Gutters are so important because – despite being simple and inexpensive – they protect more valuable home components, such as the roof, foundation and windows. Taking care of and cleaning gutters is an easy way to protect your home from damages.
And it’s really much simpler than you probably think.
Spotting a leak in your gutters early can protect the entire home. Below, we’ve provided a few signs that you can look for (without hiring a roofer) to determine if there is a leak in your gutters.
How to Identify Leaking Gutters
There are a lot of signs that point to a gutter leak, even if you don’t actually see water dripping. You can do an inspection from the ground to determine if the signs of a leaking gutter are there.
Here are some things to keep an eye out for:
Obvious Flaws – When the gutters pull away from the home, it causes stress on the fasteners. Cracks can be the result of faulty installation, low quality materials, damage or general wear and tear. Cracks in the gutter channel or seeing any part of them pulling away from the house might not cause a leak yet, but these things will definitely cause issues. Having these defects fixed is much more affordable than replacing gutters or any of the possible damages a leak can lead to.
Pooling – If water is pooling around your home, it’s a possible sign that a gutter leak is probably present. You should also check underground pipes, water spigots and any other water source that is near your home, just to be sure.
Pooling water near your house can be very harmful for the foundation. It’s also bad for landscaping and can cause your windows to leak.
Dripping – One of the most visible signs of a leaking gutter is a drip, or several drips.
A drip from your rain gutter indicates a clog, but if it’s coming from the bottom and it isn’t overflowing, there is a hidden leak. These minor leaks will happen if a fastener has become loose (see the next item below).
Visible Fasteners – Finding nails and screws wiggling their way out of the rain gutters means a leak is going to start soon, if it hasn’t already. The area where the nail or screw fits becomes a new area where water can get out if the fastener works its way out.
Sometimes the solution is as simple as tightening them, but it may also be important to seal the hole so no more water can escape 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 put it on.
Water Stains or Rust – Moisture leaves evidence behind, especially when it is constantly or frequently there. Darker water stains appear because dirt and other organic debris stick to the moist surface better than it would a dry one.
Rust is the product of nearly constant moisture, and the more severe sign you’ll see after you see water stains. water stains on gutters can be cleaned and the gutters repaired, but if the gutters are rusty, they will definitely need to be repaired or replaced.
Unexplained Home Damage – If there hasn’t been a severe storm, and you haven’t had a limb fall on your roof, but you’re starting to notice paint flaking, cracking in the foundation around the downspouts or walkways, decaying wood on your patio or deck, or mold on your window sills, you could have leaking gutters.
These are all signs that water has been leaking from somewhere it shouldn’t. They also go hand in hand with aging building materials, so all of these factors should be considered when inspecting gutters for leaks.
Other gutter issues…
Not every gutter issue leads to major repairs. If you see these gutter issues, a leak may not be the issue.
Rain Overflow – This issue is usually an easy fix. It’s likely not a gutter leak, but a clog that has to be cleaned out. You can do this yourself or hire a Franklin gutter cleaning company – even a general handyman – to clean them out.
Animal Nests – A small bird, squirrel, chipmunk can quickly build a nest in your rain gutters or in your downspout, which will cause overflow. Once the nest has been there a while, you will start seeing 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 little debris present. While it may be small now, a sapling will sprout strong roots that can damage aluminum gutters before you even know it.
Professional Gutter Repair
Any of these easy-to-see signs indicate 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 when a professional gutter service in Franklin can be helpful. They can distinguish whether gutter replacement is necessary or if you can get by with repairs to extend the lifetime of your gutters. Sometimes, gutter cleaning is all that’s needed.
Some homeowners choose to do basic gutter care and maintenance, such as gutter cleaning, themselves. Although it is time consuming and sometimes dangerous, they are ready to complete the project a couple of times each year to save a little money.
However, any job beyond basic gutter cleaning is best left to the professionals.
Start by calling a gutter service with good customer reviews like Franklin Gutters. Then let us do an inspection to accurately diagnose the issue. We offer free inspections for potential customers.
If there are any 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 right. Our gutter repair service can save you a lot of time and trouble in the long run!