If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your gutters are not something you really think about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until your rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you realize just how important they are!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most houses in Augusta. They fade into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … materials that are designed to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of rain gutters is to provide a path of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof. When they’re in good shape, your gutters will lead runoff away from the foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the foundation and basement from leaking water, and the gutters themselves from rust.
When gutters 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 fix to be the reason for any major home repairs! Keeping an eye on your gutters is simple and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a pretty good clue that your rain 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’d rather call a gutter company for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Standing water is a good sign that your gutters or downspouts are not sending the water 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 pesky mosquitoes. And, it will make the areas around your home consistently wet and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the sides of your home. Mold and mildew mean that there is excessive moisture in that area – a potential issue with the gutters could be to blame. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to grow on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where these substances are growing, it might be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a situation where the advice and knowledge of a gutter specialist in Augusta would be helpful.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to find this type of gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It might just be that the gutter is full of debris and should be cleaned. In either case, you need to have it looked at right away.
Based on the design of your home’s basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The pooling issue we mentioned earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and cinder block walls will only keep out so much water. That’s why it is so necessary to keep your gutters in good condition!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be laid out to work with this water flow to help it disperse into the ground. However, a leaking gutter or clogged gutter will cause rainfall to overflow or pool where it shouldn’t. This standing rain water can destroy plants either by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is too much moisture on a surface. Water marks are sometimes left behind even if pooling water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually find water marks right under the rain gutters or behind the downspouts. This is a typically a sign that rain water is running down the outside of the gutters rather than staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The final sign of gutter damage is the simplest to spot. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked in the middle, they have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to assess any damage to the roof shingles, exterior, and gutters. These inspections are in addition to any standard home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy tips A+ Augusta Gutters recommends to prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least once a year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by having them cleaned out regularly. Like with anything else, the better you maintain your rain gutters, the less issues you’ll have with them.
The recommended time to clean gutters is during the spring, but to be extra cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Most homeowners clean their gutters themselves, but there are professional 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. Just a quick inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the signs we wrote about 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 an issue 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 might end up needing repairs in your basement, replacing expensive vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.