If you are like most people, your gutters aren’t something you often worry about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is incredibly simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Johns Creek. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to create a route of least resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they’re in good condition, your rain gutters will direct runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the foundation and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When gutters 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 cause of any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s a pretty good clue that your gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you find a gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s a project you’d rather hire a gutter repairman to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water is a good 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 cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas surrounding your home perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the exterior of your house. Mold and mildew indicate there is too much moisture in that area – a potential problem with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are more 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 situation when the advice and expertise of a professional in Johns Creek would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to discover this gutter problem. 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 out. Either way, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Depending on the design of your basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The pooling problem we mentioned 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 so important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks beneath the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to assess any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few easy tips Johns Creek Gutter Service recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once each year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The best time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are many local 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 be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the signs we discussed above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection after each season to ensure that your gutters are functioning correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing an issue 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.
But, if you let the problem go on for too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.