Gutters are an integral part of your home’s exterior, serving as a crucial line of defence against water damage. However, like any other part of your home, they can deteriorate over time and require repair or replacement.
Recognising the signs of gutter damage early can save you from costly gutter repairs in the future. In this article, we will explore six signs that your gutters need immediate repair based on expert advice.
1. Sagging or Pulling Away from the House
One of the most obvious signs that your gutters need repair is when they start to sag or pull away from the house. This usually happens when the gutters are filled with water and debris, causing them to become too heavy for the hangers to support. If left unattended, sagging gutters can lead to more serious problems, such as damage to the fascia boards and soffits and even structural damage to your home.
2. Visible Cracks or Splits
Even small cracks in your gutters can become a big problem over time. Water can seep through these cracks, damaging the fascia boards behind the gutters, the shingles above the gutter, and the foundation below. While small cracks can sometimes be repaired, larger splits may require a complete gutter replacement.
3. Peeling Paint or Rust Stains
If you notice the paint on your house near the gutters starting to peel or rust stains appearing, it’s a clear sign that water is continually spilling over the side of the gutters. This could be due to a blockage, improper installation, or simply because the gutters are worn out and need to be replaced.
4. Water Damage or Mildew in the Basement
Water damage or mildew in your basement can be a sign of malfunctioning gutters. When gutters are clogged or damaged, rainwater can overflow and pool around the foundation of your house, leading to water damage or mildew in your basement. If you notice these signs, it’s time to have your gutters inspected and repaired.
5. Water Marks or Water Damage Beneath the Gutters
If you see water marks or water damage directly beneath your gutters, it’s likely that water is escaping due to a leak or overflow. This is a clear sign that your gutters are not doing their job of directing water away from your home.
6. Gutters are More Than 15 Years Old
Like most things, gutters have a lifespan. Most experts agree that gutters made of galvanised steel or aluminium should last about 20 years, and copper gutters can last up to 50 years. However, this can vary depending on the climate, the amount of trees near your home, and how well the gutters were maintained. If your gutters are more than 15 years old, it’s a good idea to have them inspected by a professional.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that gutters play a vital role in protecting your home from water damage. Ignoring these signs of gutter damage can lead to more serious problems down the line, such as structural damage to your home or a compromised foundation. Therefore, it’s crucial to regularly inspect your gutters and seek professional help at the first sign of trouble. Remember, preventative gutter maintenance is always more cost-effective than major repairs or replacements.