If you’re like a lot of people, your rain gutters are not something you often worry about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most homes in Parker. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … building materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to create a route of least resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they are in good condition, your gutters will direct runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the rain 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 repair to be the reason for any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a good indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you find a possible gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you’d rather call a gutter company to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your house the way they are designed to. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas around your house perpetually wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the sides of your home. Mold and mildew indicate that there is a lot of moisture around that area – a potential problem with the gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it may be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a time when the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Parker would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to find this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned. Either way, you want to have it checked right away.
Based on the design of your basement, your leak might be due to any number of things. The standing water problem we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only block out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters pour directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This pooling water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You usually find water marks right beneath the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is streaming 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 in the middle, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any damage to the roof, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few easy tips Parker Gutters & More! recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least once a year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the less problems you’ll experience with them.
The optimal time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters themselves, 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 – should reveal any of the issues we discussed above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection after each season to confirm that your gutters are working 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 easily be replaced very affordably.
However, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.