7 Signs of Gutter Damage on Your Home

damaged rain gutter

If you’re like most people, your gutters aren’t something you often think about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is very simple.

It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize how important they are for your home!

WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?

Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most houses in Bethlehem. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most are made of durable yet 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. When they’re in good condition, your rain gutters will lead runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the concrete and pavement 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 surrounding property.

ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?

Gutter damage is too easy to repair to be the cause of major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a pretty good indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.

As soon as you notice a gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you should call a gutter company for.

Sitting Water Near Your Home

Sitting water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the water runoff away from your home the way they should be. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas around your house perpetually wet and muddy.

Mold or Mildew

Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or on the sides of your house. Mold and mildew mean there is a lot of moisture in that area – a possible problem 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 these substances are growing, it may just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a scenario when the advice and expertise of a professional in Bethlehem would be helpful.

Rain Pouring Over the Gutter

You’ll have 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 full of debris and needs to be cleaned out. In either case, you need to have it checked ASAP.

Basement Leaks

Depending on the construction of your home’s basement, your leak could be due to any number of things. The standing water problem we mentioned earlier could definitely result in a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is necessary 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 laid out to work with this flow of water to help it disperse into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.

Water Marks

Water marks are the first sign that there is too much 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 gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a usually a sign 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 the easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any damage to the roof, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?

Here are some easy ways Better Bethlehem Gutters recommends to prevent gutter damage:

Clean your gutters at least one time each year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll have with them.

The recommended time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are many local gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to handle the work or the risk.

Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we wrote about above.

We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure that your gutters are working correctly.

When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of a problem 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 easily be replaced very affordably.

However, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.