One of the most dreaded -and often ignored- home chores is tending to your gutters. For many homeowners, it’s an “out of sight out of mind” type of issue. But ignoring your gutter maintenance is a big mistake that can lead to costly repairs down the road. These problems can impact a lot more than just the gutters. Clogged and broken gutters can cause water damage, foundation issues, and a host of other expensive repairs.
Since tending to your own gutters can be a risky and dangerous proposition, it makes sense to leave the work to the professionals. But if you haven’t been cleaning and checking your gutters regularly, you may not even be aware of potential problems. At least once a year (but preferably twice), you should call in a professional to clean and check your gutters.
Typically, galvanized steel or aluminum gutters have an average life expectancy of 20 years. Copper gutters can last as long as 50 years! If you aren’t sure which you have, or how long they’ve been there, a professional can help get you up to speed.
By inspecting and cleaning your gutters twice a year you should be able to identify any issues before they turn into major problems. But if you think you may need to repair or replace them, here are some ways to tell when it’s time for new gutters.
Gaps, Crack, and Splits
Your gutters should never have large gaps. In fact, cracked gutters can allow water and debris to seep through, leading to additional problems and repairs. While larger cracks are more obvious, remember that smaller cracks may not look like much now but will grow over time. Any gaps, cracks, and splits should be dealt with right away to help keep your gutters functioning.
If your home’s gutters are made of galvanized steel, the protective coating can come off over time and rust. This is especially common if you live in an area that gets a lot of rainfall each year. While the gutters may continue to work for a time, it is best to install new sections before the rusted metal shatters and breaks.
When gutters begin to sag and pull away from the house, it is a clear sign that it’s time to replace them. Gutters usually only sag when they become too heavy or too full of water to remain in their correct position. Thus, if there is sagging, it means the gutters are not functioning properly. A gutter that is bowing or pulling away from the home can also indicate that the brackets are loose. These issues need to be addressed right away to avoid breakage or other property damage.
One of the ways gutters help protect your home is by channeling the water away from the foundation. However, if your gutters need to be replaced, you may start to notice signs of water around your foundation. This may include pools and puddles of water, or mildew and algae growth.
Shifted or cracking foundation is often a result of moisture seeping into the soil underneath the home, which can be caused by gutter issues. That’s because a faulty gutter can leak water into standing puddles, which get absorbed into the foundation over a long period of time. The foundation then shifts or even breaks, causing even more damage to your home. Foundation repairs are incredibly costly and can make selling your home difficult. Don’t let a small issue like a gutter replacement derail your whole home!
Have you noticed a large puddle of water along the side of your house that wasn’t there before? Standing water indicates some sort of blockage either in the gutter or even in the downspout. If there doesn’t seem to be significant clogging, then take it as a sign that your gutters are compromised and need to be replaced. That’s because the gutters are likely either too clogged to properly function or the gutters have a significant crack in them.
Malfunctioning gutters can ruin the paint on your home. When the weather is nice, take a stroll around your home’s exterior and look for any bubbled-up or peeled-away paint. If you see these problems, there may be excess moisture. Be sure to check the condition of the nearest gutter. If painted gutters are peeling as well, then you very likely have a leak. And leaks and water damage need immediate attention!
Just as you will check for peeling paint, there are other signs of water damage to inspect for regularly. On a sunny day, you should easily be able to see the telltale signs of water damage around and beneath your gutters. This may look like rotting fascia, water stains, mildew, or puddles. Any of these signs could be an indication that it’s time for gutter replacement.
What to Do When It's Time for New Gutters
To keep your home safe, you need functioning gutters. And since new gutters can last 10+ years, you want to get the job done right! Luckily, TrustDALE has done the hard work to find safe, reliable, professionals for whatever gutter needs you may have.
Whether you’re looking for an inspection and cleaning, repairs, or a complete replacement. You can feel confident you’re getting the most cost-effective pricing without sacrificing quality. And when you use a TrustDALE certified professional, you're always protected by Dale's trademark
. So start looking for a trusted professional gutter installation company in your area today!