If you are like many homeowners, your gutters aren’t something you often think about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their purpose is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing their job that you realize how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Nashville. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner decided on copper or wood … materials that are designed to stand out! Most are made of durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a path of minimal resistance for rain to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good condition, your gutters will direct runoff away from the home’s 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 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 simple to fix to be the cause of major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is easy and safe. If you notice any of the following issues, it’s a pretty strong indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
Once you identify a possible gutter issue, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying on your own or if it’s something you’d rather call a gutter specialist to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Sitting water is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not directing the rain runoff away from your house the way they are supposed to. 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 perpetually 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 the sides of your home. Mold and mildew indicate that there is excessive moisture in that area – a possible problem with the rain gutters could be to blame. 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 doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight on it. This is a situation where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Nashville would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You’ll have to wait until it’s actually raining to find this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and should be cleaned out. Either way, you want to have it looked at right away.
Based on the construction of your basement, the leaking could be caused by 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 block out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this water flow to help it submerge into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This rain water can kill plants either 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 too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually see water marks right beneath the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that water is streaming 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 have damage. Following a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to identify any damage to the roof, exterior, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are a couple of easy tips Nashville Gutter Solutions recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once a year. You can extend the amount of time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. As with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the less issues you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean out gutters is in the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. A lot of homeowners clean their gutters on their own, but there are local 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 fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the issues we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you complete an exterior home inspection following each season to be sure 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 be replaced very affordably.
However, if you let the problem go on for too long, you might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.