If you are like most people, your gutters aren’t something you really think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Modesto. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a route of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good shape, your gutters will lead runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the cause of major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a good clue that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
Once you notice a possible gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you’d rather trust 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 should be. Pooling water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas around your home constantly 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 house. Mold and mildew indicate there is too much moisture around that area – a potential problem with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might 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 Modesto would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s raining to find this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. 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.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, your leak might be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we discussed before could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in good shape!
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 submerge into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This pooling water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are the first sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually find water marks right beneath the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a usually a sign that rain water is streaming down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any possible damage to the roof, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy tips Modesto Gutter Service recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once each year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The optimal time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the issues we wrote about above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure that your gutters are functioning properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of a problem before it becomes too bad can save you 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 issue go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.