Gutter systems are generally very sturdy and can last on the homes’ exterior for decades.
Steel and aluminum can be in place for about twenty years, while copper gutters can withstand the elements for up to fifty. Unfortunately, outside elements, such as tree limbs or large blocks of ice, may cause structural damage earlier than anticipated. The gutter system is essential in protecting your house from water damage, but you don’t want to bother with a complete replacement for just for a small dent. There are certain things to look for to help you determine if the life of your gutters has come to an untimely end.
Rust Spots and Holes
If you notice a large amount of rust spots and holes, than it may be time to replace. A few may be repaired with sealant, but if it is affecting many different sections than you should consider calling a reliable gutter company to give you an estimate on complete replacement.
When Fasteners Start to Break
The pieces of metal that keep the gutter attached to the roof, or fasteners, may be starting to break. They work to ensure that the gutter is kept level so that water flows towards the downspout. Years of use may have caused the troughs to warp forward, breaking the fasteners and warranting a complete new system.
If you start to notice nails or screws on the ground around the perimeter of your home, they may be coming from the gutters. Like the metal fasteners, these are essential to keeping the gutters attached to the home. If you notice that a lot of them have come loose than it is probably best to look into replacement gutters.
Older gutters were usually installed in sections. As time goes on, these sections may begin to separate from each other. Having one continuous channel is essential to keeping water away from the home. If after repair, the problem persists, investing in a seamless gutter may be the answer.
The board that holds the gutter to the house, or fascia, may be starting to rot if you notice a space between the gutter and roof line. There should be no visible space. Replacing the gutter will also include replacing damaged fascia.
If you notice an area on your homes’ exterior where the paint has begun to peel, a leak in the gutter system may be the culprit. Have a representative from your local gutter company come out and help you determine the cause. It may be something that could be repaired easily, or he may suggest investing in a new gutter system.
Water In the Basement
The most obvious sign of a problem with your gutters is a flood in your basement. The point of the gutter system is to draw dangerous water away from your house, not into it. The problem may be as simple as adding more diversion devices to the ends of the downspouts, or you may need to go ahead and replace the entire system. Diagnose the problem with a representative from a gutter company before making a decision.
If you do decide to replace your gutters consider the many new options. Try a seamless system to help reduce the chances of separation and consider installing gutter guards to keep them free from debris. Your local gutter company will be delighted to discuss all of your options with you.