If you’re like many people, your gutters aren’t something you really worry about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you understand just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Minneapolis. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … materials that are designed to stand out! Most are made of 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 shape, your rain gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a strong indication that your gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you find a possible gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you should hire a gutter company for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the rain runoff away from your house the way they are designed to. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas surrounding your home consistently wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the exterior of your house. Mold and mildew indicate there is too much moisture in that area – a possible issue with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are more likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a time where the advice and knowledge of a professional in Minneapolis would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to notice this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned. In either case, you need to have it looked at right away.
Based on the construction of your home’s basement, your leak might be caused by any number of things. The standing water 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 so important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, 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 allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This standing rain water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually find water marks beneath the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually a sign that rain water is streaming down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy tips Minneapolis Gutter Solutions recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time a year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are many local gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we wrote about above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection after each season to ensure that your gutters are functioning correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing an issue 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 be replaced very affordably and quickly.
But, if you let the issue go on for too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.