If you are like a lot of people, your gutters aren’t something you often think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most homes in Gastonia. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a route of least resistance for rain to get off your roof quickly. When they’re in good shape, your rain gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to fix to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a strong clue that your gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you identify a gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather hire a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the rain runoff away from your house the way they are designed to. Pooling water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas around your home constantly soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the sides of your home. Mold and mildew indicate there is too much moisture around that area – a possible problem with the gutters could be the cause. Remember that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it may just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a time when the advice and knowledge of a professional in Gastonia would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s raining to find this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it checked right away.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed earlier could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This pooling water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that rain water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your home to assess any possible damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few simple tips Gastonia Gutters Plus recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time a year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The best time to clean out 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 themselves, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the issues we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure that your gutters are working properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing an issue before it becomes too bad 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 be replaced very affordably.
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.