It’s raining, it’s pouring, and suddenly the gutters are overflowing.
The last thing you want to see during a thunderstorm is that your gutters aren’t working correctly. So instead of dealing with the headache after your home has sustained water damage, it’s essential to keep your eyes peeled for any issues ahead of time.
But how can you tell if your gutters aren’t working correctly or in need of repair? Beyond more obvious signs, like cracks and leaks, there are several ways to spot issues before they become a problem.
Time to get proactive with these tips on spotting and fixing home gutter damage.
Damaged Gutters Damage Property
Clogged gutters pose more of a risk than you may think. Gutters are essential because their sole job is to redirect the flow of rainwater and snowmelt away from your house and foundation. When water isn’t able to flow freely, the system isn’t working correctly.
Over time, leaves, sediment, and granules from shingles can create a blockage that prevents water flow in your gutters. If left unchecked, this can lead to severe home damage.
Problems That Can Occur from Blocked Gutters
- Cracked or Dislodged Driveways
- Foundation Damage
- Landscape Erosion
- Roof Rot
Spotting problems early can help to avoid spending thousands of dollars on repairs later.
What Are Some Common Signs of Gutter Damage?
While cracks and leaks are visible signs of damage, other things could impact how effectively your gutters work. So let’s take a closer look at some additional warning signs that you could have gutter damage.
1. Bird’s Nests and Other Pest
Gutters tend to be a favorite home for birds to nest. Sure they may seem harmless, but they are impacting the effectiveness of your gutters. Unfortunately, birds aren’t the only pest that tends to set up home in gutters.
Hornets, squirrels, and other creatures find their way into your gutters, creating problems for your system. So if you hear any scuttling or spot some movement in your gutter, it’s time to take action.
2. Overflowing Water
Water pouring over the side of a gutter is an excellent indicator of a blockage. Pests and other elements cause the water to pool in a specific area, putting extra pressure on your gutter system. Eventually, water will overflow on the sides.
That type of water damage trickles down through your attic into your side panels, drywall, and potentially pools in your basement.
3. Sagging or Warped Gutters
If water collects in the same place for an extended period, it can eventually warp the material. Look for signs that gutters are pulling away from the house, sagging down, and bending outward due to prolonged water pressure.
Unsure if your gutters are warped enough to need repair? Consulting a trusted gutter repair specialist can help provide clarity and options.
4. Lifted or Rotten Shingles
A damaged gutter is one thing, but a damaged fascia board could add thousands of dollars in repairs. Moisture from water seeps into the fascia under shingles and side panels. As the problem persists over time, it compromises the roof’s structure.
The problems don’t end there. Moisture leads to faded paint and significant health hazards, like mold.
5. Stained Side Panels
Some damaged gutters will build up stagnant rainwater and debris. In addition, if there is a crack or problems with the gutter’s joint, that wet mess will seep down the side of your house, potentially staining it. A big stain leads to costly cleaning repairs for your side panels.
Similar to shingle damage, extra moisture also affects the facia under the side panels over time.
6. Plant’s Growing in Your Gutters
Have you ever looked up at your gutter and thought, “Is something growing in there?” Well, that wayward plant that set up shop is a sign that something is not quite right. The last thing you need is a root system that increases pressure, compromises your gutter, and blocks water from flowing away from your home.
Make sure to remove any moss, grass, plants, or twigs when they appear.
7. Cracks on the Gutter
When you look at your gutters, do you see any visible cracks? They could vary in size, from minor to long, and indicate a need for repair. However, depending on the size of the damage, you may only need a minor repair.
Sealants are excellent for patching small cracks. However, if there is more extensive damage, you will need to replace that whole gutter section.
8. Fan-Like Patterns Near Downspouts
Downspouts are the connecting pieces that distribute water down from your gutters and away from your foundation. Unfortunately, depending on the type of gutter system you have, your downspouts may occasionally dislodge. When this happens, rushing water can’t flow away from your home.
Instead, it can pool or spray out into your landscaping. If you’re noticing fan-like patterns in the landscaping around your downspouts, this is a good indicator that you need to adjust your gutter system.
Properly securing your downspouts and adding other extenders can help move the flowing water away from your foundation.
Gutter Maintenance Guide
While cleaning out gutters is a tedious process, it’s, unfortunately, necessary to avoid water damage throughout your home. As a good rule of thumb, clean your gutters once to twice a year.
Follow an easy gutter maintenance guide to learn more about when and how you should clean your gutters.
Seamless Gutter System Solutions
There are two main types of gutter systems: sectional or seamless. Sectional gutter systems have visible seams connecting each gutter piece around your home. This gutter option is popular because it is generally cheaper and easier to install.
A higher-quality choice is the seamless gutter system. Instead of multiple pieces that connect at different points, a seamless gutter uses one continuous piece of material that’s professionally installed.
Benefits of Seamless Gutters
- Custom Designed
- Fewer Connecting Points
- Minimal Yearly Maintenance
- Increase Property Value
- Visually Appealing
- Reduced Leakage
- Decreased Debris
- Longer Lifespan
Even though seamless gutters come with a higher installation cost than sectional gutters, they have a higher return on investment. In addition to having fewer joints, there is less likelihood of debris build-up, leakage, and need for repairs.
With very little yearly maintenance, your seamless gutter system can last 20+ years. Installing seamless gutters is one of the best ways to protect your home from water damage.
Gutter Covers & Other Protection
Regularly cleaning your gutters can be a time-consuming and potentially dangerous activity, especially if you are mobility-impaired. Thankfully there is a way to avoid problems by adding a gutter cover.
Covers will help prevent excess debris from accumulating in your gutters. Want to know the best part? You’ll never have to risk life or limb to clean your gutters again!
Explore other significant gutter enhancements that you can add to protect your home.
Upgrade and Repair Your Home’s Gutter System
Gutters help channel rainwater and snow away from your home’s foundation. If your gutter system is compromised, your house may become susceptible to basement flooding, cracks in the foundation, and all other kinds of expensive damages.
If you see any cracks, sagging, or pooling of water in your gutters, it’s time to call the gutter damage specialists at Advantage Construction.