When to Replace Gutters and Downspouts

May 8, 2024

how often should gutters be replaced

You probably don't get excited about your gutters. Sure, they might not be the most glamorous part of your home, but they play a big part in protecting your property from water damage.

Gutters, along with downspouts, channel rainwater away from your home’s foundation, walls, and landscaping. When they get clogged or damaged, water begins to pool in places it shouldn't, potentially harming your home’s structure or even causing basement flooding.

Like any part of your home exposed to the elements, gutters wear out over time and will eventually need to be repaired or replaced. Although gutters typically last about 20 years, the actual timeframe can vary depending on your local weather and how well you keep up with maintenance.

You definitely don't want a rainstorm to transform your yard into a landslide. To avoid this, it’s important to know how to spot the signs that your gutters and downspouts might need some TLC.

Here’s what to keep an eye out for to determine if it’s time to replace your gutter downspout.

Telling Signs Your Gutters Need Attention

Let’s face it, nobody thinks about gutters until there’s a problem. Here’s how to spot trouble before it gets serious.

Visible Damage: If you notice cracks, splits, or sagging in your gutters, or if they start detaching from the roof, it’s a clear sign that they’re not in good shape. These structural issues can lead to leaks that damage both the inside and outside of your home.

Overflowing Gutters: Gutters that overflow even in moderate rainfall are a red flag. It often means your downspouts are clogged or your gutters aren’t sized properly for your home.

Water Damage: Keep an eye out for signs of water damage, such as mold or staining on your home's exterior walls or near the foundation. If you see water marks or pooling in your garden, it's a sign that your gutters aren’t keeping up with the rain.

Beyond the Obvious: Less Noticeable Signs

Sometimes, gutter problems aren’t all that noticeable. A few sneaky issues might slip under the radar, but they definitely deserve an inspection.

Rust: Rust isn’t just an eyesore- it's a warning sign. Excessive rust weakens your gutters, making them more likely to leak or even fail completely. If you're seeing a lot of rust, it might be time to think about upgrading to new seamless gutters in Reno.

Pooling Water: Does water pool around your foundation long after the rain stops? That’s a classic sign of gutters not doing their job.

Peeling Paint: If you see paint peeling off near the roof edges or on the boards right under your roof, it’s a heads-up that moisture's getting where it shouldn’t. Often, this points to gutter problems that need a fix pronto.

A Word About Downspouts

The downspout is a hollow tube that runs from your gutters to the ground. It’s designed to drive water away from your foundation.  

But just like your gutters, downspouts are not meant to last forever.

Swapping out old, beat-up downspouts can save you some serious repair bills down the line. If your downspouts are dented, bent, or cracked, you might want to replace them as soon as possible.  This is because damaged downspouts can’t channel water effectively, which means all of it could end up sitting on your lawn and seeping into your foundation.

How to replace a downspout isn’t just about installing a new one—it’s about making sure it stays clear and functional. Leaves, twigs, and debris love to settle in there, and if they’re not cleaned out regularly, you’ll have clogs that can lead to overflow and even damage. A quick clean can save you a lot of headaches later.

Also, if the end of your downspout doesn’t reach far enough away from your home, consider adding extensions. You don’t want any water sitting right by your foundation.  

The seasoned Reno roofing contractors at Mountain Vista Roof Systems specialize in gutter and downspout maintenance. Just give us a call if you have any questions, and we’ll be happy to get you on the right track.

Taking Action: What to Do Next

Alright, you’ve checked out your gutters and downspouts and think something might be up.  

What do you do?

Get the Pros Involved: It’s a good idea to call up a professional roofer or gutter specialist for a full inspection. They’ll give your system a thorough once-over and provide personalized advice based on what they see. If you’re in the area, consulting a Carson City roofer might be your best bet for expert advice.

Consider Professional Gutter Replacement: Sometimes, a patch-up job won’t cut it and you’ll need to think about a full gutter replacement. Hiring an expert ensures superior workmanship and solutions that’ll last long into the future. Plus, you get the peace of mind of knowing it’s done right the first time.

Final Thoughts

Leaky, broken gutters and downspouts can quickly become a nightmare scenario for homeowners. Instead of waiting until you have a full-blown disaster on your hands, consider calling in the experts at the first hint of trouble. Replacing your gutters and downspouts early on can nip potential problems in the bud and protect your home from serious water damage.

At Mountain Vista Roof Systems, our team of experts is here to provide you with the best service and solutions for your home. Don't wait for water damage to tell you there's a problem. Call us now for a thorough inspection and stay ahead of problems.