Gutter Problem Signs
One of the most common causes of foundation damage is improperly channeled roof water, due to inadequate drainage. This can be caused by several things such as gutter clogs, separated joints, cracks or holes, rust, or sagging gutters. To maintain the health and stability of your foundation, it’s important to perform annual maintenance on your gutters to ensure they’re properly functioning. This includes inspecting them for damage as well as cleaning any tree debris such as leaves and twigs out.
Fortunately, AquaGuard specializes in gutter protection and services to guarantee your home doesn’t see any gutter-related damage. Learn more about some common problem signs and how to prevent them below.
What Are Some Signs Your Gutters Are Failing?
- Puddles Around Your Foundation
Year-round rain in Atlanta isn’t unheard of as the area receives a whopping 52 inches a year. This amount of rainfall can lead to your gutters becoming overworked and if not in proper condition, pools of water around your foundation. With the area’s predominantly sandy soil, drainage is good, but an excess of water can lead to the soil becoming oversaturated. This saturation can cause hydrostatic pressure to wreak havoc on your home. If your gutters are damaged, or your downspout isn’t far enough away from your home, this could turn into a serious problem for your foundation.
- Leaky Basement
If your gutters aren’t functioning correctly, chances are you’ll have leaks in your basement. These two generally go hand in hand due to their close proximity. Even though your gutters are located above ground, if they are clogged, overflowing, or damaged in any way, you’ll likely notice water in your basement. Leaks can also occur due to hydrostatic pressure.
- Cracks In Your Foundation
As mentioned, hydrostatic pressure is the main culprit for damage to your foundation or basement. It also goes without saying that if your gutters are damaged or clogged, the chances of hydrostatic pressure occurring are also high. When your gutters begin to fail, it can cause serious issues for your foundation’s structural integrity and safety. This can lead to cracks forming along the walls and floors and letting water in. It’s important to ensure your downspouts are placed at least 8 ft. away from your home to prevent water from saturating the soil.
If you’re noticing any of the above issues around your home, chances are your gutters are to blame. Take a look at some more problem signs of failing gutters.
Tips to Prevent Gutter-Related Damage
- Routinely inspect your gutters for signs of damage such as holes, cracks, or separated joints.
- Regularly remove debris from your gutters to prevent clogs, especially during Autumn and before any snow is expected to fall.
- Check the grade of your yard to make sure that it’s positive so that any water that falls flows away from your home.
- Ensure your downspouts are placed far enough away from the base of your home to prevent puddles around your foundation.
- If rust has formed and can’t be scrubbed away, replace that section of the gutter.
Even though your Atlanta home’s gutters take daily abuse day after day from wind, rain, and extreme weather, gutters have a lifespan of around 20 years when properly maintained.
Keeping in mind the importance of gutters to your home’s structural integrity, learn more about signs your gutters need to be replaced.
Cracks: Gutters with cracks basically defeat the purpose of gutters entirely. Look for cracks after a rainstorm, so dripping is visible, but large enough cracks can also be seen from the ground. Although it’s possible to use caulk or epoxy to repair the problem, the solution is not water-tight, allowing the same problem to occur in the future.
Peeling Paint: If you noticed your exterior paint peeling or bubbling, it might be because your gutters are leaking and dripping, causing problems. Check the surrounding gutters for signs of damage.
Mildew: If you begin to see mildew both on the walls of your home as well as the gutters themselves, it’s a major red flag that your gutters are not performing their job properly and need to be replaced.
Since your gutters perform such an essential function for your home, it’s essential to replace your gutters promptly so they don’t cause additional problems for your home.
Since gutter slope is such an important element of functioning gutters, it may be surprising that, yes, the slope of your gutters can be repaired without replacement. If your Georgia home has gutters in good condition, without major wear or tear, gutter pitch can generally be repaired. A heavy wind storm, or a stubborn clog that went unnoticed for a while, can change the pitch of your gutters without rendering them useless.
The problem with DIY gutter repairs is not only is it dangerous to both climb and work on a ladder but precisely identifying the right slope is an added challenge. If the new pitch is incorrect, you could be creating additional problems at your home.
- Prevents Bugs and Pests from Nesting in Your Gutters
Just as wasps, birds, and other critters are attracted to trees, debris buildup in your gutter can provide a safe space for these pests to nest. Cleaning out your gutter can make a less hospitable place for these creatures to take root.
- Can Help Prevent Puddling and Soil Erosion Around Your Home
Adequately cleaning your gutter can ensure that water drains away from your home using the proper channels and doesn’t overflow to the sides of your home. This also protects your crawl space or basement from flooding.
- Helps Avoid Interior Leakage
When your gutters are clogged, it encourages water or ice buildup in the shingles of your roof. This not only damages your roof, but can completely destroy your roof’s insulation, but it can also cause leakage in your ceiling and walls from above. Ensuring clear passageways for rainwater through your gutter can help you avoid these problems altogether.
Gutters can be clogged by many things year-round, including but not limited to: leaves, branches, bird nests, wasp, or hornet nests. For colder climates up north, heavy snow and ice dams can clog and weigh down a gutter as well.
Let the Experts in Atlanta Fix Your Gutters
To some, gutters may seem like an afterthought, but they play a much bigger role in protecting your home from water. It’s important to ensure they’re in great condition to allow them to properly drain water away from your home. If you’ve noticed any of the above problem signs and want to safeguard your home from water damage, call the professionals at AquaGuard. We specialize in gutter solutions and products tailored to your home. Call or email us today to set up a free inspection.