When you think of your home’s exterior, are gutters the first thing that come to mind? Probably not. Gutters can often be overlooked exterior items, but they are extremely important to the structural integrity of your home.
You may have seen homes with broken-down and sagging gutters or ones that lack gutters altogether. Many homeowners overlook this item, thinking nothing will ever come of it. But without proper gutter repair and maintenance, you can end up with foundation problems or the need for a roof repair. So, if you’ve ever wondered whether gutters really are that important or not, trust us — they are!
Why Does Your Home Need Gutters?
Gutters are an integral part of your roofing system. Your roof is designed to keep water out of your home, but your gutters are designed to keep water away from your foundation. When problems occur with either area, a gutter or roof repair will be needed.
A lack of gutters can cause two major problems — erosion and settlement. As rain falls off your roof, it will slowly erode the soil next to your home. This can cause water to run toward your home instead of away from it, which can lead to flooding or foundation settlement. As water nears your foundation, it can cause it to settle, which spells foundation problems (something every homeowner wants to avoid)! Needless to say, gutters are extremely important exterior items.
Indications You Need a Gutter Repair
Let’s start with the easiest determinant. If your home lacks gutters altogether (or in certain areas), you need new gutters for the reasons we’ve already mentioned. However, just because your home has gutters doesn’t mean it is protected.
Faulty gutters will not properly drain water from your roof and divert it away from your foundation. Here are some signs that your gutters are not up to par.
Cracks, Breaks, or Holes
If you notice any signs of visible damage, such as cracks or holes in the gutters, they will likely need to be replaced. Once damage has occurred, it will only get worse. Small cracks will continue to grow, and your foundation will eventually suffer as a result.
If you suspect this type of damage may be occurring, you can run your hose through your gutter and look for places where water leaks through. If you observe any breaks, take immediate action to have your gutters repaired by a professional.
Mildew on the Siding or Foundation
Moisture creates the perfect breeding ground for mildew. Therefore, if mildew is growing near your foundation or the siding closest to the ground, you likely have excess moisture falling in those areas from subpar gutters. Be sure to properly clean your siding of mildew as it can be extremely damaging, and then have a professional check the condition of your gutters.
Do your gutters hang low? Well, that’s not a good thing. Sagging gutters are usually an indication of larger gutter issues. Your gutters can sag due to improper cleaning or a complete lack thereof. They can also sag because of damage from ladders, heavy snowfall, hail, ice dams, and poor installation.
If you notice sagging, you will likely need to replace your gutters. Make sure you hire a qualified roofer to install your gutters the right way! You can also consider installing gutter guards, which help keep twigs, leaves, and debris out of your gutters.
Random Screws and Nails
Gutters are fastened to the home by nails or screws. If you begin seeing these objects on the ground near your home’s exterior, it could be due to faulty gutters. For a variety of reasons, your gutters could be loosening and dropping their securing screws to the dirt. This could mean it’s time for a gutter repair.
Orange Rust Stains
If you notice orange stains trickling down your siding, your gutters are likely beginning to rust, indicating they need to be replaced. However, only certain types of gutters (metal) will rust and break down. These stains can even suggest that water is pooling in a certain area for too long. Finding the source and repairing the gutter will prevent further issues.
Peeling Exterior Paint
Paint will scratch, fade, and even peel over time, but peeling paint can often be due to excessive exposure to moisture — and the cause could be a leak or crack in a gutter. Or the issue could be that a gutter is simply clogged and needs to be cleared out. Either way, if you notice peeling paint (especially near the roof line), you should have your gutters inspected.
Pooling Water or Erosion Lines
After a rain, you might notice excessive pooling directly under your roof line. This usually indicates damage to a gutter. Your gutter is not properly performing if water pools around the foundation of your home. The same goes for erosion lines. If you notice trenches appearing in the soil or landscaping around your home, it can be a sign that water is making its way through your gutters and can indicate they need to be replaced.
Interior Water Stains
Sometimes the signs of damage can manifest in a home’s interior. If you see water stains appearing on or around your ceiling, it can mean a gutter repair is necessary. (It can also be a sign that you need a roof repair.) Contact a professional to inspect your roof and gutters to help identify the source of the issue.
Protect Your Exterior All Year Long
As a professional roofing specialist, our Refined Exteriors team is ready to help with your roof and gutter repairs. If you want your home to be protected all year long, your roofing system is a great place to start.
So, whether you need a gutter repair job or completely new gutters, we are ready to help. For a lasting gutter installation, contact us at (720) 360-1611 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.