The basic purpose of any gutter is to direct water away from your home. When gutters are working properly, your roof is protected, and so is your siding. You’re also less likely to have expensive foundation problems to deal with if water is being effectively directed away from your property. As you can see in the video below, gutters can contribute to an assortment of exterior problems. While the team from Rain-Go Exteriors is available to respond to wide range of gutter emergencies, it’s best to try and spot potential problems sooner rather than later. Here are seven early warning signs to look for that suggest your gutters probably need some professional attention.

1. Dirt Marks or Rust On Your Gutters

Water that’s spilling over your gutters on a regular basis usually leaves behind water stains or dirt marks. If you spot a pattern of dirt marks along the outside of your gutters, it’s a sign that water is overflowing because you likely have a clog. Another telltale sign of a problem with water accumulation is rust on the inside of your gutters. This means water is either moving very slowly or some of it is being evaporated by the sun as it remains in your gutters.

2. Peeling Exterior Paint or Damaged Siding

Exterior paint is designed to withstand some degree of moisture, but not a steady stream of it down the side from leaking gutters. Over time, paint can start to peel from this extra flow of water. If you have siding, water that’s not being directed away from your home may work its way into weak spots within your siding. The added moisture from water can also contributes to the development of mold.

3. Stains On Your Eaves or Fascia Boards

Water doesn’t just flow over clogged or damaged gutters. Standing water can also escape from the inside edge of your gutters. When this happens, you may seen see stains on your eaves or fascia boards. The extra water along the edge of your roof may also cause your fascia boards to weaken or rot, which can lead to holes or cracks. Water can then make its way into your attics or interior walls. If the problem continues, you may seen signs of mold developing along inside walls or in your attic.

4. Soggy Ground Close to Your Home

If you are seeing unusual pools of water near your home or noticing soggy patches of ground, it’s a likely sign that water from your gutters isn’t going where it’s supposed to go. While occasional pools of water after a heavy storm aren’t cause for concern, it can become a serious problem if the soil near your home is constantly wet and full of water. Eventually, loose soil will affect your foundation. In the winter months, these soggy patches can turn into patches of ice, which could lead to slips and falls for anyone not expecting slippery patches that close to your home.

5. Splashes of Dirt Near the Bottom of Your Home’s Exterior Walls/Siding

If water is cascading over the edge of your gutters during heavy storms, it’s going to make a splash when it hits the ground. You’ll probably see stains from dirt, mud, mulch, or even soil from any garden areas you may have near your home splashed along the bottom of your exterior walls or siding caused by all of that rapidly dropping water.

6. No Signs of Erosion Near Your Downspouts

The place where you would actually expect to see some signs of erosion, rust, or general wear is around your downspouts. After all, this is where water is supposed to be going. But if you’re seeing downspouts that are perfectly dry all of the time with no signs of erosion, it’s a sign that water is probably going elsewhere.

7. Visible Signs of Sagging or Pulling Away

Gutters are designed to securely fit right next to your roof. If you notice that your gutter is slowly pulling away from your roof, it’s not keeping water from going down along the sides. Visible signs of sagging suggest that a gutter is failing or has weak spots from years of accumulated water and debris. In some instances, pulling away may occur suddenly, as might be the case after a severe storm with heavy rains and high winds. Pulling away can also be caused by damage to parts of your roof near the edge.

One way to keep your gutter system in good shape is to schedule regular inspections and cleanings to make sure everything is flowing and all parts are secure and free of cracks and other damage. Gutter covers or guards can also be a smart investment if you want to avoid unexpected clogs, especially when summer storm season arrives or autumn leaves start coming down. Contact the team at Rain-Go Exteriors if you need any assistance with your gutters or other exterior structures.