Your home’s gutters need to work properly to drain away water from your roof. Over time, wear and tear will cause them not to divert water as needed, and you will need to replace the system. Waiting too long to replace your gutters could result in costly roof, basement, home, or foundation damage. Do you want to avoid extra harm to your home caused by wayward water? Find out more about your gutter system and how to know when to replace it.
Why You Need Gutters
Without gutters, water falls off your roof based on where it collects more, so you may have more water falling off under roof valleys. Therefore, the ground under these places will have high levels of water erosion, which could cause damage to your home’s foundation, basement, exterior paint, or yard.
How Often Should You Replace Your Gutters?
The life expectancy of your home’s gutters depends on the material used in their construction. For example, aluminum and galvanized steel gutters typically last for 20 years. However, if you install copper gutters, you could get 50 years of use from them. Regular repairs and good maintenance can prevent you from needing to replace your gutters early.
The weakest part of a gutter system is where two horizontal pieces come together at a seam. These seams can separate or crack over time. Occasionally, a gutter repair company can fix minor damage to seams, but if you have major problems, you likely will need a new gutter system.
Cracks on the Gutters
Gutters must remain completely intact to work. However, as they age, cracks will naturally develop. Cracks of all sizes allow water to leak out from the gutter system. You may not be able to see small cracks yourself, but you’ll notice the water damage caused by the leaks.
The more cracks your gutter system has, the greater the chances are that you will need to replace all your gutters instead of repairing the cracks.
Gutters Pulling Away from the House
Watch out for gutters pulling away from the fascia boards. You should typically not be able to see the light between the gutters and your house. However, if you can see the light, the gutters no longer collect all the water from the roof. Consequently, some of the water will flow through that gap and cause damage to your home. Gutters that pull away from your home require replacement.
Nails or Fasteners on the Ground Below the Gutters
Peeling Paint or Rotting Window Sills
When water flows off your roof without control, it causes serious water damage to your home’s exterior. If you notice paint peeling on your outside walls or window sills rotting, don’t blame the rainy weather or the sun. Consider that your gutters could be the source of the issue.
When water falls off your roof without controlling a gutter system, your home’s exterior paint and window sills could sustain excessive water damage. The results of this damage are peeling paint and rotting wood. Gutter replacement will prevent further damage, but you will still need to replace rotted wood and repaint after replacing your gutters.
Water Damage in Your Basement or Foundation
Before getting your foundation or basement repaired, have an expert look at your gutters to correct the issue from the source. If you don’t replace worn gutters, your repaired foundation will have new water damage soon.
Good Maintenance to Extend the Life of Your Home’s Gutters
Don’t limit yourself to only cleaning your gutters in the spring and fall. If a major storm passes through your area, such as a tornado or hurricane, take another look at your gutters to see if they need additional cleaning or sustained damage from the storm.