Gutters are an easy part of the home to ignore. But if they malfunction, you’ll begin to notice many issues in and around your home, including the destabilization of your foundation, basement, or crawl space.
The good news is, you can spot gutter leakage early on if you know what to look for, and who to call. See signs of gutter leakage, causes, and how you can solve it in this blog.
Your Gutters Are Probably Leaking If:
- You notice water trickling or trailing down the side of your home or the corners of your gutters
- Your gutters are sagging and pulling away from the home
- Your fascia board (the board that runs perpendicular to your roof, connecting to your soffit) is discolored or rotting
- There are dry spots near your foundation or washed-out foliage
- Your downspouts are damaged
- Puddles collect around the sides or your home or foundation
- The corners on your roof are loaded with leaves and debris, so your gutters likely are as well
- Water is flooding over the sides of your gutter or shooting out of the seams during rain
- Water is dripping from the soffits on your roof
What Causes Gutters to Leak or Break?
Clogs are the most common reason why gutters leak and ultimately acquire damage over a long period of time. As debris like leaves, twigs, pest droppings, mud, and even bird nests build up in your gutter end caps, elbows and downspouts, it traps water in the higher sections of your gutter.
Experts recommend that all homeowners clean out their gutters at least twice a year, preferably in the fall and spring. You’ll have to do this more often if you have trees towering over your roof, vines running along the side, or even extra tall bushes parallel to your gutters.
Rust or Corrosion
Gutters are typically made from aluminum which is said to be a rust-proof material. However, with poor or no maintenance over a long period of time, you may start to notice the orange substance form on your gutters. This can spur from water being left in your gutters for too long, acidic pollen buildup, extreme temperature changes, and more.
As corrosion eats away at the vulnerable areas in your gutters, holes will begin to form causing water to trickle down the side of your home, fascia board, and soffits, causing water damage to the rest of your home.
Your Gutters Weren’t Fit Properly
When you have gutters installed on your home, they should be tailor-fit to your home’s unique size and structure. When this isn’t the case, you may easily notice leaking or overflowing of your gutters during a rainstorm. Rust and corrosion can build up easier, along with debris from your yard.
In addition to not having the right sized gutters, not having the right gutter pitch can spell trouble for your gutter system. It’s a rule of thumb for your gutters to be slightly sloped a half inch for every ten feet. When your gutters aren’t pitched enough, you’ll run into excessive clogging.
Do you occasionally hear a bump in the night coming from your roof? Or how about an uptick in flying, stinging bugs around your home’s entrances? Your clogged gutters could be attracting pests like mice, rats, wasps, birds, and even chipmunks. These animals are attracted to the dank environment festering in your gutters and view it as a safe place to take shelter.
Not only can this lead to chewing through your gutters, but also these animals may begin to damage your fascia and even infiltrate your roof.
As a Michigander, you’re all too familiar with twinkling icicles forming off your gutters after a cold night. However, this is a huge red flag for your roof, basement, and gutters. When ice and snow build up on your roof, the lower layers will melt as your roof warms up. Snowmelt trickles down your roof and refreeze as it reaches your gutters, creating an ice dam.
Ice dams will weigh down your gutter system, either by breaking off part of your gutter or ripping the seam.
Gutter Maintenance Is Key for your Livonia Home
To make sure that your car lasts for a long time, you take it to the shop regularly for inspections and tune-ups. The same should go for your gutters. Optimizing your gutters so they are in tip-top shape can save you from having to replace them in the future and can save you from damage to your roof and foundation.
A gutter guard is a covering for your gutters with holes in the top. This allows water to flow through into your gutter system but stops debris from collecting and clogging. Gutter guards not only save you afternoons of sifting through clogs, but also limit ladder hazards for you.
Seamless, K-Style Gutters
At FSM, we specialize in installing seamless gutters, also known as “K-style” gutters. This breed of gutter is much easier to install and lasts longer than others. They’re called K-style because of the look of the side profile of the gutter, although this is interpreted extremely abstractly. They don’t look exactly like the letter K, but they will protect your home and support healthy water drainage. Without gutter seams, k-style gutters are less vulnerable to breakage and leaks.
Specialty gutters can be made from stronger, rust-proof materials like Galvalume®, which is made from steel and coated in aluminum and zinc. Copper gutters are also rust-proof and add a rich color to your home’s exterior to elevate its personality and curb appeal.
Finally, regular inspections are the biggest favor you can do to your gutters to prevent them from leaking. When you suspect gutter issues, it’s better for you and your home in the long run to catch these issues as soon as you can to prevent worsened damage and more costly repair. At FSM, we’re happy to provide you with free inspections of not only your gutters, but your foundation, too.
Foundation Systems of Michigan Is Your Gutter Guide
At Foundation Systems of Michigan, we understand the anatomy of your whole home. So, when you’re dealing with gutter issues, we’ll give you a comprehensive solution that will improve your entire gutter system. With an array of colors to choose from and financing options that can help you fit your budget, we have gutter solutions for every homeowner.
Reach out to FSM for a completely free inspection, and an upfront, no-obligation quote for your repairs. Getting started is easy. Call us now or fill out this form today.