How to Know If You Should Repair or Replace Your Gutters
Gutters can last 20 to 30 years. Cleaning them on a regular basis can extend their life, but in some cases you will need to repair or even replace them.
The extent of the damage will dictate whether you need to repair or replace your gutters. If there are only one or two damaged areas, they can probably be repaired. If you have problems in multiple sections or if you have repaired a problem and it came back, it may be time to replace your gutters.
Gutters can become blocked with debris, such as leaves or pine needles. If you see water marks under your gutters or pooling water or mildew near the foundation, it is a sign that your gutters and/or downspouts are clogged and need to be cleaned.
If your gutters are sagging or pulling away from the house, you need to repair them quickly to prevent rotting fascia board or collapse. Gutters typically sag because of a broken hanger or spike. Check the area and replace any broken hardware. If the spike holes have become worn and loose, you can use screw-in spikes instead of hammer-in ones. Gutters can also sag from the weight of debris, ice, or stress such as a ladder leaning on them. If your gutters are warped, you may need to replace that section.
If your gutters are not clogged but water is escaping, there is a leak. If the leak is at the joints between sections of the gutters, they can be resealed. If the gutters are cracked from corrosion or other damage, they can be patched, but it may become a recurring problem.
Gutters should have an imperceptible pitch toward the downspout of 1/8 or 1/16 inch per foot to allow water to flow. If your gutters are not blocked but water is pooling, they could be improperly pitched. This could be due to improper installation or the house settling. It is important to address the problem before it leads to corrosion or creates a breeding ground for insects such as mosquitoes.
Some gutter repairs can be done by a homeowner. Keep in mind that it is delicate work that does require some skill, as well as materials and tools. If you are not confident that you know how to repair your gutters, it is best to hire a professional contractor such as CT Gutter & Exteriors for the job.