Are Gutters Necessary?

gutter system along roof

Does your home have gutters?

Did you know they aren’t just for decoration, but they actually provide a valuable asset to your home’s stability and structure?  Which is why you need to know the signs you have gutter damage and how to do gutter repair or know somebody that does know how to fix damaged gutters. 

You may be thinking to yourself, if my gutters are damaged, why not just remove them instead of worrying with gutter repair or replacing damaged gutters? This is the topic we’re going to review today: Gutter repair and replacement, and the pros and cons of having a gutter system on your home. 

Let’s start from the beginning and answer a typical question, “How long do gutters usually last?”. First, the answer will include, it depends. It depends on what material the gutters are made from and it depends on how well you’ve taken care of your gutters and roofing.  They typical aluminum or  galvanized steel gutters have a life expectancy averaging around twenty years and copper gutters have a lifespan up to fifty years. 

You will get a longer lifespan with regular inspection of the roof and gutter, and doing any roof and gutter cleaning, roof repairs and gutter repairs as needed. Forgetting to inspect these major components along with other components of your home, then ignoring to follow through with any gutter repairs, or other repairs, can lead to extensive damage. 

How do you repair damaged gutters?

Again, the answer starts with, it depends on the type of material your gutter system is made from. Metal gutter repairs can be repaired by cutting new section, 4″ longer than section that is damaged, then using a wire brush, clean the cut ends of the remaining gutter where you cut. Next, caulk those ends, then place the gutter patch on the center over the cut area and press into the caulked area, securing with sheet-metal screws.

Vinyl gutter repairs are done in pretty much the same manner. Cutting out the area that is damaged, cleaning the ends of the vinyl gutter part left and then place the good part in and sealing the seams. Copper gutter repairs can be a bit more complicating and best left to having them done professionally. 

How much does it cost to fix a gutter?

Here we go again with what may seem like a standard answer: it depends. On the average nationwide, gutter repairs cost around $350, with an average ranging from $175 up to $550. What part of gutter repairs make it a “it depends” is:

  • Height of the gutters
  • Length of the gutters
  • Type of gutters
  • Type of gutter repairs needed

You can estimate professional gutter repairs by the linear foot being between $4 to $30 per linear foot with a full gutter system replacement ranging between $1,600 up to $2,200 per job. Gutter downspout repairs can cost on average of $15 per installation, with an average home of 200 feet of gutter system with six downspouts.  

gutter system close up

Should I repair or replace gutters?

If your gutter system is having any of these issues, it is time to considering gutter replacement of gutter repairs: 

  1. Detached: Gutters that aren’t fastened together securely and tightly and gutter repairs can’t make them, it is time to replace them. 
  2. Loose or missing fasteners and screws: If the fasteners and screws won’t stay in, it may be time to quit the constant gutter repairs and replace the system.
  3. Crack, holes, rust: If your gutter system has fractures, fissures, holes, or rusted sections, it is time for replacement system.
  4. Slope droops: If the gutters are drooping or sagging, time to replace the system.
  5. Eroding and fading paint: When your gutter system’s  paint is chipping and stripping off, or have come loose from the roof, you can refasten and paint them, but it would be wise to replace them now before bigger problems start.  
  6. Rus stains on the house: When gutters are rusting and starting to stain your home with rust, it is time to replace them. 
  7. Water puddles in the gutters: If you have cleaned your gutters, or had them cleaned, and tightened up, secured to the house as needed, and there is still water sitting inside the gutter run, they aren’t working, time to replace them. That water will sit there and start to mildew, attracting critters and insects, then start rotting the shingles and under decking of the roof.
  8. Flooded basement: If your basement has indications of mold and standing water, your gutters may need to be cleaned and gutter repairs made. If that has been done, and you still have mold and water in your basement, your gutters need to be replaced. 

This is an important question, and the answer needs to be regard as important: What damage can a leaking gutter cause? A leaking gutter system can be costly in other repairs besides the gutter system:

  • Wood rot damage the fascia, soffit, and roofing materials
  • Water pooled around and near the foundation, causing cracked and damaged foundation
  • Flooded basement 
  • Clogged gutter system begins to overflow, back up into the shingles, become clogged and creates standing water that attracts critters and mosquitos
  • Landscaping damage with soil erosion
  • Siding swells and is damaged
  • Decks and porches rot 
  • Driveway gets cracked and damaged

At the end of the day, a leaking gutter system can cause water to damage your home from the top to the bottom and around. A simple gutter leak should be addressed immediately, and repairs or replacement made before it gets worse. Call 214-471-6210 today!