If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your gutters are not something you really think about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in High Point. They fade into the home’s 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 yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of rain gutters is to provide a path of least resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good condition, your gutters will lead runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can cause 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 any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a good indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you find a possible gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you should hire a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your house the way they should be. Pooling water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas surrounding your home perpetually 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 house. Mold and mildew mean there is too much moisture around that area – a possible problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. Remember 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 gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a situation where the advice and expertise of a professional in High Point would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s actually raining to look for this type of gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned. In either case, you need to have it checked ASAP.
Based on the design of your basement, your leak might be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it submerge into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This pooling water can destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
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 into the ground. You usually see water marks right under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that rain water is running 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 definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy ways High Point Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time a year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the fewer problems you’ll have with them.
The best time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are many local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to confirm that your gutters are working properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing a problem 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 and quickly.
But, if you let the problem go on for too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.