If you’re like many people, you don’t think too much about your roof, gutters or other things that you can’t see from inside your home… until there’s a problem, that is. But unfortunately, gutters that fail can cause serious problems for your home – so how can you tell there’s something wrong before a catastrophe? 

Here’s what you need to know.

How Do You Know if Your Gutters Are Failing? 

There are a few signs that may indicate that your gutters are failing, including:

  • Visible damage
  • Leaks
  • Water pooling on the ground beneath your roof line
  • Very little water making it out through your downspouts

Here’s a closer look at each.

Visible Damage to Gutters

Stroll around the outside of your home looking for visible damage to your gutters, such as cracks or rusty spots. If your gutters appear to be pulling away from your house, or if you notice missing fasteners, you should make repairs right away.


Your gutters aren’t supposed to leak. They’re supposed to whisk water away from your roof and safely out of a downspout, where the water won’t cause any problems for your foundation. If you do notice leaks, you should look for the source and attempt to patch it. Because leaky gutters don’t send water where it’s supposed to go, your foundation could be in danger of becoming damaged over time.

Water Pooling on the Ground Beneath Your Roof Line

If you see water pooling on the ground under the edge of your roof, it’s a sign that the water is coming directly from your roof and hitting the ground – it’s not making a stop at the gutter, where it’s supposed to. This can lead to a waterlogged (and eventually cracked) foundation, which can be an expensive (or even impossible) fix.

Water Not Making It Out Through Your Downspouts

Water is supposed to travel through your gutters and out the downspouts, which keeps it away from your foundation by redirecting it to a safe location. However, if it’s pouring rain and very little water is coming from your downspouts, it’s still going somewhere – and you should check your gutters to see where the problem lies.