Rain Gutters are so important because – while they are simple and inexpensive – they protect valuable home components, like the roof, foundation and windows. Maintaining and cleaning gutters is an easy way to help protect your home from damages.
And it’s a lot easier than you might think.
Finding a gutter leak early can protect an entire house. Here, we’ve listed a few signs that you can look for (without calling a roof specialist) to see if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are a lot of signs that suggest a leaking gutter, even if you don’t actually notice water dripping. You can do an inspection from the safety of your ground to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When gutters begin to pull away from the roof, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be the result of poor installation, poor quality materials, damage or age. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roofing may not be causing a leak yet, but will certainly cause problems. Getting these defects fixed is affordable than gutter replacement or any of the damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If rain is puddling around your house, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any water source that is near your home, just to be careful.
Pooling water around your house can be especially harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and could cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the more noticeable signs of gutter leaks is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming 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 an unseen leak somewhere. These minor leaks will happen if a fastener has become 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 will start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the answer is as easy as tightening them, but it might also be necessary to seal the hole so no water can escape 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 apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially if it is consistently or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other materials adhere to the wet surface better than it would a drier one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains can be cleaned away 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 been a storm, and you haven’t had a tree limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your porch or deck, or moldy window sills, you could have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all factors should be factored in 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 might not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a leak, but a clog that has to be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Tigard gutter cleaning company – or even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can also cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or pooling – if you don’t get rid of the nest.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain 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 have to be addressed right away. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is when a professional gutter service in Tigard can be helpful. They can determine whether gutter replacement is required or if you can get by with repairs to extend the life of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do basic gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it it can be time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to complete the project a couple of times a year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by finding a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Total Tigard Gutters. Then let us do a full inspection to correctly diagnose the issue. 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!