4 Signs Your Gutters are Clogged
Believe it or not, your home’s gutters are not just there to fill up with leaves. In reality, they serve as one of your first lines of defense against damage to your home. Faulty gutters can cause serious damage to a home if left untreated – including leaks, mold, and wall or insulation damage. Understanding common signs that your gutters are clogged and that it’s time for gutter maintenance is critical to keep problems from escalating.
Periodically checking your gutter system for signs of clogging and damage can help you avoid bigger, more expensive issues down the line. So where do you start? We have compiled a list for you with all the tell-tale details that will reveal if your gutters are clogged and need repair or replacement.
1. Water spillover and ponding
If you see waterfalls rushing off the sides of your gutters, that is a tell-tale sign that gutters are clogged. When gutters are clogged, it forces rainwater to re-direct and spill over the tops of the gutters. From there, rainwater will begin ponding, leading to algae growth, leaks and structural issues. If you notice rainwater spillover during storms, it’s time to call your gutter contractor and get to the root of the cause.
2. Rust, paint damage, mold and other unsightly additions
Clues like paint bubbles and peeling on the siding of your home, or patches of green or black discoloration, may suggest your gutters are not functioning properly. As water collects due to a blockage and spills down the side of your home, water damage can occur.
Even if the water itself has evaporated, your gutters may still leave lingering clues. Be aware of any areas on your home’s exterior with damaged paint, discoloration, or staining. Avoiding any siding damage due to clogged gutters can lead to a more costly, but necessary, siding replacement.
If you are unsure what you are looking for or the significance, it’s a good idea to get an expert’s opinion to identify any gutter issues going on.
3. Sagging and cracking
It is easy to assume that since gutters are meant to withstand storms, cracking is inevitable. But even a small crack in your gutters can indicate a much bigger problem.
Cracked gutters allow water to drain out the bottom, which in turn defeats the purpose of a drainage system. Depending on the severity of the crack, an individual gutter repair may be appropriate instead of a total replacement. However, cracks are often a telltale sign that your gutters are facing larger damage or clogs that can prompt bigger gutter issues down the road. It is best to confront this seemingly small issue immediately.
Sagging gutters are also a surefire way to tell that your gutters are clogged or damage. As leaves and debris build up and add weight, gutters can bend and sag, also hurting their effectiveness and risking more damage to your home down the line.
4. Leaks and floods inside the home
Perhaps the most obvious sign that your gutters are clogged: leaky seals and flooded basements.
Gutters are most vulnerable at their seams, where different sections are attached. If an area is compromised, water may spill through the gutters near the roof. Even worse, water may pool and flood in areas of and around your home.
A properly functioning gutter system funnels water towards downspouts. It is very important to check your gutters to make sure they are not leaking, resulting in water seeping into your home and causing damage to your home’s interior or structural foundation.
How to prevent clogged gutters
In order to protect your home, be sure to clean your gutters at least twice a year to prevent clogging — once in the fall and once in the spring. Still, you should periodically check your gutters, especially in debris-prone areas, year-round. Prep your gutters ahead of any anticipated storms and use gutter guards to keep the leaves and debris away.
To clean your gutter system, first use a ladder to climb up to the roof. Pull out any leaves and debris by hand. Use gardener’s gloves to keep your hands from getting injured or dirty.
Then, use a hose to flush the gutters and make sure there are no clogs. This is also a great opportunity to check your gutters for cracks and leaks. If you notice faulty joints or cracking, Modernize recommends calling a professional to clean and repair your gutters as soon as possible. Cracking and clogs, while seemingly innocuous, can be a sign of more severe issues that can cost more to repair later down the road if left ignored.
Staying on top of gutter maintenance can save homeowners lots of money in the long run. Proactive gutter repairs and checkups cost significantly less money than the potential roof and flooding damage issues can cause.
Modernize can connect you with a local gutter contractor to help you determine the best course of action for your situation.