Even when you clean your gutters regularly, you should still inspect them from time to time in between scheduled maintenance. If you’re aware of the warning signs your gutters are heading for trouble, it might save you from a costly fix or two.
Look for Stains
Rust stains are an indicator that water has been hanging around instead of exiting the gutter system. Oxidation occurs when metal, water and air all get together for a little chat. It takes time for rust spots to develop. If you see rust stains or streaks, the probable cause is a blockage or clog (that’s been there for some time), preventing water from draining quickly.
Tiger striping or black streaks appear on the exterior surfaces when water spills over the edge of the gutter. Streaks of dirt might be a sign of clogs blocking proper water flow.
While the outside of gutters can be stained by water overflowing the gutter channel, water can also spill over the inside edge. When this occurs, water stains typically appear on the bottom sides of the eaves. If left unattended, the affected areas of soffit and fascia can become water damaged, making them susceptible to mold or rot.
Look for What’s There
Mold appearing on the outside of your gutters, or on the exterior or interior walls of you home, is a big indicator that rainwater isn’t being channeled the way it’s supposed to.
Sagging gutters could be a sign of too much weight. Water that’s not being properly drained from the gutters stands still, causing gutter sections to pull away from the fascia.
Look for What’s NOT There
Water exiting a gutter system shouldn’t create a small lake beneath your downspout. However, the ground should be damp for a while after a good rainfall and show small indications of soil erosion (earth being moved around by water). If the ground is dry around the bottom of a downpipe or the soil looks undisturbed, it could indicate that water is escaping and being deposited somewhere else.