How long do gutters typically last?

checking gutters from wear

Gutter systems and wear

The gutters on your home aren’t just for aesthetics, they actually serve a purpose. Those gutters aren’t self-maintained either. If they aren’t maintained by you, you’ll find yourself getting a gutter replacement job before you were ready.  

So, is gutter cleaning worth it? Absolutely, and we’re going to tell you why gutter cleaning is a must for any homeowner. So, unless you are ready for a gutter replacement expense, clean your gutters for the following reasons: 

  • Foundation Damage: Clogged gutters will make the water flow over the edges of the gutters instead of the downspout where it is directed away from your home. As the water flows over the gutters, it puddles up around the foundation, softening the soil and the foundation begins to give. When water is freezes around the foundation, it causes the foundation to heave and crack, leaving your home susceptible to structural failure. 
  • Rotted Wood: Clogged gutters will back up onto the roof, seep in between the gutter runs, fascia, and soffit. The wooden fascia and soffit will begin to rot, and that rot will spread into to attic, creating a harbor for critters, insects, and rodents.
  • Roof Leaks: With the fascia and soffit wood rotting, and water seeping into the attic, backing up onto the roof, ice dams will form in cold weather, allowing the snow and water to build up and seep into the attic. It is only a matter of time before the attic begins to leak. 
  • Insect Infestation:  When the gutters are filled with debris, that debris gets wet and remains moist, becoming an attractive habitat to insects, who work their way into the house as the weather changes. These are typically wood eating insects like carpenter ants and termites that find moist, rotting leaves perfect to for nesting. 
  • Basement Leaks: As the clogged gutters flood around the foundation, possibly creating damage, it also allows water to infiltrate the basement through the walls. Once the water is the basement walls, it mildews, molds, and causes water damage that may or may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. 

How do you repair a damaged gutter?

As gutters age, or as they go through weather events, they may break, crack, split, but that doesn’t’ necessarily mean you need new gutter replacement.  In most cases, yes, gutter repairs are possible if you’re not ready to pay for gutter replacement yet. Start by evaluating the damage extent and the use the following steps to repair your gutters: 

  • Remove Gutter Hangers – in and around the damaged area, inserting wood spacers at each hanger. 
  • Cut the Damage Out – use a hacksaw to remove the damaged areas. Putting spacers in between the fascia and gutter will keep you from cutting the roof.  
  • Cut New Gutter Run – cut a piece of the new gutter 4 inches longer than the damaged gutter run. 
  • Clean the End of Old Gutter Run – using a wire brush, clean the ends of the old gutter run still in place, removing any caulk and dirt. 
  • Secure Gutter Patch – with pop rivets and sheet metal screws, secure the gutter patch to the old gutter run, three fasteners per joint, then caulk over the fasteners inside the gutter runs.
  • Reinstall Gutter Hangers – use the old hangers if they are still good but never reuse the old holes. Prime and patch the old holes and make new holes for the gutter hangers.

How do I know what type of gutters I have? 

Gutters come in a variety of colors, and pricing! The challenging part is to determine the size of gutter you have. There are 2 shapes of gutters and they com in 5” and 6” widths: 

  1. K-style Gutters: A flat bottom and back with a decorative shaped front that mimics a crown molding. 
  2. Half-round Gutters: As the describes, a half-round tube, common on historic and older homes. Has less capacity than the K-style gutters yet cost half as much more.

How do I know if my gutters need replacing?

 When having gutter issues, you need to assess the problem and determine which would be a better option for you: gutter repair or replacement.  The 5 indicators that you need gutter replacement are: 

  • Cracks or splits: A small crack or slight split in a gutter run may not seem significant, but they won’t stay small forever. The more water runs through your gutters, the bigger those cracks and splits will get, especially when the water in the gutter freezes and expands. 
  • Peeling Paint: If the paint is peeling around or on the gutters, this is indicating there is water present consistently and wearing the paint off.  Gutter replacement is the best solution at this point. 
  • Pooling Water or Mildew: If there is mildew or pooling water around the foundation, that is apparent the gutters aren’t doing their job of keeping water away. A gutter cleaning may be the fix, check for any cracks or splits. If the gutter cleaning doesn’t help, or you find cracks or splits, a gutter replacement is recommended. 
  • Water damage: While checking your gutters on an annual basis, if your notice any water damage or water marks under the gutters, this is a sign the water is not flowing to the downspout and away from the house.  Water intrusion of the fascia or soffit can do a lot more damage to your home.  A gutter replacement should be done sooner than later. 
  • Sagging Gutters: Gutters that are pulling away from the fascia or sagging in places is the number one indicator you need a gutter replacement. 

What time of year should you replace gutters?

Most contractor prefer the summertime to do a gutter repair or gutter replacement. They’ll start early in the morning to beat the heat. An average size home can be completed in one day usually.

White gutters along a roof

What are the different types of guttering?

There are various types of metals for residential gutters, including aluminum, the most popular choice of DIY homeowners because of the lightweight. They don’t rust and come in 2 gauges of thickness, in a variety of colors, costing up the $3 per liner foot for the K-Style. 

Gutter replacement in copper is another popular choice, but price prohibitive for many. Provides a home with an exceptional beauty that doesn’t rust and will never need painting. The natural patina is a much desired appearance. Can cost upward of $25 per liner foot and must be professionally installed. 

Seamless Aluminum has become very popular for gutter replacement the past few years. Built on site from a truck with the machinery, eliminates seams which eliminates leaks. Cost around $11 per liner foot. 

Another material choice for gutter replacement is steel, galvanized, and strong, rust resistant for the first 10 years. Several color options, but pricey and heavy, not made for DIY project. Probably the most popular gutter replacement is vinyl because of the price point and the lightweight material is easy for DIY project.  Downside is the fading and the cracking. 

Is gutter replacement covered by insurance? No, most likely not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Gutters are considered maintenance by the homeowner.  So, is it worth installing gutter guards? For a home with a lot of trees, yes, gutter guards will minimize the frequency of gutter cleaning, but it won’t eliminate it. You’ll still want to do an annual inspection, cleaning, and repairing. Call 214-321-3293 today for your gutter installation in Dallas, TX.