If you are like a lot of people, your rain gutters are not something you really worry about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until 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 homes in Murfreesboro. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner preferred copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to create a path of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof quickly. When they are in good shape, your gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the reason for any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a good clue that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you identify a gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather hire a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling 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 are designed to. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas around your house consistently wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or on the sides of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is excessive moisture in that area – a potential issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind 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 appearing, it may just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a time when the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Murfreesboro would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to find this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it looked at right away.
Based on the construction of your basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The standing water problem we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is necessary to keep your gutters in good shape!
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 disperse into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible 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 see water marks right under the 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 find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few simple ways Murfreesboro Gutters recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least one time each year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll experience with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are many professional 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 problems we wrote about above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to confirm that your gutters are working the right way.
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.
However, if you let the problem go on for too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.