In our article on gutter maintenance, we emphasized the priority of maintaining a tidy gutter system and the many ways gutters provide safeguards to your home. Today, we will address signs that your gutters need replaced and information to consider when making your gutter selections.
Let’s focus first on how to know when your gutters need replaced:
- Gutters not draining properly. Several simple ways to determine if your gutters are functioning correctly include the following:
- standing water in your gutters
- mold around the base of your house
- water or moisture in your basement or crawlspace
- paint peeling on or behind your gutters
- gaps in your gutter connections or between gutter and fascia boards
- water channels or erosion forming in the landscape around your home
- sagging or deformed gutters
- cracks in your house’s foundation.
- Gutters that require constant maintenance. Some types of gutters require more maintenance than others. Seamless gutters are a more modern option for the busy homeowner, and they experience fewer clogs because of the decreased the number of joints. The seamless gutters minimize leaks and lower repair costs for a relatively minor cost upgrade.
Next, information to consider when making your gutter selections.
The fabric – The most common types of gutters are plastic/vinyl, aluminum, and copper. Some gutters can be 10-foot sections or seamless.
The durability – According to the National Association of Home Builders, plastic/vinyl gutters bend easily in heavy rain or snow and have an average life span of 10 years. Aluminum gutters are heavier and sturdier than vinyl and have an average life span of 20 years. Copper gutters are more durable and resilient than both plastic/vinyl and aluminum and have an average life span of 50 years.
The aesthetics – Plastic/vinyl gutters cost less with initial purchase but are lightweight and typically can be purchased in white or brown. Aluminum gutters are the most common, as they are relatively inexpensive and can be ordered in many different colors. Aluminum gutters can also be purchased in sections or as seamless gutters. Copper gutters are significantly more expensive, however, they are considered an investment into the quality of the home and overall curb appeal.
The upgrades – Gutter guards, oversized downspouts, and upgraded fasteners are great upgrade options. These will be covered in more detail in a separate post.
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