Gutters are very important because – although they are simple and relatively inexpensive – they protect more valuable home assets, like the roof, foundation and windows. Caring for and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your home from major damages.
And it’s really a lot easier than you probably think.
Spotting a gutter leak early can protect your entire house. Below, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without calling a roof specialist) to see if your gutters may be leaking.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are many signs that point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t see water dripping. You can do a visual inspection from the ground to decide if the signs of a leaking gutter are present.
Here’s what to look for:
Visible Flaws – When gutters start to pull away from the home, it stresses the connectors. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, poor quality materials, storm damage or age. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any section of them pulling away from the roofing may not be causing a leak yet, but will definitely result in issues. Having these defects fixed is affordable than replacing gutters or any of the potential damages a leak can cause.
Pooling – If water is puddling around your home, it’s a sign that a gutter leak is probably present. But you should also check pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is close to your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water near your home can be especially harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and might cause your windows to leak.
Drips – One of the most visible signs of a gutter leak is a drip, or several of them.
A drip coming from your gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t a big overflow, there is an unseen leak somewhere. These minor leaks can occur if a fastener has become loose (see the next item on our list).
Visible Fasteners – Seeing nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters likely means a leak is going to begin soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits starts to become a new area where water can get out if the fastener starts to fall out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as tightening them, but it can also be necessary to cover the hole so no water can escape from the edge of the screw or the nail, even after it is back in place. You can purchase this type of sealant, or let a gutter repair company apply it.
Water Stains or Rust – Water leaves behind evidence, especially when it is constantly or frequently present. Dark water stains appear because dirt and other materials stick to the wet surface better than on a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll notice after water stains. Most water stains on gutters can be cleaned away and the gutters fixed, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or be replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t recently been a storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re beginning to see paint flaking, cracking in the foundation or walkways, rotting wood on your patio or deck, or moldy window sills, you may have a gutter leak.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also are related to older building materials, so all factors should be taken into account when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not all gutter issues lead to home repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a gutter leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This one is a pretty easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that should be cleaned out. You can do this or hire a Minneapolis gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean out the gutters.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can build a nest in your gutters or in your downspout, which can cause overflow. Once the nest has been there for a little while, you will start seeing some of the above signs of a leak in a gutter – 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 little debris present. While it may be little now, a tree sapling will sprout really strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs mean there are problems with your rain gutter that must be addressed immediately. By checking all of your gutters and downspouts, you can see if there’s a reason for concern.
This is where a professional gutter service in Minneapolis can be helpful. They can determine whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to lengthen the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, basic gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Homeowners can decide to do basic gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and somewhat dangerous, they are ready to take on the project 1-2 times a year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond simple gutter cleaning should be left to the professionals.
Start by hiring a gutter service with excellent customer reviews like Minneapolis Gutter Solutions. Then let us do a full inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are gutter repairs to be made, or if we feel that it’s time to install new gutters, you can trust us to get the job done. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!