When Should I Replace My Gutters?

Gutters play a really big part in keeping your roof in solid condition and your La Plata home’s foundation well protected. But exactly how old are your gutters, and are they still doing their job effectively? Today the home service specialists at Southernwood Roofing & Siding are here to talk about how often gutters need replacing and the warning signs of when they begin to fail.

How Old Is Old When We’re Talking Gutters?

It depends! For the most part how old your gutters can be and still remain functional is more a matter of routine maintenance and inspection. But if you’re looking for hard numbers then it’s going to depend somewhat on the material. For example what you might call “standard” gutters (which would include galvanized steel, vinyl, and aluminum among others) are typically expected to last roughly 20 to 25 years. But if you use a higher quality and more costly material like copper that estimate can double, or even triple.

Inspection Is Your Best Indicator

Realistically a single time frame isn’t going to cover everything. If you take care of your gutters, they’ll take care of you. But at the same time it’s hard to account for the range of variables that can impact these numbers. Hard rain, skipped maintenance, no gutter guards—thees all play an important part. And because of this, a better unit of measurement becomes function and routine inspection rather than a frame of time.

You should either have your gutters inspected or you should do it yourself, and it needs to be done yearly at a minimum. When inspecting you need to watch out for:

  • Signs of rust and corrosion. Minor patches of rust can actually simply be cleaned away or repaired, which saves you a lot on costs and stress. But it needs to be removed quickly. Once rust exceeds a couple of inches on the gutters then replacement becomes the more likely solution!
  • Stressed or misshapen gutters. Sagging seams, dents, or gutters that allow water to flow under and around them will need to replaced. If not now, soon enough.
  • Leaking during rain. As part of your routine inspection be sure to have a look at your gutters during a healthy rain. No need for ladders, just checking to see they flow cleanly and don’t allow leaking is inspection enough.
  • Damage along the side of your home. Peeling paint and rot or mold present on siding and exterior windows tells you that water is getting where it shouldn’t. It’s not 100% certain that your gutters are at fault for this, but it’s plenty cause to get them checked out.
  • Foundation problems and basement flooding. Basement flooding can be caused by a lot of home problems. But it needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid extensive water damage, and your gutters should be among the features of your home that are checked.

Many of the above issues can be avoided by ensuring you get routine maintenance, and some of them can even be remedied with gutter repair. The most important thing here is to not let an issue lie—get it checked or check it yourself, but either way consistency is the key to gutter longevity and protection for your home investments.

Looking for help or need new gutters for your La Plata home? The team at Southernwood Roofing & Siding is ready to help! We can match your home with the perfect high quality gutters. Contact us online today or call 301.934.0043 to learn more!

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