Gutters are the unsung hero of roofing materials. They are often overlooked and unnoticed until something goes wrong. The truth is, gutters are what cap off a good roof installation. They protect not only the foundation but the entire exterior. They are responsible for managing moisture and roof debris and making sure whatever is going on outside stays outside.
Common Signs You Need to Either Repair or Replace Your Gutters
If your gutters aren’t doing their job properly, it puts your roof and your home at risk of serious damage. It’s important to keep an eye on them and watch for these common signs that it might be time for a repair or replacement.
- Aging – Even the best gutter systems get old. Most of the time, the gutters will last as long as the roof does, but if they begin to rust, corrode, sag, or fail, it’s probably time to replace them.
- Poor Installation – Gutters are secured to the fascia boards or rafter tails along the roof perimeter. If they are not installed properly, they don’t work correctly and should be repaired or replaced as they can cause water-related problems around your home.
- Gutter Blockage – This usually is due to debris in the gutter and doesn’t require a full replacement – but they should be cleaned and repaired if necessary.
- Pipe Blockage – If clogged gutters aren’t cleared, it can cause problems in the rainwater pipes as well. These are the pipes that connect the gutter to the ground and allow water to flow properly. If the downspout pipe is clogged, it will cause backflow and, if left long enough, can cause wood rot where the gutter overflows.
- Cracks, Holes, or Rust Spots – Any of these are sure signs of damage to your gutter system. You may need to replace a section or the entire structure if left unattended. Systems nowadays are mostly made from aluminum, so rust is no longer a problem with today’s systems.
- Broken Fasteners – The fasteners, or hangers, are what hold the gutter to the facia or rafter tails, when these break, you open up your gutter system for failure and even run the risk of them falling off the house entirely. This can cause damage to outside walls, foundations, and landscaping.
- Gutters Pulling Away from the Roof – Old systems were installed using a technique called “spike and ferrule.” If you’ve hammered in the spikes time and time again and the gutter is still pulling away from the roof, it may be a problem with the fascia boards, as these holes expand and contract over time. The weight of the water will pull on the gutter and they will continue to come out. This is a never-ending cycle that will result in a gutter replacement.
- Sagging Gutters – Areas of sagging causes the water to pool in certain sections and spillover. This is a time to consider replacing your gutters.
Benefits of Investing in a New Gutter System
Installing new gutters is a step towards proactive prevention to take care of the roof, foundation, and exterior of your home.
- Keeps Your Home from Decay – Your home is likely lined with materials like tar paper and plywood. These are not waterproof. Without proper gutter drainage, water can seep inside and cause major damage that literally tears your home apart.
- Keeps Insects Away – Mosquitos and insects that are attracted to water can end up inside your home if you don’t sweep them away in your gutter system. Gutters reduce the risk of standing water and help your home stay pest-free.
- Prevent Mold – If the exterior of your home holds on to too much moisture, it can cause mold inside the walls. Mold can be damaging and difficult to remove, but a strong gutter system can prevent mold from setting in.
- Keeps Your Home Foundations Strong – Your gutters divert water away from the foundation. This is the most vital part of your structural stability. Water may seem innocent but can seep into the foundation, soften the soil, and cause your home to actually shift and crack.
- Protects Your Siding – In addition to your foundation, gutters protect your siding from growing mold, mildew, or moss. In addition, the wet siding will rot or rust over time. However, strong gutters create a waterproof home to protect you and your family.
- Create a Neater Look – Gutters simply add a beautiful finishing touch to your home. They are a small element that makes a huge difference in curb appeal.
- Protects Your Landscaping – Once you have a gutter system, you should be free to install any landscaping and be free of watershed destroying your new beautiful foliage. Gutters will keep water from washing away topsoil, creating divots and ruts alongside the home, and keep mulch in its place. If you have landscaping, you NEED gutters.
Types of Gutters We Repair, Replace, and Install
We work with the most popular types of gutters used in the area. These types of gutters come in dozens of colors to create a beautiful, seamless look to your home. If you’re not sure which type of gutter is best for you, our contractors can help you decide.
- Half Round Gutters – These gutters look like a tube that has been cut in half. The symmetrical U-shape complements modern home styles as well as those of older, historic homes. The smooth, curved inside is more effective at washing out debris than flat-bottom gutters.
- K-Style Gutters – The outer shape of this type of gutter is designed to resemble crown molding rather than being perfectly round or half-circle shaped. They hold more water than a rounded gutter and are less likely to bend when damaged, making them one of the stronger options. These come in different sizes:
- 5-Inch – A 5-inch gutter is typically sufficient for most homes. This is our standard gutter system that works great for many homeowners in the San Antonio area.
- 6-Inch – This is our gutter of choice as it outperforms the smaller systems on the market. This is a good choice for homes in the San Antonio area because we live in an area that gets significantly more rainwater and a 6-inch gutter can actually hold 40% more water than a 5-inch system.
- 7-Inch – Many homes with Spanish tile roofing will opt for the larger 7-inch gutters. Because of the tile roofing overhang, the larger gutters extend past the roofing and do a better job of collecting water.
Commonly Used Materials Used by Prime Seamless
There are three main materials that we use for gutters at Prime Seamless Gutters & Roofing: copper, aluminum, and galvalume.
- Copper – If you want a gutter system you’ll never have to replace – go with copper. When installed properly, a copper gutter system will typically last a lifetime! It will likely outlast you, and of course, it’s beautiful and elegant.
- .27 Gauge Painted Aluminum – This is the industry standard for gutters. They are easy to install and budget-friendly. They work well on most homes, but a thicker gauge, .32, can be specially ordered and is typically used in regions with snow or ice.
- Galvalume Steel – Galvalume is typically used in roofing materials but is also a popular choice. Their curb appeal combined with their longevity makes them a much more appealing gutter system.
FAQs About Gutters