A gutter, as a fixture for your home, carries immense significance. It is primarily responsible for catching rainwater and draining it away from the foundation of your house. Doing so not only safeguards the integrity of your house but also protects your landscape.
However, like any other fixture of your house, a gutter requires a certain level of maintenance. This is true, especially since gutters are prone to damage and leaking. Only through proper care will you make the most out of this water drainage investment of yours.
Ignoring your gutter leak, especially when the issue is clearly in front of you, will only reap repercussions. Not fixing your gutter in time might result in issues that may prove costly in the long run. Some of these issues are listed below.
- Water might seep down into your foundation, compromising the integrity of your house.
- A gutter that does not effectively drain water might result in erosion to your landscape.
- Water seeping into the walls might damage the paint on the house.
- Water might enter the wooden frames of windows and doors and damage them.
- Gutters clogging with water might attract rodents and mosquitos.
Now that we have established what problems a gutter leak can cause, we move on to discuss the red flags. There are a few indicators that you have to be wary of, which we are going to discuss here. When going through them, check whether you find any of these leak indicators in your gutter.
Visible Cracks or Holes in the Gutter
This is a method of inspection that requires just the naked eye. If you are able to see, quite clearly, that there are holes or cracks either on a single part or scattered throughout the gutter seam, then your gutter is in need of a fix. Trees, ice, ageing, rust, etc., can cause these holes or cracks.
Water Clogging in the Gutter
If there is standing water in your gutter, then it might cause water to flow through screw holes or spaces in between joints, causing what is effectively a gutter leak.
Peeling Paint on Various Parts of Your Walls
If you see that there are parts of the walls of your house where the paint is peeling off, it denotes the presence of moisture. Furthermore, there is a high probability that the moisture came from your gutter, causing damage to the paint. Peeling paint around the woodwork of your windows and doors is also a symptom of a leaking gutter.
Water Collecting into Your Basement
There are downspouts at each corner of your house that are connected to your gutter. They allow water to drain away from the foundations of your home. However, a gutter leak would render this ineffective, causing water to seep into your walls and your house’s foundation. That water might even start collecting in your basement in the form of little puddles.
Erosion of Your Home Landscape
If you see puddles of water collecting in your yard, then that is possibly due to a gutter leak. This might result in the erosion and subsequent deformation that happens to the landscape around your house.
How to Fix Your Leaking Gutter?
Once you have identified that water is leaking from your gutter, you must take steps to undo that flaw. It is unnecessary to seek professional services in every instance of a gutter leak, as sometimes the fix is fairly simple and can be done in the form of a DIY task. Therefore, if the issue is fairly uncomplicated, it will be quicker and much less expensive to fix it yourself.
Once you have convinced yourself that you will be undertaking the task of fixing your leaky gutter yourself, here are the steps that you should follow to fix your gutters.
First things first, before undertaking any task, you must equip yourself to suit that task. Performing any task unequipped would not only result in a waste of time but might even complicate the issue that has already been established as being fairly simple. A few of the most commonly used items in this task are:
- Wire brush
- Latex gloves
- Putty knife
- Gutter sealant or tape
Clear Out the Gutter
Once you have been properly equipped, you now have to clear out the gutter of all the leaves, stones, and debris that it has been littered with. This will allow you to easily spot any defect or damage to your gutter seam or any of the corner joints. Furthermore, gutter sealant can also be applied effectively without any unwanted substances getting mixed with it.
Apply Sealant to Joints or Holes Leaking Water
After clearing out the gutter and cleaning it using mild soap and water, check to see if the cause of the leak is any small holes or leaking joints. This can be done using a water hose, where you flush water onto the gutter and check to see any leaks. If you do find any small hole that is leaking, you apply gutter sealant to it and close it off. If one of the joints is leaking water, you take it apart, remove any and all of the sealant that had been applied there before, add new sealant generously, and put it back together safely.
Replacement of Gutter
If your gutter has a big hole or a series of cracks, then just the use of a sealant might not be sufficient. In such a scenario, that piece of the gutter will have to be replaced. In order for you to do this, measure the part of the gutter that you need to replace. While following this step, you have to ensure that you are leaving behind an extra inch on both sides while cutting off the damaged piece. Once that is done, you get a replacement piece from a hardware shop that is identical in size to your present gutter. You attach the replacement piece to the gutter using screws, tape, or a sealant. Once that is firmly attached to the rest of your gutter, you add extra sealant to prevent potential leakage. This might solve the gutter leaking issue that you were faced with.
The Bottom Line
Although a leaking gutter can cause complications for homeowners, it is not always that complicated. Oftentimes, what is required is just an easy fix to rid yourself of the problem. However, at other times, the issue may be more complicated than what a layman can perceive. In those instances, contacting a professional would be advised.
In the case that you do want to contact professionals for your gutter leak woes, Surrey Roofing Specialists should be your go-to partner. Our highly experienced and well-equipped team would provide you with services like no other. So, get in touch with us, and we will help you with all your gutter problems.