Maintaining the gutters is most likely not on anybody’s list of favorite things. However, this mundane task is crucial to preserve the structural integrity of your home. Maybe you or your spouse clear gutters of leaves every now and then, or maybe you’ve done a good job of providing them with regular maintenance. Regardless of the circumstances, at some point, you’ll have to replace them.

What is the Life Expectancy of Gutters?

The life expectancy of gutters will vary depending on the materials used to make them. Galvanized steel gutters can last up to 20 years, while copper ones can last up to 50 years. However, a lack of maintenance can shorten that lifespan.

Signs You Need to Replace Your Gutters

While the gutters are only a small portion of your house, when it’s time to replace them, you’ll notice signs all over your home. The most common obvious examples have to do with the gutters themselves:

  • Broken gutter fasteners
  • Rust on the gutters
  • Sagging gutters
  • Cracks on their surface

In addition, you may notice issues with your home’s base, structure, landscape, and paint:

  • Peeling paint on your home’s sidings
  • Discoloration on exterior walls
  • Eroding landscape
  • Pooled water at the base of your home

To add insult to injury, you may notice a bug infestation around your home, as broken gutters result in additional moisture, which is a prime breeding ground for insects.

Since faulty gutters can cause extensive problems all over your home, make sure you inspect them every now and then. Walk around your house and inspect them for signs of rusting, sagging, or holes. Also inspect the downspouts to ensure there isn’t any debris clogging it. Do this before and after it rains, to fully determine if they’re working properly. If they seem to be in good condition and working, but water is still spilling over, you may want to install additional gutters.

Get a Free Quote Today!

Preserve your home’s structural integrity and save money long-term by letting us help you. At Allied Siding and Windows, we’ve been proudly serving Houston, Austin, and Dallas for over 30 years. Let us inspect your home and conduct a comprehensive gutter assessment. Contact us for more information about our services or stop by one of our showrooms!

The epitome of the American dream is to be a homeowner. While a laudable goal, it also comes with a long list of responsibilities that are all essential to keep your home structurally safe as well as to maintain its resale value. One of the items on this list is cleaning the rain gutters on a regular basis.

How Often to Clean Rain Gutters

Generally speaking, you should clean your rain gutters at least twice a year. That being said, if you have large trees around your property, clear the gutters from debris every three months.

Failing to provide gutter maintenance will cause water blockage. As a result, you’ll end up with mold and leaks inside your home. If the problem becomes substantial, wood can rot, compromising the security of your home’s structure as well as becoming fertile ground for an insect infestation. So whatever you do, place gutter maintenance at the top of your list.

How to Clean Rain Gutters

Cleaning the gutters is a simple task. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Get up on a ladder and use a spade to remove all large debris.
  2. Use a pressure hose to get rid of smaller items
  3. Aim the pressure hose at the downspout
  4. Remove any items stuck in the downspout with a plumber’s snake.

12 Signs Gutters Need to be Replaced

Even if you do clean your home’s gutters regularly, at some point they will have to be replaced. How often to do so depends on the materials used to create them, environmental factors, as well as how often you provide them with maintenance. That said, when they do need to get replaced, the signs will be obvious:

  1. Gutters that sag
  2. Cracks on the gutter
  3. Pooling at the base of your home
  4. Leaking in your home
  5. Structural damage to the foundation of your home
  6. Insect infestation (bugs are drawn to moisture)
  7. Paint peeling from your home’s exterior walls or siding
  8. Discoloration in portions of your home’s exterior
  9. Rusted gutters
  10. Broken gutter fasteners
  11. Your home’s landscape is eroding.
  12. You find loose nails or screws in your yard and you have no idea where they came from.

Get a free quote today!

Preserve your home’s structural integrity and save money long-term by letting us help you. At Allied, Siding and Windows, we’ve been proudly serving Houston, Austin and Dallas for over 30 years. Let us inspect your home and conduct a comprehensive assessment of your gutters. Contact us for more information about our services or stop by one of our showrooms!

It’s no secret that you can save a lot of money by doing many home maintenance and repair jobs yourself, including installing a new gutter system. However, there are a few essential things to beware of before you make this decision. After all, your gutters play a vital role in keeping your home safe from the elements, so a professional level of installation is vital.

#1. Not Calculating the Pitch

Even if your gutter system might look perfectly even, the slightest inaccuracy in the pitch can render them completely ineffective. Although it might not seem so, functioning gutters do in fact have a slight downward pitch that allows water to flow along them and into the downspouts. It’s only very slight, as it needs to be, but it is one of the most important factors of all.

#2. Choosing the Wrong Type

Most modern houses in the US use the K-style gutter system with 5- or 6-inch-wide troughs, while those living in rainier environments tend to prefer the traditional half-round design. Another important consideration is whether to go for a standard sectional system or the newer seamless design. Seamless gutters tend to be a much better investment, since they are more durable and require almost no maintenance.

#3. Placing the Gutters Improperly

It is important to ensure that your rain gutters are located no more than few inches below the roof, otherwise rain be more likely to get behind the gutter and into the fascia boards and siding. If you currently have this problem with your roof, you may want to consider installing a drip edge, which is placed underneath the first line of shingles to improve the flow of water into the gutters.

