If you find something wrong with the gutter system, the most common reaction is to fix the problem. You don’t want to buy new gutters if you don’t have to. While it might seem to be the most cost-efficient solution, constantly having the gutters repaired might end up not being very budget-friendly in the long term. Here are some helpful criteria for deciding on whether to repair the gutters or to replace them.
The Age of Your Gutters
The average lifespan of aluminum gutters is 25 years, but a gutter system, like any system that’s part of your home’s exterior, deteriorates over time. How fast gutter materials deteriorate depends on factors like climatic conditions, microclimate, and the amount of annual rainfall. When the gutter system reaches the 20-year plus mark, replacement is not necessarily a given. You can DIY the gutter repair or hire someone if:
- The damage is localized on only one or two gutter sections
- You only need to fill in a handful of holes and/or cracks
- Only one joint or seam is leaking for any length of time
- Loose hangers and other types of hardware can be tightened and then do not loosen again immediately
However, when water seeps into corner joints and seams consistently leaking after being recently repaired or you find fasteners/nails on the ground, it’s a possible sign that age is getting the better of your gutters – replacement is the best course of action.
Constantly making Repairs
When you’re constantly filling a million little holes or resealing seams after every heavy rainfall or having to retighten the hangers because they won’t remain tightly fastened, even if you DIY, time spent and costs can quickly add up. Especially if you’ve recently replaced the hardware or several gutters sections and the problem persists, in this scenario, gutter replacement would be more cost-effective than gutter repair. A general rule of thumb is the extent of the damage – if the problem is too big then don’t repair, replace instead.
The Cause of the Damage
If the damage is caused as the result from extensive denting or buckling, the gutters will probably not function optimally until they have been replaced. When a tree limb falls on an aluminum gutter system, the impact is generally widespread. The same is applicable to big dents as a result of a ladder being placed against gutter sections. Denting or buckling interrupts the amount of water allowed to flow through the gutter system, causing seams to leak or gutter sections to overflow.
Extensive Water Damage
An irrefutable sign that gutter repair is no longer an option is extensive water damage. When gutters are clog-free but still are prone common gutter problems such as overflowing, standing water (in gutter channels), or pooling water (on the ground directly below the eaves or underneath the downspouts) could have far-reaching consequences. If overflowing gutters contribute to rot and mold growth on siding, soffit, and fascia or result in a flooded basement, then the source of the problem can only be fixed by gutter replacement.