If you’re like a lot of homeowners, your rain gutters are not something you really think about. They need regular gutter cleaning, but besides that, their functionality is very simple.
It’s not until rain gutters aren’t doing what they’re supposed to that you understand just how important they are for your home!
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters and downspouts go virtually unnoticed on most roofs in Arlington Heights. They blend into the exterior unless the homeowner chose copper or wood … building materials that are meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are made of durable yet lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The purpose of gutters is to provide a path of least resistance for rain and snow to get off your roof as fast as possible. When they’re in good shape, your gutters will route 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 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 property.
ARE YOUR GUTTERS DAMAGED?
Gutter damage is too simple to fix to be the reason for major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you notice any of the following signs, it’s a good clue that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you notice a gutter problem, you can decide whether it’s something you are comfortable repairing or remedying by yourself or if it’s something you should call a gutter specialist for.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the water 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 pesky mosquitoes. Plus, it will leave the areas around your home perpetually soggy and muddy.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew is a bad sign, whether you see mold or mildew on the rain gutters or the exterior of your house. Mold and mildew mean that there is too much moisture around that area – a potential problem with the rain gutters could be the cause. Remember that mold and mildew are likely to appear on the north side of a home anyway, so if that’s where they’re growing, it might just be because that area gets very little direct sunlight. This is a scenario where the advice and expertise of a gutter specialist in Arlington Heights would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s actually raining to find this gutter problem. Hopefully this doesn’t mean your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is clogged with debris and needs to be cleaned. Either way, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Depending on the design of your basement, the leaking might be caused by any number of things. The standing water problem we discussed earlier could definitely lead to a basement leak. Egress windows and even cinder block walls can only keep out so much water. That’s why it is important to keep your gutters in working order!
Landscaping or Lawn Damage
Rain gutters pour 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 leaking gutter or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool in areas where it isn’t supposed to. This rain water can kill plants by force or by overwatering. It can also displace flower bed building materials like rock or mulch.
Water marks are a visible sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You usually find water marks right beneath the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that water is pouring down the outside of the gutters and not staying inside of them.
Visible Gutter Damage
The last sign of gutter damage is by far the easiest to find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they obviously have damage. Following a storm, it’s a good idea to walk around your home to identify any possible damage to the roof, outer walls, and rain gutters. These inspections are in addition to any routine home inspections.
HOW TO PROTECT YOUR GUTTERS?
Here are some easy ways AllClean Arlington Heights Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters out at least one time each year. You can extend the time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. Like with anything else, the better you care for your gutters, the fewer problems you’ll experience 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. Many homeowners choose to clean their gutters on their own, but there are many local 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 gutter 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 wrote about above.
We’d recommend that you complete an exterior home inspection at the end of each season to be sure that your gutters are working the right way.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Taking care of a problem 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.
But, 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.