The frequency with which gutters are replaced varies depending on weather conditions in the region; however, routine maintenance can extend their useful life. Generally, galvanized steel or aluminum gutters have an average life expectancy of 20 years, while copper gutters can last up to 50 years. Gutters are essential to protect your home from water damage. They safely move water away from the house, saving you significant repair costs.
However, like most building materials, gutters deteriorate as they age. According to the National Association of Home Builders, aluminum gutters can last about 20 years, while copper has an estimated lifespan of 50 years. If the damage you have identified is not extensive, repairs should be possible. Once gutters have been repaired, they should be cleaned regularly so they don't clog up, build up debris, create ice prey, or become a habitat for animals.
If the damage is extensive, your gutters may not be repairable. Rust is a warning sign that gutters should be replaced immediately, as they will invariably expand and become a hole. Just because the gutters don't work perfectly doesn't mean it's time to tear them down and replace them. Like any part of your home, gutters need regular maintenance.
The most common cause of gutter malfunction is that they are clogged. Be sure to schedule a gutter cleaning at least once a year (more so if your house is surrounded by trees) to remove leaves and dirt from your system. Not only will a specialist be able to give you a reliable opinion on the best path to follow for your gutters, but they will also provide you with the service you need when it comes to replacing or repairing your gutter system. If the gutters don't work properly and water overflows and seeps down the side of the house, you may need to clean them, as they could be clogged.
For ideal maintenance, you should clean the gutters several times a year and check that they are properly secured to your home. Whether your gutters need a little maintenance or a total replacement, the most foolproof solution out there is to hire a gutter repair specialist for the job. You should keep a detailed record of gutter inspections, maintenance and repair, as this will help you determine when it's time to plan for gutter replacement. With regular maintenance of most gutter systems, you won't have to consider replacing gutters for 20 or more years.
So, if you don't know when your gutters were installed, how can you tell if it's time to replace them or not? Of course, you don't want to rely on a dysfunctional gutter system.
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