Gutters serve the important function of diverting water away from your home, preventing costly damage and keeping your siding and foundation in good working order. With regular maintenance, gutters can last for many years. But if they’re beginning to show signs of wear, it may be time to repair or replace them. These are a few things to look out for.
1. ARE YOUR GUTTERS SAGGING?
If you see your gutters leaning or pulling away from your house, don’t wait to call a gutter-repair pro. When it’s caught early, it’s usually a simple fix — it’s often a broken spike or hanger causing the issue. Repairing the hardware prevents more serious problems, like a rotting fascia board or complete collapse. A pro can set things right in no time, and they can also inspect your gutters to see if there’s a larger issue that needs attention.
2. DO YOU SEE ANY LEAKS?
If your gutters are cleaned out and you still notice water escaping, you probably have a leak. Don’t worry — it’s generally not a complicated or pricey repair. If you see the leak at a joint between sections, you can reseal it. If you notice a damaged or cracked spot, you can patch it. Keep an eye on the area for additional leaks in the future, as the repairs may create a weak spot and invite a recurring problem.
3. DO YOU NOTICE VISIBLE DAMAGE?
There are early signs of gutter damage that can help you stay one step ahead of the problem. For example, if you see peeling paint or orange flecks, it might mean there’s standing water. If there are water marks or water damage beneath your gutters, that’s a likely sign that water is escaping. Finally, if you see mildew or pooling water near your foundation, that’s another symptom of a problem. If you notice any of these issues, you should call in an expert to help figure out where exactly the problem is, and how to fix it.
4. DO YOU CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS REGULARLY?
Cleaning your gutters once or twice a year — usually in spring and fall — is a great first line of defense against issues like debris buildup and clogging that can cause bigger problems. If you have a lot of trees, hedges and bushes around your home, you may need to clear out your gutters more frequently – and don’t forget about your downspout, as a blocked downspout can cause issues, too.
If you’re interested in additional protection against debris buildup, consider installing a gutter guard. While there’s no such thing as maintenance-free gutters, a guard can assist with minimizing buildup, especially if you have large trees around your house.
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