Gutters, like everything else, need to be replaced from time to time. Not many people know when those times are. Let me help you out with a few things to look for when you are cleaning out gutters.
- Cracks or holes can sometimes be fixed using sealant but if there is more than five or six areas where you can see cracks or holes, new gutters will be in your future.
- Rust is the same rule of thumb. If there is a tiny bit of rust, try fixing it but if there is more than a half a dozen spots, it?s time.
- Broken fasteners are the metal pieces that hold the gutter to the roof. If you have had a few broken ones that you’ve replaced that’s okay but if it keeps happening, the problem could be the gutters themselves.
- Nails or screws can sometimes loosen and fall to the ground. Once or twice is fine but again, repeated instances could mean a bigger problem.
- If your gutters are pulling away from your roof line, this is a tell tale sign.
- Sagging gutters also should not be just fixed but replaced. Sometimes roofing repairs will be needed at this point.
- Flooded basement is definitely a good sign! Having water near your foundation that leaks into your basements can do severe damage.
- Particularly after rain, if the water is spilling over your gutters, this is considered pooling water.
Now that you know what to look for, what kind of gutter will you get? Let?s go over a few.
- Aluminum gutters These are the most commonly used gutters. They come in varying thickness and gauges depending on the weather in your area. These do not rust.
- Seamless gutters Seamless gutter installation is a little different process. These gutters are also called continuous gutters and are literally 70% seamless. They are a little pricier but fewer seams mean fewer leaks. I would not recommend doing seamless gutter installation yourself.
- Copper gutters These are very durable and last a long time. They have more of a rustic look to them and are definitely much more expensive that traditional gutters; around three times more. Joints and seams must be soldered so again, a professional is recommended.
- Steel gutters There are a few different kinds of steel gutters but galvanized steel is the most common. These are strong but heavy and come painted.
- Vinyl gutters These are probably the easiest to install. While they are simple and look nice for awhile vinyl gutters tend to deteriorate quickly from the sun and weather.
- Wood gutters Wood gutters are very rare. They are made from old growth cedar which Is not readily available these days. Now new growth cedar or hemlock is used.
- Integral gutters These type of gutters were popular in the ?60?s on sloped roofs. The gutter goes between the rafters and the fascia. Actually, if you have these, replacing them doing with a seamless gutter installation would be best at the time as a roof installation.
- Box gutters The box gutter is designed for commercial use, mostly. It has a very large trough that can handle a very high volume of water. These kind are actually build into the roof or into the roof over hang.