Your gutters are arguably one of the most important parts of not only your roof but your home's foundation and landscaping as well. Without proper drainage from your roof, water can quickly cause all sorts of erosion damage within your landscaping, while also causing water damage and promoting mold growth within your home. Understanding some of the warning signs associated with gutters that are on their last legs can help you determine when you should talk to a roofing contractor about replacing them.
The most common sign that your gutters desperately need to be replaced is if you notice any signs of rust on them. Rust will quickly eat away at the structural integrity of your gutters, allowing water to leak out and ruining the drainage system. Rust also points to severe age: newer aluminum gutters are immune to rust, and older gutters that have rusted have thus seen many years of wear and tear and likely have other structural issues that may be harder to spot as a result.
2. Separation from the Roof
Another clear indication that your gutters are no longer able to function properly is if you can observe any sort of separation between your gutters and the edge of your roof. This is caused by damage to either the gutter supports or to the gutters themselves and means that water that drains off of the roof will simply pour down your siding and drain next to the foundation, both of which greatly increase the risk of water damage occurring inside your home.
3. Stains and Fading Siding
In a similar vein to the above point, if you can see any sort of staining, fading, or discoloration on the siding of your home, you likely have some sort of leak or blockage in your gutter system that is preventing water from properly exiting out of the downspout. While in some cases clearing out the organic debris in your gutter system can be enough to get things flowing again, it's a good idea to visually inspect the structural integrity of your gutters to determine if replacement or repair is necessary.
4. Interior Peeling Paint
Finally, gutters that are unable to properly function can cause water damage to the exterior walls of your home. While water damage can take many forms, from structural damage to mold growth, by far the most common sign of a leak is peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper. This means that water damage is relatively fresh, but has been able to soak through the drywall and get to the painted surface, meaning that it is also fairly severe - and your gutters are one of the most likely candidates.
For more information, contact your local residential roofing contractors.