Gutters are important because – despite being simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your home from major damages.
And it’s really a lot simpler than you might think.
Identifying a leak in your gutters early can protect an entire house. Below, we’ve listed a few signs that you can look for (without calling a roofer) to see if your gutters are leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are several signs that indicate leaking gutters, even if you don’t notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your 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 causes stress on the connections. Cracks can be caused by faulty installation, poor quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the home might not be causing a leak yet, but these things will ultimately result in issues. Having these defects fixed is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If rain is puddling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your home can be very damaging for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your rain gutter is likely a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is a hidden leak. These tiny leaks can happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole 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 easy as tightening them, but it might also be important to cover the hole so no water can leak from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is tightened again. You can purchase this sealant, or let a gutter repair company put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves evidence behind, especially if it is constantly or frequently present. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other materials adhere to the moist surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned and the gutters repaired, but if your gutters are rusty, they 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 your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have a gutter leak.
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 of these factors need to be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This one is usually an easy fix. It’s probably not a leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire an Oklahoma City gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can 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 the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with minimal debris present. While it may be small 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 gutter that must be addressed right away. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a cause for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Oklahoma City 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 home’s gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do simple gutter care, like gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and dangerous, they are ready to complete the project a couple of times a year to save some money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like OKC Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to correctly determine the problem. We provide free inspections for new customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time to install new gutters, you can count on us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!