Gutters play an important structural role, by moving water down the roof edge and away from your home. Your foundation is protected because water is funneled away from your home into proper drainage areas. This is crucial, because If not channeled properly, dripping water can weaken the footings of your foundation and cause cracks to appear.
However, your foundation isn’t the only thing that will suffer from deteriorating, or absent gutters. If gutters are clogged from leaves or other debris, water will not drain properly and can work itself into your ceiling and walls. This can lead to rotted wood, mold growth, insect infestation and long-term leaks. Debris buildup also weighs down your gutters, causing them to sag, and drain improperly. Falling gutters must be repaired or replaced immediately to avoid further problems.
Here are several more tips on how to check your gutters for possible problems:
- Cracks – While large gutter cracks should be obvious to the eye, smaller cracks may only reveal themselves during heavy rain. Cracks weaken the guttering system, and prevent it from functioning as intended.
- Separating seams – While many newer homes have seamless gutters, most homes still have gutter pieces that join. If your seams are separating or sagging, then your gutters are losing their structural integrity.
- Rotted wood – If you see rotted wood anywhere on the exterior of your home, then your gutters are not doing their job. Gutters should direct water away from your house, so rotted wood shows that your gutters need repair or replacing.
- Peeling or cracked paint – If your exterior paint is cracking or peeling, it could be an indication of a faulty gutter above or near the affected area.
- Mold or mildew – Downspouts direct water away from the foundation of your home, and if they are bent, or missing, mold and mildew can take root along your foundation.
- Sagging or missing gutter sections – Weather damage, as well as age can weaken attachment points of gutters and cause them to break away, or sag. Weak or rotting fascia boards can also cause gutters to pull away from the roofline.
- Rust spots – Over time, moisture and age can cause nails and screws to deteriorate, which in turn leads to failing gutters. If the rest of your guttering is in good shape, then a quick repair job can do the trick.
- Low or wet spots on the ground – If you notice small gulleys in your landscaping or yard, then your gutters are allowing water to run down and pool in areas that should be dry. Check your gutters for broken spots that are not doing their job.
- Basements with water or excessive moisture – Faulty gutters let water seep into your home’s foundation. If you have a basement, this can cause water to filter into your foundation walls as well as basement walls.
Gutter repairs or replacements don’t have to be an expensive investment, but they are necessary for the longevity of your home. If gutters are routinely ignored, then serious problems that are costly can occur.