Gutters are designed to withstand the elements, protect your home and be strong and durable. But as they age, they become vulnerable. Fortunately, the signs are easy to identify. If your gutter system is damaged, here is what you can do to prevent the situation from becoming worse.
Signs of Damaged Gutters
Damage to gutters occurs in a variety of ways. It can be as simple as leaning a ladder against aluminum gutters or as complicated as a tree crashing onto the roof during a storm. Common signs of damaged gutters are:
- separation of seams
- fading gutter colour
- water stains
When Gutters are Damaged
If the gutter system hasn’t been cleaned in a while leaves, twigs and other bits of debris build up inside the gutter channel. As the gutters become weighed down they can sag and warp. If the gutter sections are held in place by brackets, these might pull away from the fascia, allowing the gutters to sag even more.
Dents “cave” inward, reducing the amount of water flowing through that section of the system. The more pronounced the dent the more likely debris will snag creating clogs.
Fading gutter colour isn’t just about appearance. The colour of metal gutters, including aluminum gutters, is baked on. Fading indicates the finish has been compromised or weakened, allowing further damage to occur.
Rusting and the separation of seams are typical signs of a deteriorating gutter system.
Water stains on siding, soffit, and fascia might indicate overflowing gutters. If left unchecked, overflowing can cause soffit and/or fascia to rot. It can also be responsible for the appearance of mold or mildew on your home’s exterior.
When deciding on what course of action to take, first assess how severe the damage is. A small dent or a handful of pinholes due to rust can be repaired. On the other hand, if you’ve had to reseal leaking or separated seams five times in one season, it’s probably time to replace the gutter system. Any damage such as sagging, dents, or the separation of seams that obstructs the gutters’ ability to efficiently move water to the downspouts should be fixed as soon as possible.
Sagging, warping and water stains can be fixed by:
- thoroughly cleaning the gutter system
- reattaching or replacing loose nails or fasteners
- checking the gutter slope and readjusting if required
Sections affected by dents and fading gutter colour can be replaced. Where there are too many dents or the colour has faded in three or more areas, consider replacing all of the gutters