If you are like many people, your gutters are not something you really worry about. They need routine gutter cleaning, but otherwise, their functionality is incredibly simple.
It’s not until 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 unnoticed on most roofs in Napa. They fade into the home’s exterior unless the homeowner preferred copper or wood … building materials that are definitely meant to stand out! Most home exteriors are crafted from durable but lightweight aluminum or vinyl siding.
The point of rain gutters is to create a route of least resistance for rain to get off your roof. When they’re in good shape, your rain gutters will lead runoff away from the home’s foundation and landscaping, protecting your home’s exterior from mildew and mold, the concrete and pavement and basement from leaks, and the gutters themselves from wear and rust.
When they 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 repair to be the reason for any major home repairs! Inspecting your gutters is simple and safe. If you see any of the following issues, it’s a pretty good indication that your rain gutters have some kind of damage.
As soon as you find a gutter problem, you can decide if it’s something you feel comfortable fixing or remedying by yourself or if it’s a project you should hire a gutter company to handle.
Sitting Water Near Your Home
Pooling water is a sure sign that your gutters or downspouts are not routing the rain runoff away from your home the way they should be. Pooling water can result in mold, weakening of your foundation, and creates the perfect habitat for pesky mosquitoes. And, it will leave the areas surrounding your home consistently 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 sides of your house. Mold and mildew indicate that there is too much moisture in that area – a possible problem with the 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 might be because that area doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This is a time when the advice and knowledge of a professional in Napa would be a great help.
Rain Pouring Over the Gutter
You will have to wait until it’s raining to look for this gutter issue. Hopefully this doesn’t mean that your gutters are damaged. It could just be that the gutter is full of debris and needs to be cleaned out. Either way, you need to have it looked at ASAP.
Depending on the design of your home’s basement, your leak could be caused by any number of things. The pooling problem we mentioned earlier 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
Gutters empty directly onto the ground in most cases, and landscaping should be designed to work with this flow of water to help it submerge into the ground. However, a gutter leak or clogged gutter will allow rainfall to overflow or pool where it isn’t supposed to. This water can destroy plants by force or by overwatering. It will also displace flower bed building materials like mulch or rock.
Water marks are the first sign that there is excessive moisture on a surface. Water marks are left behind even if standing water has evaporated or dissipated. You will usually find water marks right beneath the rain gutters or directly behind the downspouts. This is a typically an indication that 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 find. If your gutters are bent, sagging or cracked, they have damage. After a storm, it’s a smart idea to walk around your house to assess any 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 Nifty Napa Gutters recommends to help prevent gutter damage:
Clean your gutters at least once each year. You can lengthen the amount of time between gutter repairs by keeping them cleaned out. As with anything else, the better you care for your rain gutters, the fewer issues you’ll experience with them.
The optimal time to clean out gutters is during the spring, but to be cautious, give them a cleaning in the fall, too. Many homeowners choose to 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 mess or the risk.
Check your gutters often. Signs of gutter damage can be visible from the outside of the gutters. A fast inspection – with both feet firmly on the ground – should reveal any of the problems we mentioned above.
We’d suggest that you do an exterior home inspection following each season to confirm that your gutters are functioning properly.
When you see signs of gutter damage, act fast. Fixing 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 be replaced very affordably and quickly.
However, if you let the issue go on too long, you could end up making repairs in your basement, replacing vinyl siding or redoing an entire section of landscaping.