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Five Signs It's Time for New Gutters

by Lily Carroll

Gutters protect your home from the damaging effect of water. They catch the water from the roof and send it to the downspouts, which transport it away from your home. That protects everything from your siding, to your foundation, to your landscaping.

If your gutters aren't working correctly, your home may be at risk. Wondering if it's time for new gutter replacements? Here are five signs it's time.

1. Visible Holes

If you see visible holes when you look up at your gutters, that is a definite sign that it's time to think about replacements. If there aren't many holes, however, you may want to try repairing them first. Cut a patch out of a piece of metal flashing or sheet metal. Then, glue the patch in place using roofing cement.

2. Erosion Under the Gutters

In other cases, you may not see holes in your gutters, but you may see the effects of broken gutters on the ground around your home. In particular, if you see any bits of pavement with dents formed due to dripping rain, that is a sign that your gutters are at the end of their useful life. Ground erosion and frequent puddles under the gutters are other signs to look for.

3. Bent Gutters

Gutters need to be straight or they won't work as designed. Bent gutters pull away from your home, and they leave gaps between the roof and the gutter. That allows water to stream from the roof onto your home's exterior. Although you can try to bend the gutters into a straight line, that typically doesn't work that well. The metal on most gutters is relatively thin, and it can break with repeated bending.

4. Resistance to Repairs

In some cases, you can reattach gutters that are falling off. A few well placed screws can do wonders. As indicated above, you can also patch holes in your gutters.

However, after a while, the gutters may not respond to repairs. They may seem to detach from your house as soon as you tighten the screws, or new holes may appear as soon as you patch the old ones. In these cases, you should also start to think about gutter replacement.  

5. Rotten Board

Gutters often attach to a fascia board. If this board is rotting or falling apart, your gutters won't have anything to attach to. They will lean forward and won't effectively catch the water from the roof. This is a sign that you need to replace the supporting board as well as the gutters.