If you’re like many people, your rain gutters are not something you really think about. They need biannual gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most houses in Greenville. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of rain gutters is to provide a route of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof. When they’re 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 foundation and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to fix to be the reason for major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following signs, it’s a pretty strong clue that your gutters have some type of damage.
Once you find a possible gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you should hire a gutter repairman for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water near your home is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the rain runoff away from your house the way they should be. Standing water can lead to mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas surrounding your home consistently soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Either one of these is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or the exterior of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is excessive moisture around that area – a possible issue with the rain gutters could be to blame. Remember that mold and mildew are more likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where they’re appearing, it may be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a time when the advice and knowledge of a professional in Greenville would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s raining to look for this type of gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that you have gutter damage. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned. In either case, you need to have it checked ASAP.
Depending on the construction of your basement, the leaking might be due to any number of things. The standing water issue we mentioned before could definitely cause 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 pour 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 standing water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks under the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that 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 the easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they have damage. After a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess any damage to the roof shingles, outer walls, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of simple ways Greenville Gutter Solutions recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once each year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the fewer issues you’ll have with them.
The best time to clean gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners choose to clean their gutters themselves, but there are local gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the mess or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of damage can often 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 mentioned above.
We’d recommend that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to be sure that your gutters are functioning the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing 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 problem go on too long, you might end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.