One of the joys of Springtime is climbing a ladder and taking a peek inside your home’s gutters. Chances are, you’ll find a lot of accumulation from the past year. Leaves, twigs, dirt, trapped water—even tennis balls or other objects. It’s a satisfying feeling to clear the junk away and free your gutters to do their job as the Springtime rain begins to fall.
But does the problem end here? It’s possible that your gutters aren’t functioning as they should because they’re faulty, broken, poorly installed, or just plain old. New gutters are an extra cost that you probably haven’t planned for, so it’s wise to find out for sure if your gutters are in need of replacement. If you notice any of the following signs while inspecting your gutter system, it may be time to start thinking about starting fresh.
1. Separated or leaky seams
Many gutter systems are designed in sections that are fastened together. These sections often pull apart, sag, and eventually leak as the seasons pass. Again, if the problem is localized, a simply DIY repair might do the trick. If several seams show signs of wear and leakage, new gutters are a serious consideration. Note that seamless gutter systems are gaining in popularity, precisely because they eliminate the problems associated with weak seams.
Cracked gutters are a definite sign that repairs or replacements are needed. If you see only one or two cracks, repair is an option. But if the cracking is widespread and systematic, new gutters are in order. Otherwise much of the water will never reach your downspouts, and will instead pour down around your home. This can cause flooding and foundation issues over time. Cracks are not always visible, so be sure to check your gutters during rainfall, or use a hose to run water through your gutters and check for hidden leaks.
3. Peeling, rotting and mold
Here is where faulty gutters can affect the integrity of your home and lead to costly repairs. If you notice areas beneath your gutters where the paint is warping or peeling, your gutters are probably not working right. If this problem continues, the wood and other building materials of your home’s exterior will begin to weaken. Likewise, mildew and mold growth on your home’s exterior may be the result of faulty gutters. These are all important signs that your gutters need to be checked.
Investing in the future
New gutters may not be at the top of your wish list, but they are a vital part of your home, and neglecting faulty gutters can lead to much more expensive complications and repairs. By checking your gutters regularly for signs of deterioration, you’ll be able to tell when a simple cleaning will do the trick, and when you might have to get on the phone with a professional for a proper inspection. The good news is, the average cost of a new gutter system is relatively moderate, and as long as the hardware is installed by a qualified home renovation specialist or similar professional, your new gutters should serve you well for years to come.
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