If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your gutters aren’t something you often think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most homes in Buffalo Grove. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a route of minimal resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof quickly. When they are in good condition, your rain gutters will lead runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mold and mildew, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When they are damaged, it can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too easy to repair to be the reason for major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is easy and safe. If you identify any of the following issues, it’s a strong clue that your rain gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you notice a possible gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you should trust a gutter service for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting 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. Pooling water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas around your home consistently wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a sign of gutter damage, whether you see mold or mildew on the gutters or on the exterior of your house. Mold and mildew indicate there is a lot of moisture around that area – a potential problem with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mildew and mold are likely to appear on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it may just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a time where the advice and expertise of a professional in Buffalo Grove 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 clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. In either case, you need to have it checked ASAP.
Depending on the construction of your home’s basement, your leak might be due to any number of things. The pooling issue we mentioned before could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will 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 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. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it shouldn’t. This pooling rain water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It might also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks right beneath the rain gutters or directly 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 spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they definitely have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to assess any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few simple ways Buffalo Grove Gutters recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time a year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the less problems you’ll experience with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a good cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are many professional gutter cleaning companies that provide this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Inspect your gutters often. Signs of damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A quick 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 at the end of each season to confirm that your gutters are functioning properly.
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 issue go on for too long, you could end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire area of landscaping.