If you are like many people, your rain gutters aren’t something you often worry about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their purpose is incredibly 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 homes in Fresno. They blend into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are definitely designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of rain gutters is to create a path of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they are in good shape, your rain gutters will direct runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the rain gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they are damaged, it can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your house and surrounding property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the reason for any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a pretty strong clue that your gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you find a gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you should call a gutter service for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water 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 mosquitoes. And, 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 mean that there is a lot of moisture in that area – a possible problem with the 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 these substances are growing, it may just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a situation where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Fresno would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will need to wait until it’s raining to discover this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned. Either way, you want to have it checked ASAP.
Based on the design of your basement, your leak might be caused by any number of things. The standing water issue we discussed before 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 so 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 water flow to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This pooling rain water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are the first sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You usually see water marks under the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a usually an indication that water is pouring 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 simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they definitely have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess any possible damage to the roof, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to your standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy tips Fresno Gutter Service recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time a year. You can lengthen the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you maintain your gutters, the less problems 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 local gutter cleaning companies that offer this service so you don’t have to deal with the work or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can often be visible from the outside of the gutters. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the problems we wrote about above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to ensure that your gutters are working 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 and quickly.
However, if you let the problem go on too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.