Whether you’re a homeowner or prospective homebuyer, it’s important to familiarize yourself with a home’s gutter system. Recognizing signs that gutters need to be replaced can help you make proactive repairs that prevent larger issues with the home. If you’re shopping for homes or have made an offer, knowing these replacement signs can also help you during inspection.
Cracks in your gutters essentially eliminate the benefits of a functional home gutter system. Gutters that can’t effectively relay water away from the home in a sealed system can threaten your home’s integrity over time. Cracks form as a result of long term wear or extreme weather conditions. If you notice larger cracks in your gutter system on a clear day, these can be signs that your system needs to be replaced. Smaller cracks may only be noticeable during rain (you may notice drips along the bottom of your gutters). A few smaller cracks may be fixable with sealing products, but if there are many small cracks, you might consider gutter replacement.
Another sign of gutter failure is mildew or mold growth on the home. This can occur in several different locations, including on the home’s exterior siding and internally in the basement. While basement mold can have many other causes including insulation issues or equipment failure, poorly functioning gutters can also be a cause. If you’ve eliminated other possible causes of basement mold or mildew, consider inspecting your gutters.
If you notice dark spots along your siding, water runoff may be making contact with your home. If you see watermarks beneath your gutters, there may be leaks or holes in your gutter system. Leaks happen over time with seamed or sectional gutter systems. Aside from being unsightly, these water marks can also make their way behind shingles or stucco, meaning moisture can penetrate your home’s frame. While this damage can be gradual, the rate of damage caused by water leaks can accelerate over time. It’s important to act quickly on these indicators of water leaks from your rain gutters.
Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, peeling or bubbling paint is never a good sign. If you notice that your home’s exterior paint is being damaged, particularly in localized areas, your gutter system may be failing. Cracks or gaps in your rain gutters can cause water droplets to seep behind your home’s paint. If you notice paint damage in more than one small area, it’s time to consider replacing your entire gutter system.
If you notice that your gutters are bent, misshapen, or pulling slightly away from the house, this can indicate a need for replacement. Rain gutters can be damaged by falling debris during a storm or can be twisted due to a failed mounting screw. Inspect your gutters’ mounting brackets to make sure they’re intact.
Gutter warping is also caused by clogs. When a downspout, joint, or drain becomes clogged with leaves and other material, the gutters get filled with rainwater that does not drain correctly. The added weight can cause certain types of gutters to bow out over time and overflow in heavy rains. When stress is placed on gutter materials or seams, the integrity of your gutter system is threatened. To prevent this damage, clean and inspect your gutters regularly.
Aluminum and galvanized steel gutters last 20 years while vinyl gutters last 25 years. Copper gutters have a longer lifespan and can last for 50 years or more. Routine cleaning and maintenance can increase your gutters’ longevity. Gutters with seams are more likely to gather debris at their seams and erode over time. Seamed sectional gutters typically last around 20 years, but seamless gutters can last much longer.
If you’re noticing signs that your gutter system needs to be replaced, TruTeam is here to help. Our gutter replacement contractors are ready to help you remove old gutters and install a new gutter system. Our gutter experts will help you choose the right gutter material to fit your home’s style and your budget. We’ll consider several factors in recommending new gutters including your roofline, landscaping, local climate, annual rainfall, and more.
For a free gutter replacement quote, contact TruTeam today!