Five Signs of Gutter Trouble
Record heat coupled with record rainfall means most gutters in Virginia are working overtime. Bad weather means water, leaves, and debris can pile up quickly in your gutters and if they aren't working correctly, you could be in for some major problems.
It's easy to take your gutters for granted. But gutters that are clogged, leaking or falling apart can lead to water damage that affects your whole house. If you want to avoid costly repairs, start with a check of your gutters and then call a professional contractor who specializes in gutter repair and replacement.
Checking Your Gutters
The best time to check your gutters is right after a rainfall. A careful look at the exterior of your gutters will help you see if they're securely attached and not hanging loose, cracking or leaking anywhere. Check the downspout to make sure it's properly aligned and not damaged.
Checking inside the gutters is a risky idea for most people. In fact, don't do this yourself if you're afraid of heights or unsure of how loose your gutter is. For best results, play it safe and call a professional gutter company to perform a thorough check.
Signs of Gutter Trouble
1. Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew thrive in areas with high humidity. You might think they just come with the territory when it comes to your home's exterior, but that's a dangerous way to look at it. If your gutters, walls, and downspout are sprouting mold, that's a sign that the water isn't draining away from your house properly and it's only a matter of time before it starts leaking into your foundation.
2. Flaking or Fading Paint
If the paint on your gutters, siding, soffit or fascia is flaking or fading, that could be a clear sign of trouble. It usually means that your gutters are filling up with water more quickly than they can drain them. The water buildup could be caused by a clog. It could also mean that the gutter was moved out of alignment and now can't drain in the right direction.
3. Tiger Stripes
Do your gutters look like they're striped? Many people think these markings, known as tiger stripes, are a sign that the gutters' paint is getting worn off. In reality, it's a sign of dirt and pollutants that have been washed down the sides of the gutter when it rains.
Over time, the dirt settles into the paint, becoming almost impossible to remove with regular cleaning. In high-humidity areas like Virginia, these stripes can quickly breed mold. Professional gutter cleaning will get them back in shape.
4. Loose Hangers or Spikes
The spikes and hangers that attach your gutters can become loose over time. The freeze-and-thaw cycle coupled with high humidity will make the gutters expand and contract, making the hangers break loose. You can usually repair them by simply hammering them back into place and, if necessary, replacing the gutter nails.
In some cases, the gutters were installed with improper nails or installed into wood that isn't sturdy enough to hold them. The wood could be weakened by rot, termites or other problems. These are serious problems that will require professional repair.
5. Cracks and Leaks
With age and exposure to the elements, many gutters will start to show signs of wear. If your gutters are showing small cracks or are coming loose at the seam, you can stave off major repairs by applying a gutter sealer.
In most cases, especially if you live in areas with windy, wet weather like we get in Northern Virginia, those stopgap measures won't be enough. Cracks and leaks will get bigger and your gutters won't be able to handle the winter storms. Head off those problems by getting your gutters replaced.
Preventing Gutter Problems
One of the best things you can do to keep your gutters working properly is to clean them thoroughly at least twice a year. To make sure they're properly aligned and affixed, have a gutter professional do the cleaning and perform any necessary repairs. Catching problems early will save you time and money.
Need New Gutters?
If you need gutter professionals in the Greater Loudoun County Region, or you want to replace your worn-out gutters, call Last Call Exteriors. We put our expertise and our integrity to work every day and we guarantee expert installation, top-notch products, and service that always puts the customer first. Call us today for a free estimate.