Your home needs a guttering system. It’s one of the most fundamental and important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to your entire house.
A guttering system helps to manage and divert the flow of water from your roof and away from your house.
When it does this properly, your gutters help to protect your home from damage caused by water. It also helps to keep those who occupy your home safe as well – as damaged and inefficient gutters can lead to a number of issues that can be dangerous.
When your gutters start showing signs of issues, like leaks, water stains on walls and pooling water around your house, it usually means there is a problem. And this problem may have been around for a while, you’re only seeing the signs of it now.
Often it takes a long time for gutters to show signs on any issues – this is of course dependent on where you live and the weather you experience there. But say you live in a relatively dry climate where there isn’t much rainfall, chances are you won’t necessarily notice an issue because many gutter problems only become more obvious when there is water flowing through the gutters.
So, by the time you start seeing a problem with your gutters, it may have had a chance to become bigger than what you think it is. That’s why it’s super important to ensure that you have your gutters maintained regularly – but we’ll talk about gutter maintenance in another blog post.
Today, we want to talk to you about what to do when you notice issues with your gutters, and help to answer the age-old question – should you repair or replace those gutters?
While a gutter repair might cost you less now than a total gutter replacement, it might actually delay the inevitable and end up costing you more in the future.
So, let us take you through what you should do and think about when it comes to your home’s gutters.
If you notice a problem
So, when you happen to spot something unusual, what should you do? Say there is a small leak, or your gutters overflowed when it was heavily raining the other night. Well, this might mean there is a problem somewhere along the way. There might be a hole, crack or split in the gutters. There could be a blockage. But there is no point doing guess work. It’s time to inspect those gutters.
While you can definitely do a walk around your home and have a look at your gutters to see if you notice anything out of the ordinary, when it comes to inspecting your gutters, leave the ladder work to the professionals.
Climbing ladders and working on top of roofs can be dangerous and a bit scary, especially if you don’t do it often.
While some problems are more obvious than others, like rust, holes, missing pieces, and sagging gutters, some are less so, but a professional roofing and guttering plumber knows exactly what they are looking for.
Answer these questions
Before you call in the professionals, maybe just take note of your answers to the following questions – it will help your guttering specialist in understanding your current situation and which steps are best to take.
How old are your gutters and your home?
Even gutters made of the best possible materials and the most expert workmanship will need to be replaced at some point.
If the gutters have been there as long as you have, and you’ve been living in that house for 10-15 years, chances are, they are nearing the end of their lifespan.
Gutters will usually need to be replaced after 15-20 years.
It’s also important to think about how old your home is too. Perhaps your gutters were replaced 5 years ago but your home is quite old, it may affect how well your gutters are reinforced. Or if your home is newer, sometimes the settling of the house can disrupt gutters and cause warping, cracks and bending. In this case, often gutters can be realigned.
When was the last time someone looked at your gutters?
If you’ve been living in your home for more than a few years and you have no idea when the last time anyone even looked at your gutters, then it’s really time to call a professional.
We mentioned this earlier, but gutter maintenance is so important to ensuring the longevity of your guttering system. Though, it’s important to remember that even well-maintained gutters can have problems, though these are usually caused by damage from a severe storm.
Common gutter problems: Repair or Replace?
We don’t want to sound like a bit of a downer here, but there is so much that can go wrong with guttering systems. Some problems are worse than others, but how do you know.
Let’s talk about some of the common problems that can affect your gutters and whether you should replace or repair them.
Problem 1: Peeling Paint
The good news about peeling paint is that more often than not, it doesn’t indicate major damage. Instead, it’s usually a sign that your gutters need to be repainted or resealed to protect them from the weather elements.
Peeling paint is particularly prevalent in hot and dry climates, like much of Australia. So, if you’re noticing peeling paint, it is still a good idea to get your gutters checked out by a professional but you’re likely to not need a replacement.
Problem 2: Mould, Mildew, Water stains
Given your roof and gutters are exposed at all times and deal with a lot of water, mould and mildew is to be expected – to an extent.
Usually, this can be removed with a good cleaning (by a professional).
However, it’s when this mould starts to become further spread and affecting walls, both interior and exterior, or perhaps around the foundation of your home. You might also notice water stains, which could indicate a leak and water seeping into certain areas of the home. This could be a sign that those gutters need to be replaced because they are not diverting the water as efficiently as they should.
Problem 3: Overflowing, Sagging, or Separating
Gutters can separate and sag from age – this is usually due to fasteners becoming worn or loose. But it can also be caused by excessive weight and pressure being placed on segments of your gutters.
This is usually due to a blockage that is stopping water from flowing as it normally should. This blockage can also cause overflowing, particularly when it’s raining quite heavily. These blockages are usually as a result of inclement weather that may have caused debris to become lodged or from gutters that have been neglected and not cleaned as regularly as they should be.
While blockages can sometimes be simply removed, if they have happened from neglect or are significant, they may have damaged, warped, or even split the gutters. If the gutters are sagging or separated, chances are they will need to be replaced, however, whether it’s the entire guttering system that needs to be replaced or just the segment affected will be different each time.
Either way, don’t be too surprised if a replacement is required!
Problem 4: Missing Pieces
This all depends on the pieces that are missing. If it’s a screw or nail or example, it’s most likely a quick repair that is required. If it is an entire section of your gutter, it’s most likely going to need to be replaced – though the replacement might only be that small part.
When gutter pieces go missing, often it’s caused by severe neglect – which will usually require a replacement of the entire guttering system, or it’s because of a storm, and the damage may be isolated.
Problem 5: Irreversible Damage
Some damage just shouldn’t be fixed or patched over. When we talk about irreversible damage, we mean things like rust, cracks, splits, and holes. These are all problems that are usually related to the age of your actual guttering system.
While some exceptions can be made for each of these, like it might be an entirely isolated incident and only be affecting a very small part of your gutters, but in a lot of cases, the damage might be more widespread than is actually obvious and replacing now will save you headaches and further damage in the future.
When you need gutter repairs or replacements
If you notice any of these problems with your gutters, call a professional gutter expert. If you’re in Sydney, you can call us here at Gutterline. We repair, replace, and maintain gutters all over Sydney. And with 20 years of experience in the Sydney region, we’ve seen it all.
A good thing to remember is that a good guttering professional won’t just replace your gutters for the sake of it. They will assess the situation thoroughly and only do it if it is required.
And remember, look after your gutters regularly with a guttering professional, we can help you come up with a maintenance schedule so you can avoid costly repairs and replacements in the future.