Check the Gutters While it’s Raining

This weekend, take advantage of the predicted rainfall to check the gutters. Especially after our nice long hot summer, and as we head into September, a gutter system should be in optimal working order to handle the stormy weather ahead. While it’s raining, here are some things to look for.

Check for Leaks

The older gutters get, the more prone they are to worn seams. Seams are formed where two gutter sections have been joined together. Over the years, as a gutter system expands and contracts, the sealant can gradually wear away, causing gutters to leak. If water is escaping from any seams or joints, they need to be resealed. When leaking gutters made of metal are not repaired, rusting will eventually occur.

Check for Gutter Overflow

When rainwater spills over the sides of the gutters, it is typically a sign of material buildup or clogs. If water is not allowed to flow freely toward the downpipes and exit the gutter system, gutter overflow can result. Look for water escaping from over the side of a gutter section. To fix overflow problems, the gutters will have to be thoroughly cleaned; or at least, the clog found and removed.

Listen for Noises

If the gutters or downspouts (or both) are exceptionally noisy while it’s raining, this could be a warning of potential trouble. When you hear pronounced gurgling, it is often an indication of water in the gutter channel or downpipe moving around some kind of obstruction. Leaking gutter sections also can produce noise due to dripping onto metal, either as part of the gutter system, roof, trim, etc. A downspout is noisy when water makes contact with the elbow on the inside. Check to make sure that the downpipe hasn’t shifted or has come loose.

Check the Downspouts

While it’s raining, check the end of the downspout. The water should flow freely from out of the downpipes. If the water exiting the gutter system is just a trickle, the downspout is most likely clogged at the top where it connects with the gutters or the blockage is somewhere in a middle section of the downpipe.