Rain Gutters are important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home investments, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your house from damages.
And it’s much easier than you might think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire house. Here, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without hiring a roofer) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are many signs that suggest leaking gutters, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home may not be causing a leak just yet, but these things will certainly create problems. Getting these defects fixed is a lot more affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If water is pooling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is close to your house, just in case.
Pooling water near your house can be especially bad for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most obvious signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak somewhere. These tiny leaks will occur 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 means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area 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 easy as refastening them, but it could also be necessary to seal the hole so no more water can escape from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other materials adhere to the moist surface better than on a drier one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters fixed, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or be 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 notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have a gutter leak.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t be. They also are related to aging building materials, so all of these factors need to be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is usually an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Portland gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk or another pest can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a while, you will start to see some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with little debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are issues with your rain gutter that have to be addressed immediately. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Portland can be helpful. They can determine if gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the life of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to take on the project a couple of times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter service with good customer reviews like Portland Gutter Solutions. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the problem. We offer free inspections for new customers.
If there are repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!