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is too much moisture in that area – a potential problem with the gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are more likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it may just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a time when the advice and expertise of a professional would be a great help.

Rain pouring over the edge of the gutter

You’ll have to wait until it’s actually raining to look for this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned out. In either case, you need to have it checked ASAP.

Basement leaks

Depending on the construction of your basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The pooling problem we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in working order!

Landscaping or lawn damage

Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This standing water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.

Water marks

Water marks are the first sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks will be left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You will usually see water marks right under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a sign that water is running down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside them.

Visible damage

This last sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging, or cracked, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess any damage to the roof, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.

How to Protect Your Gutters

There are a few simple ways to prevent gutter damage.

Clean your gutters out at least once a year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll have with them.

The best time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are many professional companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.

Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we discussed above.

We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to be sure that your gutters are functioning properly.

When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of an issue before it becomes a huge problem can save you a lot of time and money. A small crack, for example, can be sealed, or the section of gutter with the crack can easily be replaced very affordably.

However, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up making repairs to your basement, replacing vinyl siding, and redoing an entire section of landscaping.

Smart Gutter Solutions is the #1 choice for gutter cleaning, repair and installation throughout the USA. How long has it been since your last gutter cleaning? Visit our service area page to find the nearest gutter specialist and schedule service today!