Evaluate the Gutters

No matter how well the gutters are maintained, they are still vulnerable to general wear and tear. When they don’t work efficiently in guiding rainwater from the roof into the gutter system and out through the downspouts, your home can be at risk for water damage. On a day when it’s raining, take the time to evaluate the gutters to see how well they function during times you need them the most.

When it’s Raining

Step outside when it’s raining and take a look at the gutters. If the gutter system is working correctly, you shouldn’t be able to see anything (except the rain falling down). However, water overflowing the sides of the gutters or at the corners of the gutter system could be a sign of clogged gutters.

Overflowing gutters can also be an indication of poor gutter slope. But when water escapes from between the back of the gutter and the fascia board, it might be an indication that you need to install a drip edge along the roofline.

If water drips from soffits, it is mostly because the roof has sustained damage, allowing water to seep into the soffit areas.

When it Stops Raining

Twenty-four to 36 hours after it has stopped raining, see if there is still any dripping, standing or pooling rainwater. Walk around your house with binoculars if needed and check for the following:

  • water leaking from the corners – sign of a combination of broken seals and standing water
  • water leaking from where gutter sections are joined – indication that the sealant is old or damaged
  • sagging gutters – standing water inside the gutter channel is weighing sections down
  • sagging gutters that pull away from the house – could be weight of standing water is causing fasteners to loosen or is a sign that fascia has become rotten
  • dripping that has no immediate source – could be attributed to a disconnected downspout or missing gutter section
  • pooling water under the downpipes – indication of a blocked downspout or overflowing gutters

Before it Rains Again

Check the gutters and downspouts for other types of damage such as fading, pinholes, or dents. Repair what you can; call a gutter company when necessary. Gutters repairs that should take priority include consistently overflowing gutters that wash out the soil around the foundation, missing gutter sections and disconnected downspouts.