If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your gutters are not something you really worry about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you understand how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Springfield. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof quickly. When they are in good shape, your rain gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house 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 issues, it’s a pretty good indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you notice a possible gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you’d rather trust a gutter repairman to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your house the way they should be. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas surrounding 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 the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a possible issue with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it might be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a scenario where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Springfield would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s raining to look for this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it looked at right away.
Based on the construction of your home’s basement, your leak could be due to any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. But, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This pooling water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks right under the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that rain water is streaming down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to assess any possible damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few simple tips Springfield Gutter Specialists recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once a year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the less issues you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the problems we mentioned above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection after each season to confirm that your gutters are working correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem 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.
However, if you let the issue go on for too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.