If you are like many people, your rain gutters aren’t something you often think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you understand how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go unnoticed on most houses in Little Rock. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … building materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of gutters is to provide a path 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 home’s foundation and landscaping, will protect your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the rain gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters 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 repair to be the reason for any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you see any of the following issues, it’s a pretty strong indication that your gutters have some type of damage.
As soon as you find a possible gutter issue, you can decide whether it’s something you feel comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you’d rather hire a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your home the way they are designed to. Pooling water can cause mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas around your house consistently soggy 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 exterior of your house. Mold and mildew indicate that there is a lot of moisture in that area – a possible issue with the rain gutters could be the cause. Keep in mind that mold and mildew are likely to grow on the north side of a house anyway, so if that’s where they’re appearing, it might just be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a situation when the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Little Rock would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll need to wait until it’s actually raining to notice this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Based on the design of your home’s basement, your leak might be caused by any number of things. The standing water issue we mentioned earlier could definitely cause a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in good shape!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
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 disperse into the ground. But, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This standing rain water can destroy plants either 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 a lot of moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated into the ground. You will usually find water marks right under the gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that rain water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is by far the simplest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they 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 gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a few simple ways Little Rock Gutter Service 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 have with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Most 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.
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 – will reveal any of the issues we mentioned above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to confirm that your gutters are working correctly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of 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 easily be replaced very affordably and quickly.
But, if you let the problem go on for too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.