If you’re like most homeowners, your gutters are not something you often think about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Eugene. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to provide a path of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof. When they’re in good condition, your gutters will lead runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the reason for any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you see any of the following issues, it’s a pretty strong indication that your gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you identify a gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you should hire a gutter company for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your house the way they should be. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas around your house constantly wet 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 indicate there is too much moisture in that area – a possible issue with the gutters could be the cause. Remember that mold and mildew are more likely to appear on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it might be because that area gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a scenario when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Eugene would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s actually raining to find this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the construction of your basement, your leak might be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we discussed earlier could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This pooling rain water can kill 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 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 see water marks right under the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not 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 in the middle, they definitely have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to assess any 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 some simple tips EZ Eugene Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once 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 gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean out 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 themselves, but there are professional 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 damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the problems we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection after each season to confirm that your gutters are functioning the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of 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.
But, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.