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Let's get to the bottom of it...gutters

So, it's meant to be winter here in Indianapolis and I gotta say, as I sit in my dining room with the front door open celebrating the 68 degree weather we are having today, that if this is all winter has to show for it then it's not so bad. 

We all know though that winter will hit us at some point though and there are always things home owners need to prepare for that are unique to homes in the 'cold zones'....the 'snow zones'...the 'omgIcantbelieveIliveinsnow zones'.  

Gutters are one of those things. Yes, you read right. I said GUTTERS. 

Gutters are an important part of your home: They direct water away from your home’s exterior walls, windows, doors, and foundation, preventing water from making its way inside. Although cleaning your gutters several times a year will enhance the longevity of your system, most gutters will need to be repaired or replaced eventually to help protect your home.

I will tell you it was quite a shock to me last winter when I woke up in the middle of a massive thunderstorm only to find a waterfall coming through the window of my music room. Thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments were in there and literally, I couldn't grab buckets big enough to catch the water that was literally flowing THROUGH my window. What we thought was a badly sealed window, actually turned out to be faulty installed gutters..the water was pooling right above the faulty window because the gutters weren't sloped correctly so the torrential down pour had no where else to go..but in. 

Thanks to Angie's list - here are the 5 top warning signs that your gutters need some help NOW!

1. Cracks or splits of any kind

While small cracks in your gutters may not seem like a big issue, small cracks will eventually turn into big ones and it may happen sooner than you think. If you allow cracks to remain without, water can not only damage gutters & further, it can damage the fascia boards behind the gutters, the shingles above the gutter and the foundation below.

2. Paint peeling on or around your gutters and/or flecks of orange

The paint on your gutter is designed to withstand the typical wear and tear throughout the seasons. Unless your gutters are extremely old, peeling paint or orange flecks from the beginning stages of rust are an indicator that water is present on a continuous basis. This could indicate water is not being removed by the gutter or that cracks or other damage may be present.

3. Pools of water or signs of mildew around your home’s foundation

Gutters are designed with the purpose of keeping water flowing away from your home’s foundation. If you notice pools of water or mildew near the foundation, it can indicate that the gutters are not working as intended. This could be caused by something as simple as a clog or by something as complex as a defect in the gutter system. Water can easily cause foundation damage, leading to costly, time-consuming repairs.

4. Water damage or water marks directly beneath the gutters

Check your gutters at least once a year on a day that’s relatively sunny and free from rain. Water damage or marks underneath the gutter indicate that leaking or overflowing water is escaping the gutter. This type of water intrusion can damage your soffit and fascia board.

5. Gutters sag or have begun to pull away from the house

This is one of the easiest ways to tell you need gutter repairs or gutter replacement because you don’t need to be on a ladder to notice it. Gutters should never sag or pull away from the home. This can indicate that the gutters are full of water and pulling away from the house due to the weight. Sagging gutters could require significant cost or hassle to repair. A full gutter means that the gutter system may not be appropriate for the home, its draining improperly or debris is causing blockage.