Keeping your gutters at their best
Does your home need gutter repair? Perhaps some aren’t connected or have came loose from you house? Unfortunately, gutter repair and maintenance is an ongoing thing for homeowners, but the value they give your home makes the worthwhile. Many homeowners have gutter repair and roof cleaning done at the same time, along with gutter and roof inspection. That visit may cost a little more but getting it all done and out of the way is cheaper than spreading it out over the year.
What if you do your own gutter cleaning, maintenance, and repair though, maybe you aren’t sure about some of the things involved with a gutter system. Like how do you know when to replace your gutters? Here is a list of six indicator that gutter repairs aren’t going to work anymore.
When the gutter system on your home is functioning as intended, along with the downspouts, they are the hero. They protect your home for the biggest natural enemy: Rain. As they protect it from the rain, they are also protecting expensive problems like foundation repair. Paying for gutter repair is nothing compared to foundation repair. Unfortunately, they won’t last forever, so when any of the following are happening with your gutters, the answer to your question, “should I repair or replace gutters?”, can be found in one or more of these scenarios:
- Cracking: Cracked gutters are equivalent to a hole in a bucket. Monthly inspections by you will give you the opportunity to catch those cracks, even if you need binoculars. No matter how big or small a crack may seem, gutter repair may be pointless.
- Stress: Gutter system biggest vulnerability is at the seams. When gutter cleaning isn’t done, it adds weight to the gutter system and the seams are stressed. Sometimes gutter repair is possible, but if yours are beyond gutter repair, consider upgrading to seamless gutter with the replacement. This doesn’t eliminate the need for regular gutter cleaning and inspections, but it will minimize the problems.
- Peeling: When your gutters aren’t functioning as intended, they will damage the paint on your home. If you are noticing bubbling and peeling paint on your home, it could be the gutters aren’t redirecting the water away from your home, compromising the pain. Check the gutter closest to where the bubbling and peeling paint is located, chances are you have a leak there. At this point, gutter repair is pointless.
- Rot: Gutters that are malfunctioning allow rain to pour over your home’s exterior. When this isn’t caught so that gutter repair can be done, not only will paint start peeling, but the wood trim around your home will begin to rot including the door jams, windowsills. Next, the foundation will start shifting as the water puddles up around the foundation, eroding the ground and washing away the landscaping.
- Mildew: The downspout ends should not be any closer to your home than six feet for a good reason. When the downspouts terminate closer to your home, moisture accumulates around the foundation. That moisture will seep into the basement, and mildew, mold will start to spread. Before long, that odor is working its way up to the main part of your house, creating an unhealthy environment. This is one gutter repair that can be done easily by purchasing downspout extensions, unless you’re too late, the new gutters are needed and make sure the downspouts are terminated six feet out from the house.
- Maintenance: Yes, this is a pain in every homeowner life, but it must be done, or all the issues we’ve discussed here are prone to happen. If you don’t care to climb the ladder, put on gloves, and reach into those gutters to pull out the big stuff, then use the water hose to wash the other debris out, then hire somebody. Once a year, they can come do any gutter repair and cleaning too.
Can you replace a section of gutter?
Yes, if it isn’t a seamless gutter system, replacing a section can be done with the following steps:
- Remove gutter hangers at and near the piece of gutter that needs to be replaced by inserting a piece of wood and with a hammer, pry the hanger off the fascia.
- With the wood spacers between the gutter and fascia close to the damaged gutter piece, cut the damaged area out with a hacksaw.
- Using the hacksaw, cut a piece off the new gutter piece that is four inches longer than the damaged piece you removed.
- Clean the cut gutter end pieces you cut from with a wire brush and then spread caulk over the ends. Position the new gutter patch in the center of the area cut and press it into the caulk.
- With sheet metal screws or pop rivets, secure the new gutter piece to the ends and add the fasteners to the fascia, install the new gutter piece to the fasteners. Caulk the inside of the gutter surface where the fasteners are located, including the fastener heads.
- Reinstall the hangers in new holes or use new hangers and new holes, then prime and paint the new gutter piece so that it is a close match to the existing gutter run.
How many years do gutters last?
This can depend on the quality of gutter system you have and the workmanship installing the gutters. Aluminum or galvanized steel gutters have a lifespan of 20 years. Copper gutters are more expensive but have a lifespan of 50 years. With routine inspection and cleaning, a gutter system can last the 20 year expectancy or longer.
Does homeowner’s insurance cover gutter replacement?
Unless your policy states it specifically, gutter repair or gutter replacement are not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Why? Because this is considered to be a homeowner’s responsibility to keep maintenance and repairs done. Possible exceptions that your homeowner’s insurance will have any coverage of the gutters would be:
- Gutters were knocked off during a windstorm.
- Gutters have extensive hail damage.
- Gutters were damaged in a roof fire.
- Gutters were damaged in a hurricane or tornado.
- Gutters were damaged by a falling tree branch.
Gutters are more than a decorative finish to your home’s roofline; they have an important job in protecting your home. Keeping the gutters cleaned and maintained is essential in how they function. A routine inspection by you or a professional contractor should include gutter repair and drainage check like the downspouts are clear and no closer to the foundation than six feet. Call (303) 647-3883 today for your gutter repair in Erie and Denver, CO.