If you’re like most homeowners, your rain gutters are not something you really think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most houses in Concord. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … building materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of rain gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good condition, your gutters will route runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to repair to be the reason for any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a good indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you notice a gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you’d rather hire a gutter repairman to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the rain runoff away from your house the way they should be. Pooling water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas around your house consistently soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the sides of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a potential problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it may just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a time when the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Concord would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to discover this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned. In either case, you need to have it looked at right away.
Based on the design of your basement, your leak might be due to any number of things. The standing water problem we discussed earlier could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will 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 laid out to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are the first sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You will usually find water marks right beneath the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually a sign 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 simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your home to assess any possible damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy tips Classic Concord Gutters recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the less problems you’ll experience with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess 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 – should reveal any of the problems we discussed above.
We’d suggest 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 be replaced very affordably.
But, if you let the problem go on for too long, you might end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.