Your home’s gutter system is an area that is easy to forget about until problems arise. If damaged or old gutters aren’t repaired or replaced promptly, they can cause even more issues that are expensive to reverse. Here are several signs that your home may need a new gutter system to avoid further problems later on.
1. Weather-Related Damage to the Gutters
Severe weather conditions can cause more damage to gutters than every other area of your home. Thunderstorms, rain, and wind can cause dents in the gutters or loosen screws. Cracks, holes, and rust spots can also be the result of various weather conditions. These issues can be fixed using a seal if there are only a few compromised areas. However, too many damaged areas are an indicator that it is time for a new system.
Strong winds and hail can damage pieces of metal that hold your gutter to the roof and keep your gutter system level. These include fasteners, nails, or screws. Some fasteners can be fixed, and nails or screws can be adjusted, but repeat instances indicate that you are likely due for a new system.
2. Gutter Wear and Tear
Since gutters are on the exterior of the home, general wear and tear are natural. Even if gutters are properly maintained for the lifetime of the home, the elements can cause them to deteriorate. One sign that gutters may be too worn is when they separate from other gutters within the system. Gutters must be connected to create a continuous channel that allows them to work correctly. A few adjustments may be a temporary solution, but more problems may surface eventually.
Gutters pulling away from the roof is often a sign that the system is outdated. If there is space between the gutter and roofline, this may cause the fascia boards to rot. Likewise, sagging or improperly pitched gutters will cause precipitation to pool in certain sections with the potential to cause further damage. If you notice any of these problems in your home’s gutter system, it is likely time for a new system.
3. Year Your Last Gutter System Was Installed
The clearest sign that you need to replace your gutter system is how old it is. Your home’s gutter system should be replaced about every 20 years. If the system has been well maintained, it may last several more years. However, homeowners who have lived in their home for over 15 years and haven’t replaced their gutters should start thinking about replacing the system soon.
4. Pooling Water
Water can pool below your gutters for several reasons. The system may be clogged with leaves and simply need to be cleared out. If the problem continues, there is likely a more serious problem. Pooling water can erode the landscaping or seep into the foundation if the core issue is not resolved in a timely manner. Malfunctioning gutters may not be as obvious as pooling water, so it may indicate your gutters need to be repaired or replaced altogether.
5. Water Damage to the Home’s Siding and Foundation
Leaks in your basement may be a result of a damaged gutter system. When water pools by the foundation, it can seep into the foundation causing rots or cracks and may lead to water damage in the basement to walls, carpets, or window seals. Sometimes, cracks and holes in gutters are difficult to see from ground level. However, water can seep through and flow down the side of the home, causing the exterior paint to peel if the problem is persistent. This can also happen if the gutters are clogged and water pours over the gutters’ sides.
6. Maintenance Has Become Too Difficult
If you find you are getting up on the ladder too often, for whatever reason, it may be time to replace your gutter system. You can try to resolve issues as they occur, but if they are persistent and you find yourself on a ladder once a month, it is probably time for new gutters. A new gutter system with gutter guards, downspouts, and splash blocks is a great investment into your property. It will save you time in repairs and maintenance as well as provide a positive return if you are planning to sell your home anytime soon.