Top Five Signs that You Need New Gutters
Gutters play an important in your home’s design. Properly functioning gutters direct water away from the exterior walls, windows, doors and foundation, preventing water problems inside the house. Although cleaning the gutters will help to enhance operation, broken or worn gutters need to be repaired or replaced in order to protect your living space and retain property value.
How do you know when or if you need new gutters? Watch out for these five signs and closely monitor the condition of this essential exterior element.
# 1 – Visible Cracking and Splitting
Gutters come in sections and joints are covered with sleeves to ensure a seamless path for rainwater. Cracks or splits in the joints may be solved with new fittings or minor repairs, depending on the scope of the damage. However, older gutters will split along the channels, resulting in spillage and an interruption of flow.
Even tiny cracks can become major problems over the course of a season. Make note of any smaller cracks or shorter splits, and monitor for changes. Often the swinging temperatures of early spring and late autumn will spell disaster for cracked or split gutters, and small infractions grow to large gaps in a matter of days.
# 2 – Standing Water
If you discover standing water or puddles along the foundation, look up. Broken gutters cannot direct water away from the immediate area and spillage collects in unusual places, often draining away after a day or two. But remember that this water needs to drain away from your house, to avoid basement water problems and flooding in window wells or around patio doors.
You may notice standing water around the base of your downspout, which can be corrected with the installation of a dry well or by adding an extension to move water beyond that area.
# 3 – Peeling Paint
Painted areas below and beside gutters and downspouts will often peel or flake away when exposed to an inordinate amount of water. Broken gutters result in spillage and overflow, and that water deteriorates paint rapidly, causing peeling.
Watch for patches of peeled paint on siding, trim, decks and patio furniture near the gutters. Without immediate repairs to the paint and gutters, that area will soon rot and decay, resulting in expensive repairs.
# 4 – Mildew and Excessive Organic Growth
Organics thrive when rainwater is left standing in a clogged gutter. Critters will often set up a home nearby this convenient fresh water source, and those organics and pests soon create trouble for your house. If you spot mildew on the walls or patio or around windows, doors and trim, inspect the closest gutter for clogging and blockage. This could be a result of build up in the gutters, easily solved with a thorough cleaning, but it may also be caused by warped gutters, broken clips and cracked channels.
Rust stains are another sign of gutter breakdown, and often show up on the grass or patio around the downspout. This reddish stain indicates corrosion within your gutters. If you detect mildew, organic growth or rust stains in the area, schedule a thorough inspection.
# 5 – Rotted Shingles
Keep a close eye on the outer edge of your roof. Clogging and blockage triggers a back up of rain water in your gutters, causing shingles along the outer rim of your roof to rot. Watch for these shingles to curl and disintegrate much quicker than the balance of your roof. And pay attention to any areas where the shingle deterioration rate seems especially fast.
With a keen eye and the right knowledge, you can discover when you need new gutters. Watch for these signs and call your contractor right away, should something indicate a problem with your gutters.