If you are like a lot of people, your gutters are not something you often think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is incredibly 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 houses in Tigard. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of rain gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good condition, your rain gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When they are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the cause of major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a pretty strong indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you find a possible gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you’d rather call a gutter company to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your house the way they should be. Pooling water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas around your house consistently wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the sides of your house. Mold and mildew mean that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a possible problem with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it may be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a scenario where the advice and expertise of a professional in Tigard would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s raining to notice this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it looked at right away.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow 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 destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks beneath the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is pouring 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 easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess any damage to the roof, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of simple ways Total Tigard 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 regularly. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we discussed above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection after each season to be sure that your gutters are functioning properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of an issue before it becomes too bad can save you 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 and quickly.
But, if you let the issue go on too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.