Properly maintained and cleaned gutters should last for the lifetime of the home. But if you have damage to your gutters and downspouts due to harsh weather or lack of maintenance, you may want to consider replacing them. The major purpose of gutters and downspouts are to capture water runoff from the roof and to direct the flow of the runoff away from the shingles, siding and foundation of the house. If gutters and downspouts are not intact, there can be severe water damage to the house over time. Gutters and downspouts, of course, are the most useful when it rains or during a thaw.
How can you determine if your gutters need to be replaced? Just as a periodic check is needed for all areas of the house such as the roof and siding, you should also periodically check your gutters. When you clean out your gutters after the leaves fall, you should also check the integrity of each section, making sure that the sections are loose. You should check that gutters aren’t rusted or cracked. If gutters or downspouts are bent or floppy, this is another indication that they are worn past their usefulness. Mold can also form on the outside of your home where gutters leak, even slowly.
While you may need to change your entire gutter system, more likely than not you will only need to partially replace those sections and areas that are the most worn. A full replacement can be costly. But if you are doing a partial replacement job, be sure that you replace everything that is defective. No matter how costly a gutter replacement job is, fixing water damage to your roof or foundation is much more expensive.
Because you want to be sure to protect your home as best as possible, the time of year for your gutter replacement is important. By all means you should replace your gutters before any of the wet seasons. In other words, before the worst of the rainy season or thaw, you should have a system of gutters that has full integrity and will help the water flow from your home without fail. Typically, gutters are replaced when people get a new roof. Roofers like to do their job in a season where they will have as few interruptions as possible – usually the summer months. This is also the ideal time to replace your gutter system. If you live in an area that has a long rainy season, you may consider copper gutters for maximum lifetime and durability. Regardless of material, your new gutter system will be a great investment for the health of your home.