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 rain gutters is an easy way to prevent your house from damages.
And it’s much easier than you might think.
Identifying a gutter leak early can protect an entire home. In this blog post, we’ve provided a few indicators that you can be on the lookout for (without calling a roofer) to determine if you have a gutter leaking.
How to Identify a Leaking Gutter
There are many signs that point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t physically notice water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the lawn to decide if the signs of a gutter leak are there.
Here’s what to look for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the house, it stresses the connections. Cracks can be caused by poor installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter or seeing any part of them pulling away from the roof may not cause a leak just yet, but will definitely result in problems. Getting these defects repaired is a lot more affordable than installing new gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling Water – If rain is pooling around your house, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is present. But you should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your house, just to be careful.
Pooling water by your house can be especially harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the more noticeable signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your gutter could indicate a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom of the gutter and it isn’t overflowing, there is an unseen leak. These minor leaks will happen if a fastener has gotten loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws working their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak will begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The hole where the nail or screw fits in becomes a new area where water can escape if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as easy as refastening them, but it can also be necessary to seal the hole so no water can leak from the edge of the screw or nail, even after it is tightened again. You can buy this sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves behind evidence, especially when it is constantly or frequently there. Dark water stains will appear because dirt and other organic materials adhere to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the result of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters can be repaired, but if gutters are rusty, they definitely have to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on top of your roof, but you’re starting to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you may have a gutter leak.
These are all indications that water has been leaking from a place it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with older building materials, so all factors should be taken into account 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 may not be the problem.
Rain Overflow – This issue is typically an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that needs to be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Eugene gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk or another pest can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start to see some of the above signs of leaks – like rust or puddling – if you don’t get rid of it.
Trees & Plants – A tree can easily take root in your rain gutter with small amounts of debris present. While it may be small now, a tree sapling will sprout strong roots that can destroy aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these visible signs mean there are problems with your gutter that have to be addressed right away. By checking your gutters and downspouts, you can tell if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Eugene can be of great help. They can distinguish if gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your home’s gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is the only thing that’s needed.
Homeowners can choose to do simple gutter care, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are willing to complete the project a couple of times each year to save some money.
However, anything beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to professionals.
Start by finding a gutter specialist with good customer reviews like EZ Eugene Gutters Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the problem. We provide free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any gutter repairs to be made, or if we think that it’s time for gutter replacement, you can trust us to get the job done right. Our gutter repair service will save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!