What do houses and bowling alleys share in common? They both need gutters! Ha ha! Bet you didn’t know that Exterior Pro is also a comedy pro.
But instead of providing a challenge, a home’s gutter system prevents serious problems. If your home doesn’t have gutters, then the meltwater and rainwater that pour off its roof pose two pressing threats. First, they can seep into your home’s foundation where they may cause flooding and mold growth. No one likes preventable property damage or inhaling mycotoxins. Second, they can cause soil erosion that leads to even greater damage to your foundation. Furthermore, if you’ve planted nice flowers around your home, they’re going to be toast as soon as a heavy rain arrives to beat them into submission.
Does your home already have gutters? Good! But you should keep a close eye on them, because replacing gutters before they start to fail is the best way to avoid potentially extensive – and expensive – property damage. Here are the five signs that it’s time to replace your gutters!
Gutters Are Separating, Splitting or Cracking
Gutters are joined together at their seams. If you assume that those seams are the weakest points in your gutter system, then you are extremely correct. Give your gutters a thorough visual inspection once every year – no ladder required. If you notice any pieces that are becoming detached, replacing the entire gutter system may prove the most cost-effective course of action. If you notice any gutter pieces that are splitting or cracking but otherwise correctly attached to adjacent pieces, replacement is still an advisable option.
Gutters Are Rusting, or Their Paint Is Peeling
The majority of gutter systems are painted or otherwise coated for enhanced protection against the elements. Once its protective coating shows any indication of peeling away, rust is certain to follow (assuming the gutters are made of a corrodible material). Rust spots will inevitably turn into holes that render the entire gutter system ineffective. Worse yet, rust spots will cause brown ferric particles to accumulate on your home’s siding. If you see ugly vertical stains on your siding, you can reasonably assume where they came from.
Gutters Are Sagging
Gutters can start to bow for a couple of reasons. First, they’re overladen with water because they are clogged, inadequately sloped, or no longer draining effectively for some other reason. Second, their fasteners have weakened to an extent where they can no longer support the gutters’ weight. While repairing them is theoretically possible, sagging gutters probably have other problems that will necessitate their imminent replacement.
Water Is Pooling Around Foundation
When water leaks or spills out of a gutter, there’s only one direction it can go: down. If puddles or mildew have begun to accumulate in the area immediately surrounding your foundation, failing gutters are nearly certain to blame. Likewise, if you have noticed water accumulating inside your basement – especially following a big storm or thaw – the problem may stem from your gutters.
Gutters Are Approaching End of Their Lifespan
Your gutters may appear to function seamlessly, but that won’t be the case for very long if they’re nearing the end of their lifespan. A gutter system’s lifespan depends on which type of material it’s made of. If you know when your home’s current gutters were installed, schedule an inspection once they’re old enough to start giving out.
- Vinyl – 10 to 15 years
- Galvanized stainless steel – 15 to 20 years
- Aluminum – 25 years
- Wood – 20 to 50 years
- Zinc – 50 years
- Stainless steel – 50 years
- Copper – 100 years
If you have noticed any of the telltale signs that your gutters are failing, don’t fail to take action! Contact Exterior Pro today to request a free inspection and estimate for new gutters at your home or commercial property in the greater St Cloud, Little Falls, Alexandria or Brainerd, MN areas. Only a nutter would neglect their gutters!