Know what to look for to prevent water damage to your home.

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If you’ve ever dealt with a clogged gutter, you know how much damage it can cause. From water in your basement to having to climb up on a ladder to clean them, gutter clogs can wreak havoc and be a hassle to deal with. Installing gutter guards is an easy way to put an end to your clogged gutters and constant gutter cleaning.

Here is a handy checklist you can use to help you decide if it’s time to replace your gutters or add gutter guards to improve the gutters you have.

Gutters are cracking or splitting

(Leafless in Seattle)

While you may think that small cracks don’t matter, the reality is that small cracks will turn into big cracks. You just won’t know when … but it’s usually a lot sooner than most people think. If you don’t fix these cracks, even the smallest ones, water can and will seep through them. This water can easily damage the fascia boards your gutters are attached to, as well as your walls and even your foundation.

Evidence of leaking at joints or corners

If you see extra algae, mold or mildew in certain spots (often at joints and corners) it’s a big sign the gutters are leaking. Many times this leaking happens behind the gutter – soaking the fascia board, roof rafters or soffit. It’s only after that wood is soaked that the water drips down to the bottom.

Paint or finish on siding, fascia boards or soffits is discolored, flaking or fading

If you see any sign of discoloration, peeling or fading on or near your gutters, this is a clear indication that you have a serious problem and you need to act immediately. Your home’s finish is specifically designed to withstand the rigors of the environment, so if you are seeing any form of damage, that’s bad.

“Tiger stripes” on gutters

Tiger stripes are the gray and black streaks found on the side of gutters. This means the gutter isn’t working. Tiger stripes indicate that your gutters are overflowing. This overflow could be for a number of reasons, including dams, blockage, inadequate flow, and means that you should have your gutters professionally inspected.

(Leafless in Seattle)

Pooling water or signs of mold and mildew

You should check your gutters at least once a year. Inspect them on a sunny day, preferably after a rainstorm. The whole purpose of a gutter system is to direct the flow of water away from your foundation. Any sign of pools of water indicates that your gutters are not draining properly. Mold or mildew on or near your gutters or near your foundation is also a sign of improper drainage. Either one could be sign of a problem that can be as simple as a clogged drain or as complex as a defect in the gutter’s design.

Bottom line: water can easily damage the foundation of your home. Any damage to your foundation is going to be expensive to repair – a lot more expensive than checking and replacing your gutters.

Gutters are warping, sagging or pulling away from home

(Leafless in Seattle)

This is the easiest way to tell if you have a gutter problem. But of course, by the time your gutters have reached this stage, a lot more damage might have been done to your home … more than you realize. Gutters should never sag, warp or pull away from the house. This could be indicative of dry rot in the fascia, severe water damage, possible foundation damage and more. If you have gutters like this, don’t hesitate to have them looked at.

If you notice any of these signs of failing gutters, it might be time for new gutter installation. Contact Leafless in Seattle to schedule a consultation and free estimate at no obligation.