8 Warning Signs You Need New Gutters

Ebonee Williams
Written by Ebonee Williams
Reviewed by Keith Jacob
Updated January 25, 2022
A gutter filled with autumn leaves
Willowpix/E+ via Getty Images

To determine if you need new gutters, you may only have to look up at your home

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Your gutter system is one of the many unsung heroes of your house, preventing a rainy day from becoming a major annoyance. Although most gutters can last for 20 years, eventually, you may have to replace them, especially if they’ve been looking a little worse for wear lately. But knowing when to make the call to opt for a gutter replacement can be tough, which is why we’ve compiled these eight signs you may need new gutters.

1. Cracks

While small cracks in your gutters may not seem like a big issue, if not repaired quickly, they will become more prominent and cause further damage to your gutters. These imperfections can damage the fascia boards behind the gutters, the shingles above the gutter, and the foundation below. 

Contacting a local gutter repair pro can help you determine which cracks you can easily repair and when it’s time to replace the entire system.

2. Peeling Paint

The paint on your gutter should be able to withstand typical wear and tear throughout the seasons, from things like snow and crunchy leaves. However, if your gutters are old, peeling paint or orange flecks indicate continuous standing water. This peeling could signify that the gutter is not removing water or that cracks or other damage may be present, requiring a replacement sooner rather than later.

3. Pools of Water or Mildew

A man cleaning the gutter from leaves
Photographee.eu - stock.adobe.com

Keeping your gutter and downspouts clean play a key role in preventing your gutters from aging prematurely and failing to drain properly. Gutters should keep water flowing away from your home’s foundation. If you notice pools of water or mildew near the foundation, it can indicate that the gutters are not working as intended. This issue could be caused by something as simple as a clog or something as complex as a defect in the gutter system. 

It’s important to diagnose this problem quickly as water in your gutters can easily cause foundation damage, leading to costly, time-consuming repairs. If you have an older home with 4-inch gutters, and you decide to replace them, you should opt for 5-inch gutters to help with water flow.

4. Water Damage or Water Marks Directly Beneath the Gutters

Check your gutters at least once a year on a day that’s relatively sunny and free from rain. Water damage or marks underneath the gutter indicate that leaking or overflowing water is escaping the gutter. This type of water intrusion can damage your soffit and fascia board, so it’s important to get the problem taken care of quickly.

5. Gutters Sag or Pulling Away From the House

This sign is one of the easiest ways to tell that you need gutter repairs or gutter replacement because you don’t need to be on a ladder to notice it. Gutters should never sag or divert away from your home, and this movement can indicate that they are full of water and pulling away due to the weight. 

When your gutter is full of water, it could mean that your system isn’t appropriate for your home, it’s draining improperly, or debris is causing a blockage. Sagging gutters could require high costs or be a hassle to repair, which is why replacement may be more worth it.

6. Breaks at the Seams

Your gutters should always be joined together with an airtight seal. When that is broken or damaged, you risk leaks and other damage. While you can perform the occasional repair, if you’re noticing frequent breaks in the seams between gutters, you should think about replacing your gutters once and for all.

7. Rust

Eroding metal is one of the most obvious indicators that it’s time for a new gutter system. Large rust spots can compromise your gutters’ integrity. Again, you can repair the occasional small rusty spot, but if you’re noticing large areas, it’s worth calling a local gutter installation pro to explore your replacement options.

8. Fallen Nails or Fasteners

Hardware like fasteners, nails, and screws keep your gutters in place and tight to your roof and fascia, respectively. Repair what you can, but if you’re constantly picking these metal pieces up off of the ground, it could be time for a gutter replacement.

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