Eavestroughs, or “gutters”, direct the water that runs off your roof away from your home. They play an important role in protecting your home from damage both inside and out. While it’s easy to miss the signs that your eavestroughs are aging, paying attention to their performance in the spring and fall can help you avoid significant, costly damage. Here are the warning signs your eavestroughs need to be replaced.
1. Water Dripping Everywhere
When eavestroughs are free of damage and clogs, they should remain effective even in extensive downpours. While it might be a wet job, it’s a good idea to put on a raincoat or grab an umbrella the next time it rains and walk around your house to see how the water flows. If you are seeing minimal dripping, chances are they are fine. Although it can be hard to tell if the water is raindrops or overflow, if you are seeing cascading water, or ongoing, persistent dripping that appears to be coming from your eavestroughs, it’s time to call in an expert to examine them more closely.
2. Damaged Seams
Older gutters require a series of troughs connected by seams to span the perimeter of your roof edge. These seams will ultimately begin to separate over time from the force of rain, ice and snow each year. As seams separate, your gutters can’t do their job. The more damage there is to your seams the more urgent it is to replace your eavestroughs. When you do replace your eavestroughs you can avoid this issue in the future by choosing a seamless eavestrough system. This reduces the number of seams to worry about and provides a far sturdier gutter that will resist separation, rust, and damage.
3. Cracks, Holes, And Rust Spots
If you have old gutters made of metal materials, they can show their wear a lot easier. Look for things such as cracks, holes and rust spots that show your eavestroughs are aging. In some cases, you can make repairs here and there, but when you encounter several spots with this kind of damage, your eavestroughs are cracking because they can’t handle the ongoing pressure of changing weather conditions. Small cracks will quickly get bigger and the next thing you know your roof is leaking or your basement is flooding.
4. Peeling, Blistering Paint
If you see peeling, blistering paint, your eavestroughs are well past their expiry date! Old gutters that have either been repainted or are losing their original paint are not as effective at resisting water, as they are missing their protective coating. This in turn leads to roof and foundation damage due to improper water management.
5. Mould And Mildew Inside And Out
Moisture leads to mould and mildew growth that you can find both inside your home and on the exterior. Look for discolouration on your exterior walls, soffits, and fascia to spot signs of mould growth. Inside it is most likely in your basement but can also appear in your attic. In more severe situations, the moisture might affect the ceilings and walls of your upper rooms. When gutters aren’t working properly, rain and melting snow and ice spill down the side of your house instead of being carried away in your eavestroughs. This can create the perfect conditions for mould growth.
6. Signs Of Sagging
Gutters should be flush to your home. If they appear to have pulled away from your house, or are sagging towards the ground, there is no question your eavestroughs need to be replaced.
7. Broken Or Missing Fasteners
Your gutter system is attached to your home with fasteners usually made of metal. As they age they can rust, causing them to lose their grip. As a result, your gutters will eventually begin to pull away from the house. If you spot broken or missing fasteners, you’ll at least need to replace them. However, it can also indicate your whole system is aging and needs to be replaced. You can also check the ground around the perimeter of your house for nails and screws that might have dropped from the gutter fasteners.
8. Awkward Pitch
Along with gutters sagging and pulling away from the house, you might also notice the gutters have an awkward pitch in some places. When this happens water can pool in certain areas causing spillage. This requires at the very least a repair, but more likely replacement.
9. Peeling Paint On Trim, Fascia Or Soffits
When the paint is peeling on your home exterior it could be caused by spillage from your gutters. Constant exposure to water can damage your home and is often a result of damaged or malfunctioning gutters.
10. Washed Away Landscaping
If your gutters aren’t containing water, the water can flow over your walls and into your garden. If you notice sections of your garden are eroding or washing away, your eavestroughs aren’t doing their job. This can also lead to foundation issues including basement flooding.
11. Basement Flooding And Leaks
As mentioned above, poorly functioning eavestroughs can send water into your basement. It can start as a foundation leak but eventually cause flooding. This is extremely costly to repair. If your insurance company finds your home was not maintained, they can choose to reject your claim. If you experience leaks or flooding, have an eavestrough expert come out and assess your gutter system to see if it needs to be replaced.
12. Constant Clogging
If you experience spillage due to constant clogging, your eavestroughs might be fine, but just need to be cleaned. This is an important home maintenance task every spring and fall. If you find this to be too much work, a good idea is to install gutter guards. Also known as a leaf guard system, they keep debris from landing in your eavestroughs, offering an easy solution for gutter maintenance.
While paying attention to your eavestroughs might not always be top of mind, it is well worth your time to inspect them every spring and fall. You can avoid costly damage to your home when you can recognize the signs that it’s time to replace your eavestroughs.
If you would like a quote on eavestrough replacements or gutter guards, click here.