Eavestroughs are crucial to the long term health of your home or business. If worn out or poorly maintained they can create a host of other problems that will undermine the stability, safety and value of your property. For example: rain water leaking from broken gutters and collecting in the ground around the perimeter of your foundation can generate hydrostatic pressure that causes flooding in the basement. The best way to prevent your gutters and down pipes from having to be replaced is by frequent cleaning and maintenance. But even then they cannot reasonably be expected to last more than about 15 years.
Signs Your Eavestroughs Needs Replacing
Oftentimes people are confronted with problems like a mouldy foundation or cracked driveway and don’t connect these things to what’s going on at the edge of their roof. But they should. If you’ve noticed that things don’t seem quite right around the periphery of your home or business take a look up. If you see any of the following signs it’s likely time to replace your eavestroughs.
- Leaks – The easiest way to determine if your gutters need replacing is to watch them when it rains. If they’re leaking, there’s a problem. If there’s rainwater seeping down the face of your home or business, there’s a problem. If water is pouring out of the joints or ends of the gutter, there’s a problem and it’s time to think replacement.
- Overflow – Overflowing is not necessarily the same kind of problem as leaking. Overflowing can occur in eavestroughs that are still structurally sound but are simply overwhelmed by the volume of water they’re expected to handle. If your gutters don’t show any noticeable damage but regularly overflow during heavy rain events, have them thoroughly cleaned. If they still overflow it means they are simply inadequate and need to be replaced with deeper ones.
- Damage – Are your gutters sagging or hanging loose? Have the down pipes become detached from the gutter? Are the gutters or down pipes rusted through in places? These are all signs that they need to be replaced.
- Rotting Soffits – If you see rot in your soffits there is a good chance you have leaking or damaged gutters. Soffit rot spreads quickly due to water being trapped in the enclosed space so if you see that some of your soffits have begun to rot don’t delay: hire a professional to assess the situation and determine if leaky gutters are to blame.
Replacing your eavestroughs isn’t as exciting as remodeling your kitchen or building an addition but it’s more important in some very fundamental ways. You should never look the other way if you spot potential problems with your gutters.
Common Sense Maintenance
Once you’ve installed new gutters it’s important that you get in the habit of having them cleaned and cleared at least twice a year: preferably in the spring time and at the end of fall, when they’re likely to be choked with falling leaves. Proper maintenance of your gutters and down pipes will go a long way toward heading off other, more serious problems.