If you are like a lot of homeowners, your gutters are not something you really think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most roofs in Detroit. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner preferred copper or wood … building materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to provide a path of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof quickly. When they’re in good shape, your rain gutters will lead 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 leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters 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 easy to repair to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a strong indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you find a possible gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you’d rather call a gutter repairman to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your house the way they are designed to. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, 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 that there is too much moisture around that area – a possible issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are more likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it may be because that area gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a scenario when the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Detroit would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s actually raining to notice this type of gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean you have gutter damage. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the design of your basement, the leaking might be due to any number of things. The standing water issue we mentioned before could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so important to keep your gutters in good shape!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This standing water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if pooling 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 water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your house to assess any possible damage to the roof, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy tips Dearborn Gutter Solutions recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least one time a year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll experience with them.
The optimal time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Check 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 problems we wrote about above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to confirm 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 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 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 area of landscaping.