If you’re like many homeowners, your gutters are not something you often think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most homes in Franklin. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of 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 quickly. When they are in good shape, your gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement 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 easy to fix to be the reason for major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a good indication that your gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you notice a possible gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you should call a gutter service for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the water runoff away from your home the way they should be. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas around your house consistently soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these 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 potential problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are more likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it may be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a situation where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Franklin would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to look for this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it looked at right away.
Based on the construction of your home’s basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed before could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This standing water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually find water marks beneath the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that water is running down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any possible damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some simple tips Franklin Gutters recommends to help 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. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the less problems you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we mentioned above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to confirm that your gutters are working properly.
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.
But, if you let the issue go on for too long, you might end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.