Gutters are one of the home systems that even conscientious homeowners don’t think about very often. But when you do contemplate your gutters, do you ever wonder how to tell if they’re in need of repair or upgrades? Here are six signs that your gutters need work.
1. Pests and Nests
When nuisance birds such as pigeons nest in your gutter, you need to do more than just remove the nests. You need to modify and upgrade your gutter system or they will rebuild. The same goes for squirrels, who nest in your downspouts. Block off access entirely with wire mesh on downspouts and gutter covers or hardware cloth on gutters.
2. Unintentional Waterfalls
A problem is indicated when water cascades down the side of your house during a rainstorm. Water falling over the side of your gutter can indicate:
- Your gutters are blocked and need to be cleaned
- Your gutters are warped and twisted, possibly from a failed fastener
- Your gutters don’t have a steep enough pitch, so they don’t drain well
- Your gutters don’t have enough downspouts to handle the amount of rain in your area
- Your gutters are simply too small for the amount of roof they drain
- In some cases you can find and fix the problem if you simply clean your gutters, but other times these problems require professional upgrades or repairs.
3. Damp Basement
Maybe your gutters leak or spill when you’re not looking, or maybe your storm runoff drains down the downspouts and directly into the soil around your foundation. In either case, your foundation is hard-hit by water and hydrostatic pressure each time it rains, which can cause water to seep directly through the foundation wall.
Unfortunately, a damp basement doesn’t just mean you need a sump pump to prevent flooding. It can also mean your foundation is being slowly but surely damaged. And the increased humidity spreads to the rest of the house and creates a whole-house mold problem. Fix up your gutters or extend your downspouts to reduce basement moisture.
4. Leaks and Flakes
If you notice the paint on your gutters leaking off as you clean them, or if you see rusted-through spots, or anything else that looks suspiciously like a leak, your gutters need some maintenance and repair work.
A simple repainting helps with flaking paint, but if your gutters are steel and they’ve been flaking for a while now, they may start to rust out. In this case, consider replacement materials such as vinyl, aluminum, or copper gutters.
5. Old Age
No matter what your gutters are made of, they can still wear out after years and years of use. Well maintained vinyl gutters have a lifespan around two decades, while aluminum gutters last up to 30 or 40 years. If your gutters weren’t replaced with your last roof replacement, they could be on the old side. Check to see what they’re made of and look for signs of wear.
6. Fascia Damage
The fascia board is typically quite close to your gutters, which is why it can suffer water damage if your gutters don’t work right. If you notice water damage, first check to see if your roof has a drip edge installed to direct rainwater correctly. If there is one, your gutters could simply drain too slowly, or could have debris buildup that keeps humidity high.
These six signs reveal gutter and downspout malfunctions or damage. If you suspect your gutter system needs work, get in touch with Landmark Roofing today. We know how important gutters are to the overall roofing system. We provide professional gutter repair and replacement and repair any roof damage your home may have sustained.