Your gutters are probably not the first things you consider when you think about the wellbeing of your home. However, they’re often more important than we give them credit for! That also means that, if cared for improperly, they can cause a substantial amount of damage. If you know what to look for in your gutters, you’ll be able to determine whether it’s time for them to be replaced.
Cracks and Splits
Cracks, holes, and splits of any kind can be a big problem. They essentially make your gutters counterproductive, as they cause water to leak through or pool. This gutter damage can lead to water damage, mold, and more. Even if a crack is small when you find it, it can quickly grow into a larger split or hole that may cause extensive damage to your home. Cracks and splits come with age, but they’re signs that your gutter may need a replacement, especially if you notice these issues in multiple places. You should also be sure to inspect your gutters after a storm that may have caused damage.
If you notice that the exterior of your home has peeling paint, it could be a sign that your gutter is leaking water. Constant moisture causes paint to peel and can result in a mold problem if it continues. You can schedule a professional inspection to confirm that your gutter is the source of the problem.
Rust is a sure sign that your gutters are old. One cause of rust is excessive rainfall, and if left untreated, your gutters could shatter and break. You should have your gutters—or, at least, sections of them—replaced before this break occurs. However, don’t worry about rust if you have plastic gutters; this will not be an issue.
Excess moisture is almost always bad. Foundation problems typically occur as a result of too much moisture going underneath the home, potentially causing it to shift or even break. While foundation damage could just mean your gutters are clogged and should be cleaned, it can also be an indicator of faulty gutters. Soil erosion, waterlogged or damaged landscape, and flooding in basements often accompany this type of problem. If you notice any of these signs, have your gutters inspected immediately.
If you’re noticing a downward slump in your gutters, there is most likely water pooling somewhere inside. This usually cannot be repaired, but it’s a good way to tell if your gutters need to be replaced. Additional causes of sagging include improper installation and gutters that are not properly cleaned, so caring for and cleaning them can prevent many problems and help avoid having them replaced.