Should I Keep My Gutters or Replace Them?
Updated: Feb 17
Gutters have an important job. They work hard to whisk water down and away from your home, preventing water damage. Maintenance should happen twice a year to ensure they are effective at doing their job. If you find yourself with weathered gutters and are wondering whether to repair or replace, we’ve got some guidelines that may help you in your decision.
Cracks, Rust, & Holes
Visible cracks, signs of rust, or holes in one or two areas can typically be replaced or repaired. Cracks that are not repaired may become fractures, causing water to leak out and onto your home. Large numbers of cracks, rusty sections, and holes will cause problems for a whole drainage system. This may be a sign that the whole unit needs replacing.
Gutter paint that is eroded, peeling, or fading may be a sign that there is leakage or detachment from your home, causing water to pour out and over edges versus draining smoothly through the unit. If you notice paint problems in more than a few areas, replacement will most likely be your best option.
Gaps or Detachment
If there are gaps in the gutter system, it will not flow consistently and will be inefficient. If you notice sections separating from each other and repairs have not worked, it may be time for a change.
If you have fixed fasteners time and time again, and your gutter continues to detach from the roofline, it may mean bracket issues or board damage on the home. A full replacement will fix these issues.
Mold & Mildew
If your gutters & downspouts are doing their job properly, water should be dispersed at least 5-6 feet away from your home’s foundation. If you are starting to notice signs of mold or mildew anywhere near your foundation or in your basement, it means there is most likely a problem with your gutters. If these types of problems are not remedied after repeated repairs, it may be time for a new system.
Screw & Fastener Issues
Your gutter is fastened to your roof with nails and screws. If you start to notice this hardware around your yard, it may mean your gutters are coming loose. See if you can identify the problem section for repairs. This will ensure your whole gutter system is working effectively and that it is securely in place.
If problems continue, the gutters and not the fasteners may be the issue.
Dents or Sagging
Sagging gutters will most likely mean water collection and run-off. If this problem cannot be fixed, a new system will have to considered.
Dents can often lead to leaks and overflow of water. If you cannot replace just one section, the whole system will most likely have to be replaced to ensure proper function.
Your home’s exterior will often reveal water damage from gutter issues. Most paints should hold up well to heavy pressure from the elements. Paint that is peeling in one area may indicate damage from constant moisture. Be sure to inspect to see if gutters may be the underlying issue.
Windowsills or trim elements that are rotting may also be an indicator of water damage. Improper drainage could be the problem and should be assessed by inspecting your gutters in that area.
Gutters typically go unnoticed, but the job they perform is vital. Making sure they stay in tip top shape can make a big difference in water damage protection for the exterior of your home.
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