If you are like many people, your rain gutters are not something you often think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most houses in Commerce City. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to provide a route of least resistance for rain and snow 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 mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause 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 reason for major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good clue that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you find a gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you’d rather trust a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the rain runoff away from your home the way they are supposed to. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas around your house perpetually wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or on the sides of your house. Mold and mildew indicate that there is excessive moisture around that area – a potential issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Remember that mold and mildew are more likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it may just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a scenario where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Commerce City would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to look for this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it checked ASAP.
Based on the design of your basement, your leak might be due to any number of things. The standing water problem we mentioned before could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block 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 most of the time, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. But, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are the first sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks under the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some simple tips Commerce City Gutters recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once each year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll have with them.
The best time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the problems we discussed above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection after 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 be replaced very affordably.
But, if you let the issue go on too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.