Gutters direct water away from your foundation, prevent water damage, and protect the structure of your house. Basically, gutters are the workhorses of the exterior of your home. Because of this, it is smart to make sure that your gutters are clean and always operating properly. The following tips can alert you that it might be time for some gutter maintenance, or even for new gutters.
Cracks or Breaks
The easiest gutter problem to recognize is a break or a crack. These are generally recognizable, but can cause a variety of problems. Cracks allow water, snow, and other debris to sneak through and then gather around the foundation. Patching these breaks is a temporary fix, but often it means the gutters are old and should be replaced. Never overlook any small cracks, either. They can grow quickly, resulting in problems that could have been avoided otherwise.
2. Water Around the Foundation
Without a doubt, water around the foundation of your home is a serious problem. Puddles or ice in this area often indicate that your gutters are not doing their job properly. Many times, if there are no cracks in the gutter itself, it can be confusing as to why water is still getting through. Most often, it is a result of cold temperatures, poor installation, or the use of low quality materials. All of these signs point toward replacing your gutter system.
3. Watch for Sagging
Loose, hanging, or sagging gutters can occur when snow, ice, or debris is allowed to build up. This problem can be avoided by periodically getting on a ladder and scooping out whatever may have gathered. However, if gutters do end up sagging or even falling, you will need to do a little more repair. Attaching the gutter may be slightly difficult to do on your own, so consider hiring a professional who will install them properly.
As with the other gutter problems we have gone over so far, water buildup is the main instigator of this one as well. When the gutters are not draining properly, standing water can cause rotting inside the gutter and on the side of your house. An easy way to recognize this problem is by paying attention to peeling paint. This indicator tells you that water in the gutters is not being drained properly. Unfortunately, replacing the gutters with help from a professional is the main solution to rotting.
Avoiding these Problems
The easiest way to avoid these bad situations is to regularly maintain your gutters. Any lower gutters or small clogs are easily taken care of with a ladder and a couple extra minutes. However, bigger, built up clogs or warped gutters may be a more difficult fix. In these cases, it is usually smart to call on the help of a professional for the safety of your home and yourself. No matter what, always make sure these unsung heroes of your house never go unnoticed or forgotten about.