6 Signs It’s Time for New Gutters
The unsung heroes of every home’s first line of defense against Mother Nature, gutters—and downspouts—answer the call every time it rains to combat the natural enemy of any manmade structure: storm water.
The average residential gutter system gets the job done for decades—often without a hiccup. But like anything you build or install on a home, every gutter system has an expiration date.
Sometimes the signs are obvious—like when gutters sag or pull away from the house from holding too much weight. Other times the signs are subtle—like a small crack just one freezing cold day away from expanding into a large crack.
From rot and rust along the sides of the house to pools and puddles around the foundation, every homeowner deserves to know the most common signs it’s time to retire and replace—rather than repair—your gutters.
1. Cracks and splits.
While you’re up on the ladder clearing your gutters of leaves and debris—which you should be doing regularly to maintain a healthy drainage system—why not kill two birds with one stone by also inspecting for cracks and splits?
Our thoughts on gutter maintenance. Cleaning out your gutters every year keeps small, manageable issues from growing into large, expensive dilemmas. But if your lawn chair is calling your name this summer more than your ladder, then gutter guards are your home’s new best friend. Talk to the award-winning team at King Quality today to protect your home—and your downtime—with gutter guards.
Like holes in a bucket, cracks or splits defeat the purpose of having gutters in the first place. Small cracks don’t look like much. But over time, the smallest crack can grow into a major problem. Homes in freeze-and-thaw climates are especially vulnerable. Rainwater can freeze, expand inside a crack, and split it open wider.
Unlike larger cracks you can see on a dry, clear day, smaller cracks may only reveal themselves during a storm. Patch any crack or split you can find—no matter the size—and consider a new gutter system for extensive cracking or splitting.
2. Peeling paint.
Peeling or bubbling paint is more than unsightly. It’s a sign of a more serious problem including a malfunctioning gutter system.
Even the painted protective coating on galvanized steel gutters—which helps prevent rust from water and moisture—can peel. If it does, then you probably have a leak.
Consider replacing—rather than repairing—the closest gutter if the paint on your home exterior peels or bubbles beyond a couple of areas.
3. Orange areas or rust.
Orange areas or signs of rust—which typically only happen when gutters made from galvanized steel lose their protective coating—can appear around different areas including where the gutters join the house. When this happens, it’s time for new gutters.
4. Water and mildew around the foundation.
Downspouts channel water six feet away from your home’s foundation for a reason—because pools and puddles of built-up moisture can penetrate into the basement and grow unsightly, unhealthy, and often rather smelly mildew.
Mold and mildew that grows in a formerly dry, mildew-free area below ground has one notorious culprit: damaged gutters. If the problem persists after multiple repair attempts, the next logical step is to replace your gutters.
5. Water damage around or beneath the gutters.
Doing your regular gutter cleaning on a sunny day is a bright idea. First, because the warm sun feels good on your back. And second, because sunlight reveals signs of water damage around and beneath your gutters.
Gutter failure cascades rainwater over the side of a house. When left unchecked, problems emerge including rotting fascia, water stains, mildew, and puddles. Spot any one of these common culprits and new gutters may be in your not-so-distant future.
Over time, rotted exterior wood trim elements including windowsills and door jambs lose their power to keep rainwater out of your home. The next time you encounter water-damaged drywall, inspect your home’s storm drainage system. Your gutters could be one headache away from reaching the end of their lifespan.
6. Sagging gutters.
Gutters sag and pull away from the house when holding too much rainwater or debris, which usually happens when your gutters are unable to drain. When you spot this problem, it’s probably time to install a new, functioning water drainage system for your home.
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