Should gutters be repaired or replaced?

GUTTER SYSTEM

How long should gutters last?

Maybe you are one of those homeowners that isn’t even sure why your house has gutters, much less want to do any gutter cleaning or gutter repairs. Well, gutters serve an important purpose to your home’s stability by keeping the water channeled and moving it out away from your home’s foundation. 

Gutters aren’t the most expensive component on your home. However, you don’t want to have to do gutter repairs or gutter replacement very often either. So, which gutter material is best and will last the longest? 

  • Aluminum gutters and galvanized steel are the more common gutter materials, both can give you an estimated lifespan of twenty years or longer with a strict regime of gutter maintenance and keeping up with gutter repairs.  Choose a copper gutter system, a high-end option, has an expected lifespan of 50 years. 
  • Vinyl is the cheapest cost for gutters, easy for a DIY project with this lightweight material. Available in different colors and can be painted to match the exterior of a home. They offer a maximum lifespan of 20 years where the climate isn’t too cold or too hot. 
  • A highly durable gutter material is zinc. It is durable with rust resistance and won’t warp. They must be installed by a professional but will give you up to 50 years lifespan, turning in a beautiful patina over time. Gutter repairs will be rare but will need to be service by a professional. 

Is it normal for gutters to drip?

A dripping gutter may not seem like a big problem, but if left unaddressed, it can become a big and expensive problem. Overtime, a short time, a dripping gutter can ruin the siding on your home, rot the fascia and soffit, and even begin damaging the foundation. 

It is important to find the cause of the leak then make the needed gutter repairs. What causes damage to gutters?  Four common reasons gutters leak are:

1. Clogged

Clogged gutters are a huge part of why they leak. Cleaning gutters isn’t just something to give the teenage a chore when he’s in trouble. They really need to be cleaned to prevent them from filling up with debris and leaves. 

When gutters get filled with the debris and leaves, they can’t drain to the downspouts. So, then rain spills over the sides, backs up under the shingles, and will start to crack and separate at the seams. Leaves and debris stay stuck long enough, they’ll rot holes into the gutter too. Then you have leaking gutter repairs to take care of are quite easy to spot. In most cases, you’ll notice the problem as soon as you get a close look in your gutters.

2. Cracks and Holes

No matter how sturdy the gutter material you choose, it can develop a small crack or hole because of weathering. These are usually small issues that will take a quick minute for gutter repairing, but if you don’t repair it, those cracks and holes will grow. Use a waterproof sealant for this gutter repair while they’re small. 

3. Joints Separate or Improperly Sealed 

The joints of your gutters system are where each section connects, and over time, they can separate. Every month or so, take a few minutes to closely inspect your gutter system and if you see there has been some leaking around the joints. A quick gutter repair is spreading a waterproof sealant over the exterior side and the interior side. If the separation is very big, you may need to replace a section.

4. Slope Incorrect

A gutter system must have the right slope when installed for the rain to flow into them and toward the downspout as intended. Overtime, it is common for gutters to start sagging over time. This is typically because the fasteners have loosened or came off and the gutters are weighing them down when the water flows through. Easy gutter repair is to reconnect the fasteners to the fascia. 

Gutters are also damaged by ladders and tree limbs. If you find the need to use a ladder, be careful how you prop it against the house. Keep trees trimmed back so when limb do fall, they miss the gutters.

When do gutters need to be replaced?

Here are ten signs that gutter repair isn’t enough, and you need a gutter replacement: 

  1. Numerous cracks, holes, and/or rust spots.
  2. Several fasteners broken or missing.
  3. Missing nails and/or screws.
  4. Gutters have multiple separations.
  5. Gutters are pulling away from the roof in several places.
  6. Gutters are sagging in several places. 
  7. Paint is peeling on the fascia, soffit, and around the downspouts. 
  8. Water is pooling around the foundation. 

Can you replace part of a gutter?

Yes, if the damage is limited to one or two gutter runs. You can purchase gutter run sections and replace the damaged pieces, even on the downspouts. If you have a seamless gutter system, you can still replace the section by cutting out the damaged area and screw the replacement piece in, apply a sealant.  However, you will lose the seamless gutter system. 

Can I fix gutters myself?

Yes, if you don’t have a fear of heights and take all precautions to be on the roof. A properly placed ladder, a safety belt, rubber soled shoes and have at least one person helping you. 

aluminum gutter

Does homeowner’s insurance cover damaged gutters?

If you aren’t sure how to find a gutter repair company, an internet search will get you more than you could want. These are companies that offer installation as well as repairs, you may check with the company that installed them or your roofing contractor. 

If the damage was caused by an unforeseen accident or weather issue, yes, your homeowner’s insurance will probably pay for the replacement. Like a damaged roof claim, if the adjuster finds that the gutters have been neglected from cleaning and basic repairs, they will deny the claim. Call (856) 662-1382 today for your