A proper water discharge system is an essential structural aspect of a house. Without a proper channel for disposal, rainwater can quickly settle and seep through your home, and eventually compromise the integrity of your house’s foundation. Unfortunately, although water damage is common in many residential structures, homeowners often unknowingly neglect appropriate rainwater management.
If you’ve had a fair share of water damage inside and outside your property, you’re probably already familiar with the difficulty of saving, recovering, and trying to restore water-damaged household items.
Is It Time To Replace Your Gutter?
The good news is, by just regularly checking your gutter system, you’ll likely save your property from accumulating water damage. If you have a rainwater gutter that’s been built for some time, make it a point to inspect them regularly and check for any signs of damage, especially if you’re in a location that often gets rough weather.
For minor damages, such as small cracks and minor misalignments, you can call professional roof plumbing services like Off Tap Plumbing. However, if your gutter’s damage seems beyond repair, you’re better off replacing it. When there’s too much damage, a replacement is more cost-effective than having to do multiple or repetitive repairs. If you’re unsure whether or not your gutter is better off with a replacement, here are five signs as good as a green light:
1. Visible Signs Of Old Age
Like any other components of your home’s water systems, gutters degrade over time. The most common type of gutters, which are made of galvanised aluminium or steel, last for around 20 years. Meanwhile, ones with higher-end materials like copper have a lifespan of up to 60 years with consistent care and maintenance.
If your steel gutter is over 10 years old and is showing significant signs of wear and tear, you can expect a replacement soon. However, sometimes, gutters don’t even last their typical lifespan, particularly if there was no care and maintenance given from the beginning.
So, aside from its current condition, you can use both your gutter’s material and maintenance history to make a judgment if it’s time for a replacement.
2. Large Splits, Cracks, and Holes
If you’re in a freeze-thaw region, your gutters are more susceptible to splits and cracks as water can quickly expand into ice. Such physical damages in gutters are often initially repaired as a first option. But if you’re spending on countless repairs for splits, cracks, and holes in your gutter system, it’s best to have it replaced with a new one that’s more durable. There are also small gutter damages that can still spread even after sealant remediation, especially if it’s a DIY fix. Moreover, a gutter that’s covered with too much sealant can look unsightly and impact your property’s curb appeal.
It’s worth noting when you notice cracks, it’s ideal to check the rest of your gutter system thoroughly before thinking of repairs. This will give you a complete idea of the extent or number of damages, and help you decide if repairs are still a practical option. Furthermore, it will help you avoid missing hidden or subtle damages that only become apparent when it’s too late. If it turns out that your gutters are riddled with cracks or holes, it’s time for a replacement.
3. Extensive Rust
Aside from copper, steel, and aluminium, gutters may also be made of vinyl or wood. Gutter materials made of metal are susceptible to rust that can quickly deteriorate the structural integrity of your gutter system.
Since gutters are under constant exposure to environmental elements, like moisture and humidity, they can oxidise into rust when in frequent contact with rainwater. Before showing signs of corrosion, you’ll notice that the protective coating of your gutters will start to come off and develop orange-coloured spots.
Aside from its visual impact, rust can slowly eat away the metal components of your gutter and eventually lead to holes. If you’re paying attention to your gutters regularly, damages like this can be remedied before they become irreversible. But if rust has eaten away on a significant portion of your gutter, it’s time to get a replacement.
4. Weakened Fascia From Damage
The fascia, or the wooden side panel that separates the gutter from your exteriors, is an integral part of the gutter system. Sometimes, undetected water damage can penetrate this layer. Usually, there are no obvious signs, until you notice fasteners becoming loose and even new holes and realignments can’t fix it.
When the fascia becomes too weak to hold your gutter system tightly together, replacement is your only option.
5. Improper Water Pitching
If there are soils around downspouts that always look muddy, it means there’s too much water flowing where there shouldn’t be. The same goes when you notice leaks in the basement and mould growth in crawl spaces and exterior siding and walls around the gutter. These are all signs of a faulty gutter.
The primary role of your gutter system is to keep water away from your home’s foundation and direct it down to street gutters and storm drains. However, if water from your gutter seems to flow in the wrong direction, it’s time to call a gutter replacement service. If your gutter is no longer able to pitch water properly, the problem often lies in the entire system itself, which is impossible to correct with repairs.
Taking Care Of Your New Gutter
A gutter replacement takes more time and money, so it’s important to not only invest in high-quality materials, but also to take steps in maintaining and inspecting it at least twice a year. If you recognise one or more of these signs, find a contractor in your area that can also properly assess the rest of your gutter system. In a gist, replacing your gutter will come down to the type of damage it has sustained and its extent. It will also pay to learn how to identify potential gutter issues, especially subtle ones that most homeowners wouldn’t even notice.