If you are like a lot of people, your gutters are not something you really think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most homes in Clarksville. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to provide a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they’re in good shape, your rain gutters will route runoff away from the 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 fix to be the reason for any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you see any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good indication that your gutters have some type of damage.
Once you find a possible gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you’d rather trust a gutter service to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the water runoff away from your house the way they should be. Standing water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas surrounding your home consistently 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 sides of your home. Mold and mildew indicate that there is too much moisture in that area – a possible issue with the gutters could be the cause. Keep in mind that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it might just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a time where the advice and expertise of a professional in Clarksville would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s actually raining to find this type of gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned out. In either case, you want to have it looked at ASAP.
Depending on the design of your basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The standing water problem we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters empty directly onto the ground most of the time, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. But, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing rain water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building 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 standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually see water marks right under the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to assess any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy ways Choice Clarksville Gutters recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the fewer issues you’ll experience with them.
The best time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we discussed above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection after each season to ensure that your gutters are working the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing 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 easily be replaced very affordably and quickly.
However, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.