Simple, yet essential, gutters are among the most important and cost-effective means for preventing home water damage. Of course, while gutters have a relatively long life expectancy – ranging from ten to twenty years – nothing lasts forever. Even with proper maintenance, all gutters eventually require replacement. Neglecting your gutters may result in damage to your roof, your home’s foundation, and your landscaping. Here are the five things to look for when determining whether it’s time to replace your gutters.
1. They’re cracked and have holes, are frequently separating, or are rusted.
While smaller cracks and damage may be repaired, serious rust, holes, and breaks in your gutters can dampen their ability to keep your home and roof protected from rainwater. Walk around the perimeter of your home and count the number of holes, cracks, and rusted portions you find. If you only see a couple, you can likely have them mended. Anything more than that, and you’ll want to consider options for replacement.
2. They’re beginning to buckle, sag, or pull away from the house.
From fallen trees and storm damage to normal wear and tear, gutters take a beating and will inevitably begin to fall apart. When gutters buckle, sag, or pull away from the house, they’re no longer able to serve their function. When you spot these symptoms, it may be time to call in an expert to quote you for a replacement.
3. You’re seeing water damage around the outside of your home.
If you’re outside your home on a dry, sunny day, take a few minutes to look for water damage (peeling paint, mildew, etc.) under the areas covered by your gutters. Water damage is a sign that your gutters may be leaking or overflowing. Overflowing is often caused by blockages that are easily resolved. However, if your gutters are clear of leaves and debris, they might be leaking, meaning you may be looking at a replacement.
4. They’re leaking or not draining properly.
While you can check for water damage on a sunny day, sometimes it’s just as easy to inspect your gutters’ performance when it’s raining. Keep an eye out for leaks and watch where your gutters drain. Water should flow away from your home’s foundation – not toward it. If you see water pooling around drainage points, it could be time to look to a professional.
5. You’re finding mold and flooding in your basement.
Whenever gutters are unable to do their job, water can find its way into your basement or crawlspace. If you notice water leaking into your home or even mold growth, this could be a sign that your gutters aren’t effectively drawing water away from your house. Such damage can be costly, so you’ll want to replace your gutters and stop the issue before it gets worse.