If you are like a lot of people, your rain gutters are not something you often worry about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most houses in Bowling Green. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good shape, your gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they 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 simple to fix to be the cause of any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s a strong indication that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
Once you identify a possible gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you should trust a gutter company to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling 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 should be. Standing water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Plus, it will make the areas surrounding your home constantly 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 house. Mold and mildew indicate there is excessive moisture around that area – a possible problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are more likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re appearing, it may be because that area gets very little direct sunlight on it. This is a scenario when the advice and knowledge of a professional in Bowling Green would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s raining to find 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 needs to be cleaned. Either way, you want to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking might be due to any number of things. The standing water problem we mentioned before could definitely cause 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 working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
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 submerge into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This pooling rain water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks right beneath the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that rain water is running 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 easiest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they definitely have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to assess any possible damage to the roof, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of simple ways Better Bowling Green Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time a year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll have with them.
The best 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 local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the issues we discussed above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to be sure that your gutters are functioning the right way.
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 easily be replaced very affordably and quickly.
But, if you let the problem go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.