Gutters do not last forever. When they start to fail, they can leave you at risk for roof damage, foundation damage, and even erosion damage around your landscaping. But how can you tell whether your gutters need to be replaced or not? Keep an eye out for these signs of gutter deterioration and damage.
Drips Down Below
After a rainstorm, go outside and make a point of standing under your gutters. Do you see water dripping down through any tiny holes? This is a sign that your gutters are starting to break down. You might be able to have the leaks patched and get another year or so out of the gutters, but they'll still need to be replaced relatively soon. When a couple of holes form, additional holes will start appearing before too much longer.
Holes in Your Garden Beds
Another sign that your gutters are not functioning well is holes in your garden beds just below the gutters. These holes are caused by water either flowing over the sides of the gutters or falling through holes in the gutters. Neither of these things should be happening. The gutters should be shuttling water towards the downspouts. If you do see holes in your garden beds, then your gutters are either clogged or starting to break down. It's easy to tell which problem you're facing by simply looking inside the gutters. If you see debris, have the gutters cleared out. Otherwise, you can assume the issue is damage, which you need to address by having the gutters replaced or repaired.
Sagging or Loose Gutters
Gutters should, more or less, stretch straight across the edge of the roof. If they appear to be sagging or are dramatically lower on one side than the other, then they are damaged. Gutters need to be sloped properly in order to prevent water from pooling in them or pouring over the side. A gutter company might be able to straighten the gutters, but often it is less work, and more effective, to just replace them once they reach this state of disrepair.
If you keep an eye out for the signs above, you should be fairly able to recognize when your gutters are falling into disrepair. Don't hesitate to contact a gutter company and get a quote for new gutters. The sooner you replace them, the less damage you will have to repair. Contact a gutter service near you to learn more.