The parts of a home’s gutter system that are difficult to access are the area’s most likely to be damaged by corrosion and water damage. This is the principal reason for having an inspection on a yearly basis. While clogged downspouts may be easy to spot and clear, corroded fasteners are not, and fasteners that are not aligned properly can potentially cause a leak in the roof itself.
Even clogged downspouts need to be approached properly. Far from simply shoving a stick or tool of some kind up the spout to clear leaves and debris that are blocking it, which can damage the downspout, parts of the gutter may have to be removed in order to access the blocked area. Poking at blockages is a common way for homeowners to damage gutters.
If water is left in gutters, mold can develop within 48 hours. If that mold is simply allowed to remain around gutters, it can penetrate the house itself. In rare cases, it may even lead to black mold, which is a serious health hazard.
The metal flashing which attaches to the fascia at the edge of the roof is a problem spot. It secures the fascia and prevents leaks through the subfascia. Gutters are typically attached to it, either under it or against it. These attachment points need to be inspected for evidence of leaks or mold and, as mentioned, the fasteners need to be carefully checked.
Discolored siding, gutters, and eaves indicate leaks, and gutters that sag require immediate attention. A sagging gutter means either fasteners lost to corrosion or a rotting of the wood behind the fascia, probably due to a leak and the subsequent accumulation of water. Whatever the cause, gutters that sag result in water going where it is not wanted, up against the foundation of the house, which may cause dampness in the basement or an actual leak. A simple gutter inspection can save homeowners a lot of expense.