Repairing or replacing gutters is probably not something you’ve got on your to-do list, and it’s certainly not something you actively budget for. But your gutters perform a vital function in protection your home from the elements, and when something goes wrong, it’s far better to address the problem before it gets out of hand. Here are a few of the most common gutter-related scenarios in which homeowners find themselves.
1. Loose gutters
Depending on how well your gutters were installed, and the quality of the gutters themselves, weather and time can play a part in loosening your gutters — or even causing them to fall off completely. Clogged gutters are another problem in this respect, since the extra weight of leaves, mud, twigs, and other debris can cause the gutters to loosen and sag, eventually preventing them from functioning normally. When a professional visits your home to address this type of issue, they’ll often be able to clean and properly tighten/reattach your gutters. There may also be situations in which sections of your gutters need to be replaced altogether.
2. Leaky gutters
As mentioned, one of the most common reasons why gutters leak is that they are clogged with dirt, debris, snow, ice, or other materials. This leads to water flowing over the top of the gutter, which causes all kinds of problems. For our purposes, we’re not considering that to be a true leak. Leaky gutters are actually cracked or broken in places, and this can come about as a result of inclement weather, poor maintenance, low quality materials, or any combination of these. There are professional methods of repairing cracks and holes with strong, waterproof material — but it may also make more sense to have your gutters replaced, if the issue is truly widespread.
3. Worn out gutters
Sometimes your gutters develop a combination of problems — cracks, mold, holes, rust, and so forth — simply because they were installed many years ago. Is a new gutter system necessary? Perhaps not — but then again, it’s worth knowing what the best and most economical approach will be over the long term. There are situations in which trying to save your existing gutters will cost more in the long run, but it might also be possible to get away with some rudimentary repairs in order to buy time. Either way, it’s worth consulting a professional to know for sure.
4. Faulty downspouts
What happens when your downspouts aren’t functioning properly, either because they’re falling apart or because they weren’t installed correctly to begin with? The answer involves your home’s foundation. When precipitation (whether rain or snowmelt) isn’t being properly directed away from the foundation of your home via your downspouts, water will pool around the foundation of your home. This could be a potential flooding risk, even if you’ve taken measures to waterproof your home’s foundation. Repairing or replacing downspouts isn’t as complicated as you might think, and it’s often possible to do this without having to install fresh components up above.
Finding a good specialist
Gutter repair specialists, like any professional, run the gamut from the very best experts to companies that aren’t very reputable at all. In order to find a contractor who gives you the best advice and follows through on their word, do your research upfront to find someone who is both reputable and experienced.