Gutters are very important because – while they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning rain gutters is an easy way to help prevent your house from damages.
And it’s much simpler than you probably think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire house. Below, we’ve listed a few indicators that you can look for (without hiring a roof specialist) to determine if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Gutter Leak
There are many warning signs that suggest a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the lawn to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Visible Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the roof, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house might not cause a leak just yet, but these things will ultimately lead to problems. Getting these defects repaired is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your home, just in case.
Pooling water by your home can be especially harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most obvious signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming 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 somewhere. These tiny leaks will happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as refastening them, but it may also be important to cover 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 apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently present. Darker water stains will appear because dirt and other materials stick to the wet surface better than on a dry 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 can be repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they will definitely need 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 starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you might have leaking gutters.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t be. They also are related to aging building materials, so all of these factors should be factored in when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to home repairs. If you see these common gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that has to be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Federal Way gutter cleaning service – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which will also 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 pooling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can take root in your gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be little now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate there are issues with your rain gutter that need to be addressed right away. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a gutter service in Federal Way can be of great help. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners decide to do simple gutter care and maintenance, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it can be time consuming and dangerous, they are eager to complete the project 1-2 times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Federal Way Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately determine the issue. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any repairs to be made, or if we believe that it’s time to install new gutters, 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!