Gutters play a major role in keeping your house secure and dry during wet weather. They catch the water that streams down from your roof and direct it away from the house so water doesn’t begin to pool around the foundations. By doing so, your gutters help to prevent water from leaking into your basement and causing water damage or eating away at the foundations, compromising the structural integrity of your home. They also help keep away insects that are attracted to standing water.
Gutters don’t last forever, though. It’s important to know when to replace them so that they can continue to protect your house most effectively.
How often should gutters be replaced?
Quality gutters can last for several decades. Depending on the materials used to make the gutters, they can last between twenty and fifty years. How long gutters last can also depend on the wear and tear they receive and how well-maintained they are.
9 Signs You Need to Replace Gutters
Usually, there are some visual signs it’s time to replace your gutters. Some gutter issues just call for repair or maintenance rather than a full replacement. These are some signs that your gutters need to be replaced. While you can see some of these signs while it’s sunny, it may also be a good idea to check your gutters while it’s raining to make sure that they’re directing water away from your home as they’re supposed to.
Sign #1 There Are Cracks in the Gutters
Cracks in your gutters aren’t a good sign. If they’re localized in just one area, you may be able to repair that section of the gutters. However, if cracks are widespread, you’ll likely need to replace the entire gutter system.
Sign #2 The Gutters Are Rusting
If you notice rust developing on your gutters, you should consider replacing the gutters. Rust can actually erode the structural integrity of your gutters. Just like with cracks, it’s important to look for how widespread the issue is. A few smaller patches of rust may be repairable, but if it’s a widespread problem, the gutters need to be replaced.
Sign #3 The Gutters’ Seams Are Breaking
The seams on your gutters are supposed to be watertight so they don’t let any water through. If this seal has broken, then water can leak out. If you notice the seams on your gutters are broken, it’s a sign it’s time for a replacement.
Sign #4 The Paint on the Gutters Is Peeling
Peeling paint is a sign of water damage. If you notice peeling paint on your gutters, that means that water isn’t draining from the gutters as it should. Similarly, if you see peeling paint on your home, that’s a sign that the gutters aren’t properly directing water away from the walls and foundations of your home.
Sign #5 The Gutters Pull Away from the House
If your gutters are sagging or otherwise pulling away from where they are fastened to the house, it’s a sign that there’s still water in them. That water, which should have drained out, weighs a lot and can pull your gutters away from the roof. It’s a sign that the gutter system isn’t draining water as it should and that it needs to be replaced.
Sign #6 You Can See Fallen Fasteners or Nails
If you notice fasteners or nails on the ground below the gutters, it’s a sign your gutters are, at minimum, in need of repair. These fasteners and nails are what hold your gutters to your home. If they’re falling out and you’re finding them, you should replace the gutters.
Sign #7 There Is Water Pooling Near the Foundations
If you see standing water pooling around the base of your house’s foundations, that’s a sign that it’s time to replace your gutters. The purpose of gutters is to direct water away from your home. If it’s pooling there instead, then the gutters aren’t working properly.
Sign #8 There’s Mildew Near the Foundations
If it hasn’t rained for a while, standing pools of water may have evaporated. However, they’ll likely have left behind mildew and mold. If you notice mildew near the foundations of your home, that’s a sign that there was a lot of dampness or standing water there before.
Sign #9 There’s Water Damage Below the Gutters
If there’s any kind of water damage, including peeling paint and mildew, directly underneath the gutters on the walls of your home, that’s a sign the gutters aren’t working properly. Overflow water can spill out of the gutters and trickle down the walls instead, causing water damage.
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