Gutters are one of the most important but often overlooked components of a structure. These structures help protect the home from water damage. Usually, gutter systems can last for 20 to 30 years. But regular repairs and maintenance are needed to keep the system efficient in drawing water away from your home.
When to Repair or Replace the Gutters
Does your existing gutter system need repair or a complete overhaul? Most homeowners find themselves asking the same question when dealing with faulty or worn gutters.
Generally, the extent of damage is the main factor to consider when choosing between repairing or replacing the gutters. If the system is only damaged on one or two spots, then you can simply make repairs on your own or hire a professional to do it for you. But if say, the gutters are in bad shape and no amount of repairs are solving the same issues, then you have no choice but to replace them.
The Most Common Gutter Problems
When the gutters are blocked with dried leaves, debris, nests and other natural materials, water cannot flow efficiently into the downspout. And when this happens, water will overflow from the gutters, causing water damage to the structure. If you start noticing white marks or mildew near the foundation of your home, the gutters could be blocked. There are cases wherein the downspouts are also clogged with debris.
Very old gutters could sag over time. Other times, broken spike or hangers are causing the gutter to sag. These components have to be replaced right away to prevent the whole system from collapsing. Make as many repairs as possible to ensure the gutter systems are supported. There are also cases wherein the gutters are sagging because of excess weight. This can be resolved through regular maintenance.
If say, the gutters are not blocked by water is still seeping through then you are dealing with a leak. Leaks can be repaired if they occur near the joints between sections of the gutter. Leaks caused by cracks and corrosion can be patched as well. You want to check for weak spots and then fortify these points to prevent the same problem from happening again.
If the gutters are not blocked, but water is pooling in certain points, the gutters could be improperly pitched. This occurs when the gutters are poorly installed or a result of the house settling. In some cases, corrosion also causes imperceptible slopes to the downspouts. A professional is needed to restore the proper angle of the gutters and resolve the issue.
DIY or Hire a Professional?
Thankfully, gutters are very simple in design. As such, even an inexperienced homeowner can make repairs on his own. However, keep in mind that if you did a botched up job at making repairs, the problem will affect the whole household.
If you are fixing the gutters on your own, we recommend going online and learning as much as you can about the structure of the system. Familiarize yourself with the components that go in the system. You can also get advice on repairs and tools from your local hardware retailer.
If the damage is extensive and simple repairs cannot resolve the problem, then you have no choice but to hire a professional.