You probably don't think about your gutters much, but you rely on your home's gutter system to carry water away from your roof and foundation. When functioning properly, water will run through your home's gutter system and be carried away several feet away from your home through the use of downspouts.
Unfortunately, gutters aren't made to last forever. Many homeowners opt to have them replaced at the same time they replace their roof, about every 15 years. If you're not sure how old your gutter system is, though, you'll want to be on the lookout for some common "red flags" that could indicate the need for replacement.
The different parts of a gutter system are fastened together to carry water efficiently away from your home. However, even one small "break" in the chain can prevent your gutters from functioning properly, so you'll want to be on the lookout for separated fasteners. In isolated cases, you may be able to fasten them back together--but if the problem continues time and time again, this is a sign that your gutter system is probably at the end of its life.
While basement flooding isn't always a sign of a gutter issue, it can be. When your gutter system fails, water may spill over and end up pooling around your home's foundation. Over time, even a small crack in your foundation can allow water to enter the home and create a major issue.
A similar concept applies when a failed gutter system allows water to spill over onto your home's exterior walls. If you have a painted finish, such as vinyl siding, you may find that the moisture causes the paint to begin bubbling and chipping away. This is not only an eyesore but can eventually lead to moisture problems within your home as well.
Rust, Holes, or Cracks
If your gutters have begun to corrode and rust, it's only a matter of time before they'll need to be replaced. The same applies if you notice any cracks or holes in the gutters themselves. A temporary fix may be able to buy you some time, but you'll want to be thinking about total replacement in the near future.
When it comes time to replace your gutters, you can generally expect to spend around $600 and $2,400, depending on the size of your home and the gutter material you choose. From there, though, you can enjoy reliable gutters for many years to come. To learn more about gutters, reach out to a company such as A-1 Seamless Gutters Inc.