Did you know that gutters can last two decades or even longer? That’s right!

They could last even longer, though, depending on how well you take care of them. Galvanized steel gutters, for instance, can give you up to 20 years, longer with proper care and upkeep.

Of course, this still depends on environmental factors, such as how often they get exposed to rain or snow. And in Grand Rapids, where there’s precipitation for at least 129 days a year, that’s a lot of exposure.

All these factors can contribute to the need for early gutter replacement. Especially if your old system is of the “seamed” version, which consists of sections.

The question now is, how exactly can you tell that your guttering system needs a replacement? What signs should you be on the lookout for?

We’ll answer all these questions in this post, so be sure to keep reading!

1. You Haven’t Replaced Your Gutters, Ever

Let’s say you haven’t replaced the guttering system since you moved into your home. The previous owners also didn’t replace them before selling the property to you. What you only know is the age of your home itself.

If it’s one of the 50% of houses in the US that’s over 30 years old, then now’s a good time to consider gutter replacement. Aged gutters are no longer secure and stable, and they can collapse anytime. Get them replaced before they can cause more damages and possibly even injuries.

2. Water Comes out from Many Areas of the Gutter

The main goal of gutters is to collect water and make it flow out one way, through the downspouts. If the water exits out of various sections of the gutter, it signals an interruption of water flow. In this case, it’s possible that the gutters are pulling away from each other.

If you’ve noticed water coming out from many areas of the gutter whenever it rains, it may be time to fix or replace them. Repairs are possible for one or two separated sections. More than that, and it’s better to replace your guttering system.

3. When It Rains, It Pours

The downspout channels the water collected by the gutter away from your home. If a downspout has detached, water will flow straight down to the ground from the gutter. You’ll notice torrent-like water coming down from a hole under the gutter channel.

Depending on the extent of the damage, gutter repair pros may still be able to reattach the downspout. But if both the downspout and gutters are old and damaged, repairs would be a short-term fix. The guttering components may be too degraded to support water for years to come.

Rather than dealing with another detached downspout soon, opt for replacement guttering. This would be a better investment since you can expect the new system to last for 20 years.

4. Severe Rusting

A properly-working guttering system should send water straight through the downspouts. However, debris like leaves and branches — and yes, even dead animals — can clog up your gutters. Debris can accumulate more quickly if you don’t have any gutter protection system.

When this happens, water pools up in the system, increasing its risk for rusting. The longer that pool of water stays in your gutters, the higher the risk of corrosion.

It’s still possible to repair gutters that have minor rusting. If there’s too much corrosion though, it may be best to invest in replacement gutters instead. Today’s gutters, especially the seamless ones, are more resistant to rust-causing elements.

5. You’ve Been Seeing a Lot of Insects Lately

Speaking of pooled water, an increase in insect population can also be a sign of damaged gutters. These include mosquitoes, which breed in stagnant water and bring dengue and Zika. Water bugs and water striders are also pests attracted to still water.

If there’s no other place at home with standing water, but you still see these pests, your gutters may be to blame. They may have already warped or sagged to allow water to pool. If these damages affect many areas of the gutter, consider replacing the system.

6. Water Overflows from the Gutter

Warped or sagged gutters can also cause pooled water to overflow and spill to the sides. If this occurs in more than a couple of areas, call in gutter experts to inspect the system.

It’s possible that there are only clogs that require cleaning. But if there really are sagging gutter sections, then it’s best to get a new system installed.

7. Water in the Basement

Since a faulty gutter sends water straight down, the water can end up in your basement. The water can also damage your home’s foundation, causing cracks or splits on the concrete.

If you’ve seen any of these signs, better ring up your local Grand Rapids gutter specialists. The last thing you want is to end up with a flooded basement, which can cost $500 to $85,000 to clean up.

8. Exterior Water Stains or Peeling Paint

When gutter sections pull away from each other, water can flow down between the seams. This water can trickle down your exterior walls, causing stains or paint damage.

9. Water Damage Below the Gutter Channels

Water stains right below the area where the gutters are can mean leaky gutters. They can also indicate separating gutter sections.

10. Wet, Mushy Spots on the Ground

Mushy spots on the ground below your gutters also indicate potential gutter damage. Gutter leaks or overflows may be sending water straight to your garden.

Don’t Delay Gutter Replacement

If you’ve noticed any or many of these things, then take them as signs you need gutter replacement. Especially if there are ceiling or wall stains, as this could mean molds are lurking behind them.

Either way, be sure to get your gutters inspected by professionals ASAP. This way, they can determine if your gutters are still worth saving with repairs. If the system is too old though, it’s better to invest in a replacement than to deal with more severe water damage.

Think your gutters need attention now? Then please don’t hesitate to contact us! We could go over to your Grand Rapids home and get that faulty gutter replaced right away!