If you let your gutters age out, they will stop providing the protection your home needs, leaving it vulnerable to water damage that could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs to the roof, foundation, walls and more. It is important to keep a close eye on your gutters so you can detect the earliest signs of a problem and minimize the damage to your home.
You may be able to repair some problems with your gutters and get more life out of them, but some signs of trouble could indicate that it’s time for all new gutters.
Here are a few signs that it might be time to consider investing in new gutters:
Damage to the Materials
Cracks, holes, and rust spots can all cause your gutters to leak. Unfortunately, there is no effective or long-lasting way to repair this damage.
Other damage can include bent or dented gutters. When the shape of the gutters becomes warped, they won’t be as effective at channeling water away from your home. The water can pool or it can spill over the edges of the gutters, gathering near the house.
Broken Fasteners or Hardware on Ground
Occasionally, a fastener may break or you may find nails or screws from the gutters on the ground. Most of the time, this isn’t a problem. Hardware can come loose with time.
However, if you are regularly finding broken fasteners or hardware on the ground, it could be a sign of a larger problem. Sagging or clogged gutters could be pulling the hardware out of the fascia. Gutters that are causing hardware to break are not functioning well enough to protect your home.
The most common gutter system involves joining multiple pieces together and sealing them. Over time, the seals can break down or the force of weighed-down, clogged gutters can break them apart.
If your gutters have separated, water will pour through the seams and flood around your home. You may be able to fix the seals if it’s a first-time problem. However, if the seals keep breaking and the gutters keep separating, it may be time to replace the gutters.
Dams from leaves and debris can cause your gutters to become full with water, and the weight can cause the gutters to sag. The dams may be caused by failure to clean out your gutters, or the dams could be forming because the gutters are not working properly.
The same problems that cause your gutters to sag could also cause them to pull away from the fascia. If you notice either problem, it may be time to replace your gutters.
Aging gutters that have become ineffective can cause water to seep over the back edge toward the house. You may not notice any problems right away. However, with time, that ongoing exposure to water can cause the exterior paint to peel.
If you notice peeling paint, take a closer look at your gutters. You may quickly find the culprit.
Ineffective gutters will lead to water pooling around your home. You may start to notice dirt channels forming near the house where water has fallen or run off. You may also notice eroded landscaping, such as around flower beds or the bushes.
If you suspect problems with your gutters, don’t look up. Just look down. Your landscaping may tell you everything you need to know.
Problems with the Foundation or Basement
All that standing water on the ground can also cause major problems for your foundation or basement. You may notice cracks in your foundation, or standing water in your basement. Other signs of problems may include mold or mildew in your basement or around the bottom of your exterior. Even if you can’t see the mold or mildew, you may notice the tell-tale odor.
Water damage to your foundation or basement can lead to thousands of dollars in repairs, so it is important that you pay close attention to any signs of a problem with your gutters and address them as quickly as possible.
In some cases, you may be able to make repairs to your gutters or to address issues that are causing problems, such as cleaning out debris that is causing water dams. However, in other cases, you may find that your gutters have reached their limit and it’s time to replace them with a new system. Consult with a professional to find out what’s possible.