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Rain, Rain Go Away: When Is It Time to Replace Your Gutters?

May 31, 2023

Rain, Rain Go Away: When Is It Time to Replace Your Gutters?

Rain, Rain Go Away: When Is It Time to Replace Your Gutters?


Though they’re often overlooked, gutters play a vital role in making sure a house doesn’t incur damage from running water. While it’s necessary to regularly clean them, it’s equally important to know when it’s time to replace them. By looking out for certain signs, homeowners can save themselves from many other maintenance problems by replacing or repairing the gutters when necessary.

Paying Attention to Water

Observing the way water behaves, during and after rain showers, can give some insight into the condition of the gutters. As their primary function is to channel water away from where it can cause damage, noticing when water ends up in different areas, or behaves unusually, is important in determining whether or not the gutters need repair or replacement.

Leaking water in the basement is usually a sign that something’s wrong with the gutters. While this can also be indicative of other problems, it usually means the gutters are either clogged or need to be replaced. If they’ve been cleaned recently and the leaks are still occurring, significant repair or replacement may be necessary.

Stagnant water remaining in the gutters is also a bad sign. This is usually most noticeable when leaves and other debris have been removed. Generally, there will be an issue with the alignment or structure of the gutters.

Although they may be draining water, making sure the gutters are doing so in the right way is key to knowing if they need replacement. Pay close attention to the sound of the water draining during rainstorms; if there’re any sounds of the water splashing against the ground, it means water isn’t being channeled correctly and is spilling over the sides. This is often the result of clogged or damaged gutters.

If puddles or water channels are forming in new areas around the home, it’s probably a sign that the gutters are failing. Check spots where gutters would normally gather the runoff from the rain for standing water.

Checking the Gutters

While noticing how water is behaving after a rainstorm can provide information on the condition of the gutters, sometimes it takes nothing more than observing them to determine if they’re in need of being replaced.

While rust is usually a sure way to know if the gutters are reaching the end of their life, you’ll also want to ensure they’re not sagging and have no gaps, major dents and cracks. Telltale signs like these aren’t always apparent, but when they are, it means the gutters need to be replaced right away.

Looking for Signs Around the House

Sometimes, the signs of failing gutters are subtler, which is why it absolutely essential to look after and maintain your gutters. Paying attention to the condition of a house can often indicate whether or not replacement is necessary.

Mold forming in the basement is one of the first signs of a problem, especially if it wasn’t already an issue. This doesn’t require a tremendous amount of water; as long as the area is damp and moist, which can result from gutters leaking, mold will form.

Rust stains, peeling paint and eroding wood on the outside of the house is another sign of water splashing and spilling when it shouldn’t be. Correctly functioning gutters prevent this by funneling the runoff and moving water away from where it can damage the house. This doesn’t always mean the gutters need to be completely replaced; sometimes, they just need to be cleaned or repaired, but it’s cause for concern.

Spotting the Signs

When gutters start to fail, there are a number of signs to let you know. By catching these early, you can cut down on the amount of damage uncontrolled water can cause. Noticing any of these should prompt an immediate call to a professional to determine at what extent, if at all, the gutters need to be repaired or replaced.

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