Many homeowners can’t tell if their gutters need to be replaced until there’s a visible leak or another major damage becomes apparent inside the home. It’s extremely vital to be familiar with signs of gutter wear so you can replace it before extensive damage begins affecting your property. Of course, no homeowner wants to hear that something in the home needs to be repaired or replaced, but keep in mind that your gutters play a very important role in keeping your interior dry and your exterior intact. As your home’s major drainage system, gutters are responsible for catching rainwater from your roof and directing it away from areas where it can do harm. A clogged or damaged gutter system won’t only cause costly repairs; they are also bound to speed up the deterioration of your foundation due to moisture problems.
When it comes to gutter replacement, you don’t want to wait, as the types of problems that can affect your system only tend to get worse over time. Watch out for these red flags to know when the time for gutter replacement has arrived.
Red Flag #1: Cracks or Splits
Forget the obvious issue of appearance, cracked gutters are very likely to clog and leak. When it’s time for your regular gutter inspection and maintenance, take the time to check your gutters for cracks or splits. Minor cracks may not look like much, but they can grow bigger and cause related issues over time. If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, water turning into ice could expand inside the cracks, widening them and making repairs more extensive. Some of the areas often damaged by cracked gutters are the fascia boards, roofing shingles, and even your home’s foundation itself. Larger cracks or splits should be given attention right away to help keep your gutters functioning normally.
Red Flag #2: Water Stains and Overflow
Checking your gutters on a sunny day is a great way to examine your system and spot any possible sign of danger around and beneath your gutters. Some signs of excess moisture are water stains, overflow, puddles, and even rotten soffit and fascia. When your exterior paint begins to peel off, this can also serve as a sign that your home needs gutter replacement. In addition, check for any indication of mold, as this can also mean that water has begun seeping through the most important parts of your structure.
Red Flag #3: Paint Peeling On or Around Your Gutters and/Or Flecks of Orange
Not all gutters rust, but those made from galvanized steel may do once their protective coat has come off. When you start seeing rust, peeling paint, and/or orange flecks around some areas of your gutters or around where your gutters connect to your home, be sure to call in an expert gutter contractor right away. These are a clear indication that your gutters need immediate replacement. Rust can easily turn into leak-prone areas, which can cause major damage to your home if not treated properly.
Red Flag #4: Pools of Water or Signs of Mildew
If pools of water or signs of mildew begin showing up around the foundation of your home, consider it a red flag. In fact, the primary reason downspouts are placed a few feet away from your structure is to prevent that exact problem—the development of mildew and water puddles. Water buildup around your foundation will eventually find its way into the basement and siding, causing hazardous mildew growth.
If you notice any of the abovementioned signs around your gutter area or foundation, waste no time and have your gutters replaced immediately. For better results, you may choose to install gutter protection systems to prevent dirt and other debris from clogging your system; thus, keeping your gutters safe from leaks and your home from water damage.
Red Flag #5: Gutters Sag or Have Begun to Pull Away from the House
Fasteners hold your gutters along the edge of the roof, keeping them constantly attached to your exterior. Just like any other home component, they need to be maintained occasionally so that they keep doing their job. If you find yourself time and again re-attaching the fasteners as a result of your gutters pulling away from your exterior, that’s a warning sign that tells of a problem with your fascia boards or gutters. Either your fascia boards are rotting, your gutters are overweight due to moisture buildup, or there is stress on your system from damage incurred due to snow.
Nonetheless, sagging gutters mean that you should consider investing in a replacement immediately. When you’re at it, you may want to look into switching to seamless gutters to minimize chances of debris accumulation and encourage smooth water flow.
Fully functional gutters are crucial to the overall health of your home. Be sure to take notice of any sign that your gutters need to be replaced, so you can keep your home in the best condition possible for years to come.
John Zatwarnytsky is the Vice President of Homecraft, Inc. As one of the heads of the leading home contractors and roofers in Delaware, he sees to it that everything flows smoothly and that customers are able to get the best value for their money through his company’s services. He’s passionate about giving the best quality of service to his clients by providing comfortable, energy-efficient, and beautifully done home improvements. He reaches out to more people by trying to address common roofing and home improvement concerns through his blog.