If you are like a lot of people, your rain gutters aren’t something you really think about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most houses in Cuyahoga Falls. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner has opted for copper or wood … materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to provide a route of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good condition, your rain gutters will direct 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 rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they 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 simple to repair to be the cause of major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good clue that your gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you find a 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 call a gutter service for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water near your home is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the water runoff away from your house the way they are designed to. Pooling water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and provides the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas around your home constantly 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 indicate that there is excessive moisture around that area – a potential issue with the gutters could be the cause. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are appearing, it may be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a situation where the advice and knowledge of a professional in Cuyahoga Falls would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s raining to notice this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it looked at ASAP.
Depending on the design of your basement, the leaking could be due to any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only block out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This water can kill plants either by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
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 into the ground. You will usually see water marks right under the gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is the simplest to find. 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 shingles, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some simple tips CF Gutters Inc. recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least once a year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the less issues you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are many professional 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 fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – will reveal any of the signs we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure that your gutters are working properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing an issue 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 needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.