Gutters are very important to our homes. Since water inevitably causes rot and decay, we need the rain to be directed away from vulnerable parts of the house like the foundations and the walls. Gutter systems are built to do this safely and effectively, but they can’t do it forever. As with all things, they get old and weak, eventually losing their durability and effectiveness. And nothing spells disaster more than not knowing that one of the house’s major components is failing internally. So in order to minimize the impact caused by this aging process, you have to be able to correctly tell if your gutters need replacement. Here are the signs that you have to look out for.

An eroded yard

Eroded soil can stem from gutters that need immediate replacement. Broken gutter systems can’t handle downpours anymore, so they let the water run right over them. The rainwater falls off of your roof and carries bits of yard soil as it trails off. This becomes very apparent if your lawn looks uneven, less “dense” and if the grass’ roots are showing.

Seams ripping apart 

Seams are held together by fasteners like screws and bolts, and they’re applied with sealants to keep the rainwater from getting out. However, when the gutters get old, the materials that make up the seams eventually lose their durability, gradually causing them to pull apart and create gaps for water to leak through.

While there are seams that can be repaired, they’re usually not cost-effective because most of them keep breaking apart again and again. You are better off installing a new gutter system if you want your money’s worth. Homeowners who are especially annoyed with this problem install seamless one-piece gutters.

Fasteners falling to the ground

Since seams break, the fasteners that used to hold them together drop out. Therefore, you can tell if your gutters need replacement if  you find broken and old screws, bolts, nails, brackets, spikes and even remnants of the sealants laying in your yard. You can try and replace these fasteners. But this occurrence usually signals the end of your old gutter system.

Constant clogging

If your gutters are blocked more than usual, then it’s probably time for you to get new and better ones. Frequently clogged gutters are a sign of their age and their inability to cope with the amount of debris your roof is getting. If you don’t get new gutters now, you’ll end up with even more problems with runaway precipitation.

Flooding

One way to tell if your gutters need replacement is to count how many times your basement has mysteriously been flooded. As mentioned, old gutters can’t control heavy downpours. So the water falls from your roof and into your home’s foundation and basement.

Water damage on your house’s foundation Water stained basement walls

If haven’t experienced flooding incidents, then check for rot and mildew around your home’s foundations. If you notice discoloration, excess moisture, puddles, mold and mildew, you’ll need a new and more effective gutter system immediately. Otherwise, you’ll have more costly repair jobs to face.

Water marks on the gutters

Inspect your gutter system at least twice a year to see if water hasn’t done irreversible damages to it. Rust, corrosion and thinning can promote water leakage that will slowly destroy your roof, the fascia and your home’s facade. If you see streaks or stains from water over flowing your gutters this is a clue there may be a clog.

Sagging, detached gutters water filled gutter from clog

Lastly, there isn’t much you can do with a severely detached or sagging gutter. If it’s pulling away from your house, its advanced deteriorating state can’t handle the weight of the water and the debris inside it. It’s also more than likely that the fascia board has rotted and that the fasteners have given out.

If you’re new to situations like this, do not attempt to fix it on your own. Trying to DIY things like this can cause more harm to your house and yourself. Call professionals for help and let them install new gutters instead. Our crews are trained in safety and understand rain management to help keep you and your home protected for years to come.  

Want to know more? Read this: What damages gutters?