#4. Sectional vs. Seamless Systems

Traditional gutter systems feature sectional designs, which typically come as ten-foot sections cut to fit. As such, there are many seams in the system, which are also weak points in the structure where leaks may develop. By contrast, a seamless gutter system, which can only be installed by a professional with specialized machinery, requires almost no maintenance and is practically immune from leaks and blockages. They do cost more up front, but the investment certainly pays off.

Allied Siding & Windows is a Texas-based company that offers a variety of exterior home-improvement products and services, including high-capacity gutter systems that are custom-built for every property.

cleaning and repairing gutters

Gutters perform a very important role when it comes to protecting your home against the elements. However, to keep them functioning optimally, you’ll need to incorporate them into your annual home maintenance routine. Particularly before the fall and before any bad weather has been forecast, you should inspect your gutters to ensure that they’re well-prepared.

Inspect Your Gutters

Particularly if you don’t have a leaf guard installed in your gutter system, you should get into the habit of thoroughly inspecting it at least once per year, preferably during fall. Additionally, you should inspect it for any damage after storms. If you’re comfortable getting up on a ladder, check the gutters for any excessive buildup of detritus, such as rotting leaves.

If you have a traditional sectional gutter system, remember that the seams between each section are weak spots in the structure that are relatively prone to cracking and forming leaks. If you suspect that the gutters might be damaged, especially after strong wind, be sure to test them thoroughly by using a hose to check for any leaks or blockages.

Unblocking Gutters and Downspouts

You can usually get rid of light blockages simply by using a high-pressure hose. However, you’ll want to make sure that the gutters are properly secured so that they don’t come loose. Alternatively, you can use the safer method, which involves using a specialized gutter cleaner. These cylindrical brushes work rather like pipe cleaners in that they can turn around corners to get rid of more stubborn blockages.

Removing leaves and other detritus from the gutters themselves is also important, especially during the early autumn. An excess buildup of such detritus can lead to increased amounts of standard water, which in turn can encourage mosquitos and other pests to make their homes in your gutters. Rotting organic matter can also eventually cause damage to nearby structures, such as fascia boards.

Repairing Leakages

It’s usually easy enough to repair leaking or sagging gutters, but if they are showing a great deal of wear and tear, then it might be time to replace them, preferably with a more efficient seamless gutter system. Otherwise, you can seal leaking joints and small holes using a vinyl sealant, depending on the material from which the gutters are made.

Sagging gutters are usually a result of not having enough evenly spaced brackets to hold them up. By adding one or more extra hangers for extra support or replacing any failing ones, you can easily overcome the problem. Alternatively, if your gutters are due for an upgrade, Allied Siding & Windows provides maximum-strength, custom-made solutions for your home.

Gutter Replacement and Repair - When Should It Be Done2You might think that the answer to that question is obvious.  Certainly, if the gutters aren’t working right, gutter replacement or repair needs to be added to the home projects to-do list and scheduled fairly quickly.  You should also regularly inspect your gutters for signs that are not always obvious. Here are some clues that you may have gutter issues:

  • Weight from debris trapped in your gutters can cause the gutter to pull away from the house or sag.  This can cause water to leak behind the gutter, wreaking havoc with the roof or siding and causing potential leaks, mold and rot inside your home.  If your gutters are not hanging properly, they may not effectively channel water into the downspouts.
  • Mold or peeling paint on your home’s exterior may be a sign that your gutters are leaking and may need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Discoloring of the siding on your home might be from back-splash.  Wind can force water from overflowing gutters onto your exterior siding.  The discoloration of your siding is key indicator that you may have a gutter problem.
  • A damp basement or cracks in the foundation of your home can both be signs pointing towards gutter issues.  When gutters clog, they force the water to overflow over the sides, thus causing water to potentially accumulate down around the foundation of your home.
  • In the winter, look to see if snow and ice are building up within the gutter and on the roof.  These can cause leaks that damage your home.  Water can seep behind the gutters, causing the water to leak into your walls.  Unknown water in the walls left unattended can quickly allow unhealthy mold and rot to form.
  • A walk around your property can also give you additional indicators that you may have gutter problems.  As you take your stroll, look for signs that water is causing erosion in unexpected places.  Small sections of rocky material where there was once a solid layer of topsoil is one sign of erosion.  A small area of uneven topsoil and spaces, where the water stands after a drenching rain, is another sign.

Give your gutters a regular visual inspection from the ground.  You should also make it a point to walk around the house during a heavy rain storm to watch your gutter system in action.  Inspect each downspout during a rain storm.  Determine where the water flows once it exits the downspout. Is the water flow causing areas of erosion?

Do this walk around in different seasons.  As the autumn leaves fall from the trees, be sure to look for overflows or blockages caused by buildup of the leaf material, especially if you do not have gutter protection as part of your gutter system.

During your regular inspection process, you may find that it is time to replace you current gutter system.  If you do find that it is gutter replacement time, talk to the professional team at Allied Siding and Windows.  They will answer any questions that you may have and they can install a unique, large capacity gutter system called RainPro™ that is custom cut to ensure a perfect fit for your home.  The RainPro™ Design Series gutters are created to give your home ultimate protection.  Using only high quality products in conjunction with their stringent construction and production practices, Allied Siding and Windows gives an optimum level of performance, results, and satisfaction for each customer they serve.  Call Allied Siding and Windows today at 713-946-3697 for additional information.

Call Allied Siding & Windows Today!

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(713) 946-3697

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