Gutters are an essential home feature that directs water away from your house’s exterior walls, windows, doors and foundation. Without them, your house could suffer extensive water damage.
While cleaning your gutters several times a year will bolster their longevity, it is still important to watch for signs that they are deteriorating and need repair or replacement.
Gutters serve an important function in your home. They divert rainwater away from the fascia and soffit, preventing your house’s siding, trim elements, and foundation from getting wet. However, gutters can start to crack and deteriorate over time. This can cause serious damage to your home if left unchecked.
Gutter cracks are a big sign that your gutter system needs to be replaced. Whether small or large, cracks defeat the purpose of gutters by allowing water to leak out of them. Cracks often start in the corners and seams of your channels where they meet. If you have cracks in your gutters, it is best to call gutter services in Lafayette, LA.
The professional will assess your gutters to see if they can be repaired or if it’s time to replace them. If your gutters are beyond repair, they’ll recommend replacement to avoid further damage to the exterior of your home.
It’s also a good idea to replace your gutters if you notice standing water on or around your home. This can cause the wood to rot, affecting the exterior of your home and any wooden trim elements, such as window sills or door jambs. In addition, standing water can also lead to mold and mildew growth on your home’s exterior. If it’s spread indoors, this can be a health hazard for you and your family.
Sagging or Bowing
Gutter systems help direct water and debris away from your home, and they’re an essential part of the structure. However, they can’t do their job effectively if they start to get saggy or bowing. If your gutters show signs of sagging or bowing, it’s important to call a professional immediately. Gutter problems can lead to foundation issues, basement flooding, rotted fascia boards, mold and mildew, and other serious damage.
Often, gutters can become sagging because they’re filled with heavy water and debris or due to age. If left unchecked, this can cause the gutters to detach from your house, causing even more expensive and dangerous repairs.
Over time, a sagging gutter can lead to standing water, which will absorb into the soil and cause your home’s foundation to shift. The best way to prevent this is to clean your gutters regularly and keep an eye out for any potential problems.
The easiest way to check for sagging or bowing is by climbing onto the ladder with a partner and lowering your gutters one section at a time. This should be done carefully to avoid destabilizing the ladder and falling off. Once the gutters are lowered, inspect the gutter hangers to make sure they’re secure and undo any screws that might be loose.
If you notice water pooling around your home’s foundation after a rainstorm, it could be a sign that your gutters aren’t doing their job. This issue can be a serious problem for your foundation, leading to cracks in walls and uneven floors. You should contact a gutter repair company as soon as possible to ensure your gutters function properly.
Standing water can be caused by clogs, but it can also be a sign that your gutters aren’t pitched correctly. To be effective, your gutters must be sloped at a slight angle, ideally about a quarter inch for every 10 feet. If you can get up on a ladder and inspect your gutters, this can be an easy fix—adjust the pitch so that the downspouts sit at the proper drainage angle.
If you cannot find the source of the problem, your gutters may need replacement. A new gutter system will keep rainwater away from your foundation, helping to prevent structural complications in your home.
Mold or Mildew
Mold or mildew on or around your gutters indicates they aren’t malfunctioning. This is because gutters should be directing water away from the home. When they don’t, excess moisture can cause mold and mildew to grow in and around the house, leading to damage and even health issues.
Mold and mildew are fungi that love damp, humid areas. They thrive on organic materials like wood, paper and fabric but can also grow on drywall, wallpaper, carpet, food, plants and other home materials. Mold and mildew produce spores that can be airborne, meaning that even just walking through the affected area can trigger a variety of health problems for family members and pets.
Mildew and mold can grow on various surfaces but tend to appear in darker shades and have a fuzzy appearance when growing on unaired surfaces. Mold and mildew need four things to thrive: water, food, oxygen and a surface to grow on.
The best way to avoid mold and mildew in your gutters is by regularly having them cleaned. Gutter maintenance should include periodically cleaning your gutters, trimming any trees or bushes overhanging them, and sealing any holes or cracks that may occur. Gutter maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs and replacements in the future. If you notice orange flecks in or around your gutters, this is a sign that they’re rusting and should be replaced as soon as possible.