The best way to protect gutters and increase their longevity is preventative medicine. Especially if your home is surrounded be trees or is subject to windy conditions, keeping your rain gutters free of debris and maintaining it on a regular basis can reduce potential problems like clogs or leakage.
Debris and leaves and debris prevent water from freely flowing through the gutters, into the downpipe, and away from your house. Depending on the climate, water that pools beneath a clog can do real damage, from causing mold to creating ice dams. Also keep in mind, a blanket of leaves or a collection of twigs can look inviting to a bird building a nest. Installing leaf guard, gutter guard or some other type of gutter protection will help prevent clogs and other problems due to debris build-up.
Another way to protect gutters is to trim trees in late summer, end of August or the beginning of September. This should reduce the amount of leaves that can fall on your roof. Optimally, limbs should be several inches away from the roofline.
If you’re not sure how old the existing gutters are, another way to protect them is to conduct a thorough visual inspection and reseal any split seams or apply sealant to any holes or cracks. Individual rust spots should be gently cleaned with a wire brush, followed by rust remover and an anti-rust primer.