Most homeowners spend very little time thinking about their gutters until something goes terribly wrong. Fortunately, with a little bit of knowledge, some regular maintenance, and some planning, it’s possible to know exactly when to update or replace your gutters to prevent expensive repairs. Here are some things to consider.
They’re Cracked, Rusty, or Filled with Holes
Small cracks, holes, and rust spots can be treated with things like flashing or sealant, but if things look pretty bad, it may be in your best interest to just replace your gutters. Once materials start to rust, the rust spreads quickly and will eventually lead to leaks and further damage.
They Gutters Have Begun to Separate
Your gutter system can only do its job when everything is connected together as it should be. If your system starts separating in places, water will never make it to the downspouts, which means your gutters have effectively failed you. If this happens in numerous places, it’s a good indicator that you should replace or update your gutters.
They Pull Away from Your Home
This is perhaps one of the worst symptoms to see, and for good reason. Once gutters start pulling away from the roof, this is when the real damage can happen. This pulling and sagging put pressure on the areas where the gutter is attached, and it could lead to things like roof leaks, structural damage, mold, rot, and more.
The Paint on Your Home May Peel
If you’re seeing paint on your home start to peel – especially high up toward the gutters – this is a good indicator that the water is seeping over the back edge of the gutter and running down along your exterior walls. If the paint is peeling, this indicates that the leak has been there for a while, and at this point, updated gutters are the best solution.
Your Basement is Flooding
Gutters are designed to move water away from your home’s foundation to prevent this kind of thing, and while they aren’t solely responsible for keeping your basement dry, they do play a pretty large role in it. If your basement continues to flood, it may be time to find out if your gutters are the culprit. If you see leaks during rainstorms, it’s time to replace them.
Your Landscaping is Eroding
When water flows over the sides of your gutters rather than through the downspouts and away from your house, it can have a serious impact on your landscaping. If this water lands on the ground, it can kill the grass below and leave a long line of dead grass. If it lands on flowers or bushes, they can essentially rot in the ground due to all the excess water. If you see these signs, there’s a good chance your leaky gutter should be updated immediately.
As you can see, gutters are more important to your home than you might think. Without a proper gutter system in good working order, damage to your roof, your foundation, and even the inner structure of your home is all possible. Be sure to clean and maintain your gutters regularly to enhance their longevity and keep replacements and updates to a minimum.