Your gutters are your first line of defense against all sorts of water damage to your home. When they’re functioning properly, they collect stormwater from your roof and efficiently move that water away from your home.
But when your gutters aren’t functioning properly, you’re at much higher risk of experiencing all sorts of water damage, including these types:
- Foundation damage
- Water leaks in the basement
- Lawn damage from improper drainage
- Fascia damage
Wondering if it’s time to replace your gutters? Here are five signs to watch out for.
Sign 1: Gutter Has Cracks or Splits
The first major sign it’s time for some gutter work is when you can see cracks or splits in portions of your gutters.
Why? Well, the simple truth is that small cracks in your gutters will turn into big cracks. It’s only a matter of time. Even if you don’t see any water leaking through the cracks yet, they will be large enough to start leaking soon.
Additionally, cracks can redirect the water flow in your gutters, causing water to divert from the intended path. When this happens, you’ll be at a much greater risk of creating water damage wherever the water ends up.
Small cracks can be hard to see. If you’re concerned about cracks or splits in your gutters but aren’t sure whether you have any yet, here’s what to do.
Inspect your gutters on a clear, sunny day when your gutters are dry. Look for any places where dirt and debris are accumulating oddly or almost sticking to your gutters. Cracks will “catch” debris or dirt long before getting bad enough to leak. So when your gutters dry out, some debris remains in those cracks.
If you’re seeing odd patterns of dirt or debris, your gutters likely have small cracks. It’s time to get a gutter replacement before the cracks start doing real damage to your home.
Sign 2: There Is Water Pooling in Yard or Basement
A properly installed and fully functioning gutter system doesn’t stop at the roofline. The complete system will direct water flow away from your home. If you’re seeing water pooling in your yard near your home’s structure or your basement, it’s time to start looking into replacing gutters before you end up with a larger exterior renovation.
Pooling water in your yard or basement is a serious threat to your home. Over time, pooling water can cause serious structural damage to your home.
Sometimes you may not see pooling water even when it’s occurring. If you’re seeing lots of mildew in a particular area — more than seems typical for the rest of your house or your neighbors — this can be a sign of water pooling.
People often ask “how much does it cost to replace gutters?” because they’re concerned about the cost. Just remember, the gutter replacement cost for your home is far, far lower than the cost of remediating structural damage.
Sign 3: There Is Visible Water Damage to the Foundation
Water damage to the foundation of your home is a serious issue, and many people wouldn’t suspect their gutters as the culprit. But again, when your gutters aren’t operating properly, stormwater doesn’t end up where it’s supposed to.
Properly installed and maintained gutters will keep water from pooling near or leaking into your foundation. But old, worn gutters that aren’t draining properly can frequently lead to foundation damage.
This happens often and can be quite costly to fix. The thing is, it’s an almost completely preventable problem. Replacing your gutters in time will avoid most instances of water damage to the foundation.
Quick note: if you do notice visible water damage to the foundation, don’t wait. Repairs will be costly, but the cost just keeps rising the worse the problem gets.
Sign 4: Gutters Are Sagging or Pulling Away from the House
Take a quick look around your home’s exterior. Are there any spots where the gutters are visibly sagging and pulling away from the house? If so, that’s a problem and is likely a sign that you need gutter replacement soon.
Gutters are fastened to the side of your home, and they should never look like they are sagging or bending. If they do, they will begin to displace water flow, letting water into places where it can do damage.
Debris buildup in your gutters can weigh them down and cause them to start pulling from the side of the house. Weather can contribute as well, taking its toll over the years on the gutters and house alike.
As far as when to replace gutters, this is one sign that doesn’t always lead to an immediate gutter replacement. You can try hammering in some fasteners first, but be aware that this tends to be a short-term fix, not a long-term one.
If you’ve already hammered in fasteners a few times and the gutter continues to pull away, it’s time for a gutter replacement. You don’t want to end up with waterlogged or rotting fascia boards or other forms of water damage.
Sign 5: The Exterior Paint is Peeling
The fifth and final sign that it’s time to replace your gutters is peeling exterior paint near your gutters. When you see peeling paint, you can assume there’s water present that isn’t draining as intended.
The same is true if you see persistent stains or peeling paint on the side of your house below the gutters, or areas where water stains seem worse than the rest of the home after storms.
In these situations, you know that there’s water present where it shouldn’t be. Your gutters aren’t doing the job anymore and need to be replaced before the added water leads to deeper damage. If you don’t take care of the gutters soon, you could be on the hook for a much more expensive exterior renovation.
Bonus tip: If your home is outfitted with older metal gutters, you may begin to notice rust. A little rust on the gutters themselves isn’t necessarily a problem. But if you start seeing flakes of rust coming off or even rust stains on parts of your house, that’s an easy way to tell that it’s time to replace your gutters.
Not sure where to start with gutter replacement? Let Tilghman Builders help you!
If you’re wondering how to replace gutters, we have good news: doing so is a fairly simple process. It’s still one best left to the professionals, but it can be done quickly and without serious interference at your home.
When you hire Tilghman Builders to handle your gutter replacement, we’ll start by removing the old gutters and properly disposing of them. Next, we’ll install new seamless aluminum gutters, which are far less likely to experience clogs than traditional gutters.
For our gutter installations, we use screws rather than the traditional gutter spikes. This superior installation method reduces the likelihood of the gutter separating from the fascia board (see Sign 4 above for a reminder of why this matters).
Tilghman Builders is a name that homeowners in Bucks and Montgomery Counties have trusted for over 35 years. We have a wealth of experience in exterior services, including gutter replacement, and we’re ready to help you with your next project. Reach out today to see what we can do for you!