A doctor calls them symptoms while a detective calls them clues. In reality they are warning signs or indicators of a larger more serious problem. If you have gutter issues, your home is probably trying to let you know. The question is, are you reading them correctly?
10 Signs You Need New Gutters
Below are ten of the biggest indications that your gutters have issues:
There’s no getting around the fact that if your home has a basement, you need correctly functioning gutters. Gutters are designed to keep water away from your foundation. Your basement is counting on it! If you smell mold and mildew, or actually see water anywhere inside your basement, there has been a failure in your home’s water management strategy. The first thing you need to do is go outside and take a good long look around your foundation.
Excess water gathering on the surface of the grass and dirt around your foundation means that two things are happening. First, it can’t take any more moisture because it’s fully saturated. That means that the soil against the foundation wall is likely to expand, and all that pressure is building against the sides of your home. Secondly when that water finally moves on, it’s taking necessary soil with it. That soil loss also weakens your foundation.
Trees and shrubs, along with their surrounding mulch or flowerbeds can provide very good visual clues that your gutters have issues. Look for damage or discoloration of plants and any area where the groundcover appears to have been washed away. This unexpected water is coming from someplace and your gutters are likely the prime suspects.
While paint brings both color and contrast to the exterior of your home, it does have its’ limitations. Subjecting window or door trim to a torrent of misdirected rainwater breaks down the paint, resulting in cracking, peeling and eventual failure.
Once water comes in contact with any exterior surface, damage is always a possibility. Exposed wood, including that around siding and windows can deform and warp, causing premature failure of these important exterior elements.
Gutter failures result in uncontrolled water ending up where you do not want it to be. Corrosion of certain metals can cause holes to develop while seamed gutters installed by using individual sections can have their seams crack resulting in more water.
The best gutters that you can buy are the ones that are installed correctly. Time and the elements can take a toll on the weakest link in any gutter installation. Nails, screws, or any other fastening system can fail, and when one goes it’s just a matter of time before more follow.
For convenience, most home improvement stores sell gutters in standard lengths of up to ten feet. That convenience comes at a cost when you consider that when each and every one of those sections is connected it simply gives you another place where a leak can form.
Water has a very predictable habit of always running downhill. If your gutters sag or become lopsided, the water they were designed to move away will instead collect, stagnate and eventually overflow. It’s also the perfect breeding ground for insects, mold and mildew.
Gutters are designed to run along the lower edge of your roof. You should never see daylight between your gutters and the fascia board. If your gutters aren’t attached to the fascia, there are several different ways to mount them to other points including the roof deck itself. In any case, seeing any gutter separation is not good.
Your home protects you from the elements. You can protect your home with a comprehensive water management system that includes DripFree™ seamless Aluminum gutters, ProLoc Elite™ gutter protection and YardGuard™ downspout extensions. Call the gutter experts at Gutter Systems of Michigan for a free estimate.
Protection…with purpose. ™