Your home’s gutters play a crucial role in protecting your property from costly water damage and other dangers. Depending on where you live, the types of trees you have on your property and weather events common to your area, you should clean your gutters at least twice a year to ensure they don’t get clogged.
Even with regular maintenance, though, your gutters will eventually need to be repaired or replaced to keep your house protected. To help you determine whether that time has come, Home Depot offers five signs to look out for:
Cracks or splits. Even small cracks will grow, allowing water to seep into the fascia boards behind the gutters, the shingles above the gutter and the foundation below. Replace any split or cracked sections of gutter.
Paint damage and rust. The paint on your gutters is weather resistant. Peeling paint or rust indicates that water is present on the surface on a continuous basis. Look for clogs and remove debris to get the water flowing. Replace or touch up the paint on the damaged section of the gutter.
Pools of water and mold. If you see standing water or mildew near the foundation, it can indicate one of two things: the gutters are clogged, or there could be a defect in the gutter system. Remove the clog. If the problem persists, replace that section of gutter and downspout.
Water damage or water marks. Inspect directly beneath the gutters on a dry, sunny day for any evidence of water damage. Water damage underneath gutters can indicate that they’re leaking or overflowing with water. Look for possible blockages in the area. If there are none, this indicates that the section has a crack or leak that’ll need to be repaired or replaced.
Gutter sag. This is a definite sign that it’s time to replace gutters. Gutters should never sag or pull away from the house. Sagging gutters means that they’re no longer draining properly and need to be replaced. This may be a good time to look into upgrading your old ones with gutter guards, screens or seamless gutters.
If you’re uncomfortable on a ladder or can’t perform gutter cleaning and inspections on your own for any reason, consider hiring a pro to do the job for you.