We don’t think of them very often, but your home’s guttering plays an important part in maintaining your home’s structural integrity. A poorly maintained gutter system, leaves your home vulnerable to serious moisture damage, which over time can damage structural timbers and weaken foundations.
To avoid serious water damage and prevent the need for complete gutter replacement work, it’s important to carry out regular gutter inspections. Here are 5 things you should be looking for.
- Gutters Starting to Crack
Cracking is a common sign that your gutters need to be repaired or replaced. Cracked gutters will lead to leaking. This can mean water running down the exterior of your home, which can cause water damage.
Pay attention to gutters when it’s raining. Larger cracks can be easy to spot as you’ll see obvious leaking. However, minor cracks might be more difficult to spot. Heavy rain will reveal to you the parts that have smaller cracks.
Watch for any areas where gutter leaks are causing water to pool around the base of your home. This pooling can cause water to seep into basements and underfloor areas and even damage foundations.
If you spot any large holes or cracks in the gutters, it’s best to contact a gutter replacement specialist. While you may be able to fix the cracks, you may be better off replacing the damaged sections.
- Moulding or Rotting
Faulty gutters will allow rainwater to come into contact with vulnerable parts of your home. If your house has a wooden exterior, you might notice the timber starting to rot and the paint starting to peel.
Leaking gutters can also lead to mould and mildew forming in below-ground areas like basements and cellars. If you’re noticing molding near the base of your house, it could be a sign that your gutters aren’t working properly.
Mould can be a sign of and cause of moisture damage. It can also be extremely hazardous to your health. If you’re noticing any mould or mildew around your home, it’s best to get it taken care of as quickly as possible.
- Gutter Seams Sagging
Most gutter systems are sectional, meaning they’re held together at the seams via metal clips or welded together. These seams can be particularly vulnerable to damage and are often the location of leaks. Overloading the gutters, whether it’s due to excessive water or a build-up of debris, can cause gutter sections to sag or in some cases separate.
It’s possible to fix gutter seams by yourself. However, if it’s done improperly, you can potentially cause more damage to your roof or the exterior of your home. It is recommended that you consult with a specialist before attempting any type of repair.
If your gutters continue to sag even after mending the seams then it’s likely that you’ll need a replacement gutter system. Alternatively, you can have seamless gutters installed to avoid the problem altogether.
Gutter seams are also prone to rusting. If you’re noticing your parts of your gutter beginning to rust, aim to have them replaced as soon as possible. Even if your gutters haven’t rusted through, this rust will weaken the gutters and continue spreading until cracks and holes become a serious problem.
If you notice rust on your gutters, you can try to remove it by using a wire brush. However, if the rusting is too severe, considering talking to a specialist.
- Water is Beginning to Pool
Gutters are meant to direct rainwater away from your home and into either rainwater tanks or stormwater drains. If your gutters aren’t working properly then the water could be pooling instead of flowing. Whether the water is pooling in your gutters, on your roof or around your home, this is a bad sign.
Check your gutter system after heavy rainy rains to see if there are any signs of pooling. It could mean that there is a blockage or inadequate sloping to your gutters.
Your gutters do a lot to protect your home. As a result, it’s important to make sure that they’re in good shape. Mending minor gutter damages might seem like an inconvenience now, but it can easily turn into a larger problem in the future if you don’t get it sorted. Save yourself some time, some money and a headache. Talk to a gutter replacement specialist if you’re noticing some of the signs discussed above.