If you are like many homeowners, your gutters are not 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 understand just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most houses in Hampton. They fade into the exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … building materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to provide a route of least resistance for rain to get off your roof quickly. When they’re in good condition, your gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaking water, 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 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 pretty strong indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you notice a gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather hire a gutter specialist for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water runoff away from your home the way they are designed to. 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 perpetually soggy 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 the sides of your house. Mold and mildew indicate there is a lot of moisture around that area – a potential problem with the rain gutters could be the cause. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are more likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might just 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 Hampton would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s raining to look for this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned. In either case, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the design of your basement, your leak could be due to any number of things. The pooling problem we discussed earlier could definitely cause 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 designed to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This pooling rain water can destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You will usually find water marks under the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that rain water is streaming 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 simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home 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 couple of simple tips Hometown Hampton Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least once each year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the less issues you’ll have with them.
The best time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are professional 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 gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the problems we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to confirm that your gutters are working correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of 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.
However, if you let the issue go on too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.