As a homeowner, the health of your house is always on your mind. When it comes to gutters, though, they probably don’t cross your mind until there’s something wrong with them.

Your home’s gutter system is responsible for channeling water away from the foundation and protecting your roof and walls from rot. It goes without saying that they’re very important. Thankfully, the biggest issues are normally easy to spot (and hopefully fix if you catch them).

Here are three common problems and how to know if you’ve got them.

Clogged Gutters

 Leaves, dirt, sticks, and just about anything else you can possibly think of will fall into your gutters throughout the year. It’s unavoidable. That’s why it is so important to regularly clean them. Water needs to flow through unobstructed or you risk damage to your foundation, gutter system, roof, and interior. If you begin to notice wet spots on the interior of your home or a foul smell from festering water, then chances are you’ve got clogs. Next time it rains, keep an eye on your home and see how much water is draining. That will let you know the extent of the damage.

Tip: Gutter covers will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. Look for professionals to install covers and make your life a lot easier.

Sagging Gutters

 Sagging gutters are tricky. They don’t look like much of an issue, but they could cause a lot of problems. For one, it puts undue stress on your roof. For seconds, you risk completely losing the gutters off of your home, especially if you live in a rainy climate. If you let debris build up, the weight will strain the gutters to the point that they’ll begin to sink and bow. Loose hangers could also be the culprit!

If you notice excess sag, check the hangers and make sure they aren’t spaced too far apart. Of course, if the gutters are clogged, clean them out!

Leaks

 Leaks are common but are a fairly simple fix. It’s often as simple as using caulk or patching it up. But if they are left on their own, they can get bigger until it’s too late. Also, if the leak is in the wrong spot, it can cause excess water to seap into your foundation. If you notice water pouring from the middle of the gutters, then it’s obviously a leak. It isn’t always that simple though. Try running a small stream of water through the gutters when you clean them (pouring water from a bucket works), and see if any comes leaking out. Spotting them early will save you money and effort in the long run.

These three common gutter problems are relatively simple to fix but can be nightmares if not taken care of. The best defence in your case is a good offence. Regular cleaning and checkups from a professional gutter cleaning service is the best way to keep your home safe and healthy.