Imagine a knight with no armor or a door without a lock. You might ask, what’s the point, right? There’s no protection or anything. That’s also how it goes for a house with no gutter system in place. See, gutters are essential to improve your home’s longevity because they protect the foundation from water damage. But like any other material, gutters are immune to wear and tear. Over time, they’re going to become less effective and expose your house to bigger problems. To avoid this, here are six warning signs that it’s time to replace your gutter system.
1. Clogged Gutters
This is the most common complaint by homeowners for their gutter systems. A clear indication that it’s clogged is when water starts to pool on the pipes instead of being funneled away from the structure. Another thing to watch out for is seeing birds and pests on your roof. It means these creatures have made their nests on top and have most likely blocked the drainage system. But the primary culprit of them all will always be debris like twigs, leaves, and vines. When your gutter gets clogged, water won’t drain properly. It will then overspill and seep into places prone to damage, such as gaps, seams, or worse, the foundations. It might even affect your lawn and flood your precious garden.
2. Sagging Gutters
Sagging is when your rain channels droop downward. It can occur due to age or ice dams during the winter, but the usual cause is clogged gutters. The added weight from the debris applies pressure that causes the material to sag. While the biggest problem is that it can be a pain to look at, the worst thing that can happen is your entire gutter system falling apart, leaving your roof vulnerable to the weather.
3. Water Damage on the Ceiling
How do you know if there’s any sign of water damage on your ceiling? Simple. Look for dark spots on the surface. These spots are caused by moisture from the gutters seeping through cracks and holes and ultimately rotting away the material. This weakens the overall structure of your home. Keep in mind that if this happens, you’re in big trouble. It’s not just about the gutters and roof anymore but the entire upper section of your house that could possibly be at stake. Don’t think twice about reaching out to a gutter professional at once.
4. Molds and Mildew
In connection with the point above, a telltale sign that you’ve got water damage is the appearance of black, greenish, or even whitish molds and mildews on corners of your ceiling and other hard surfaces. They’re just as dangerous as they look because they indicate the presence of bacteria, which can lead to health problems such as allergic reactions, asthma, eye infections, skin irritations, flu symptoms, headaches…the list goes on. Again, you’ll want to hire professionals right away since molds feed off moist environments and thrive in places with poor ventilation.
5. Puddles Around Your Home When It Rains
A working gutter system should collect rainwater then channel it to the proper drainage system. It should never spill or overflow. So if you notice puddles in places around your foundation, it could be that there’s a leakage, clog, or damage somewhere in the roof. Sometimes, signs of poor drainage can be as subtle as soggy soil in your lawn. This means that water might be slowly dripping from your gutter to the ground below.
6. Stains on Your Siding
Siding and gutters go hand-in-hand in protecting your home from external forces. But sometimes, the gutters can be the cause of your siding’s demise. When water from a clogged gutter seeps through the seams on the cladding, it can mess up the color and produce stains. So whenever you see any weird discoloration on your home’s exterior, it’s a good idea to check the gutters first.
How to Take Care of Your Gutters
So you already know what to watch out for when it comes to your gutters. Good. Be sure to keep these warning signs in mind. But don’t wait until your home suffers extensive damage before you act. Here are some ways to maintain your gutter and prevent further collapse:
- Allocate time to clean your roof & gutters: It’s understandable for any homeowner to find gutter cleaning tedious. However, it’s only for your own good. Be sure to get a ladder and sweep the debris from your roof at least once a month.
- Address cracks right away. If the damages are minor, you can still seal them yourself. But if they get too big, you will have to contact professionals for a much higher cost. So make repairs as soon as you spot any problem. This one should be a no-brainer, honestly.
- Cut any branches over your roof: Trees add beauty to your lawn and provide some shades. Unfortunately, they can be the bane of your gutters when they reach heights that go over your roof. All those leaves and branches are going to clog your gutter at some point. Trim those or, better yet, cut the branches entirely.
A Final Word of Advice
Gutter durability starts from the installation itself. That’s why you must do your research on the type and style of gutter to use. On top of that, be sure to hire trustworthy and seasoned contractors to install your gutters. This way, you can have peace of mind knowing that your gutters are made to last.