If you are like many people, your gutters are not something you often think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Oklahoma City. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to provide a route 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 mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the cause of major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you see any of the following issues, it’s a pretty good clue that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you identify a gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you should trust a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the rain runoff away from your home the way they are designed to. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas around your house consistently wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the sides of your home. Mold and mildew indicate there is too much moisture around that area – a potential problem with the gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are more likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a scenario when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Oklahoma City would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s actually raining to look for this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it looked at right away.
Based on the design of your basement, your leak could be due to any number of things. The pooling problem we mentioned before could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only block out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks beneath the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that water is running down the outside of the gutters rather than 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. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any possible damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some simple tips OKC Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least once a year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the less problems you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the problems we mentioned above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection after 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 easily be replaced very affordably.
However, if you let the problem go on too long, you might end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.