Gutters 101: When Is the Right Time to Replace Your Gutters?

Regardless of whether your home has copper, steel, or aluminum seamless gutters, there will come a time when replacement is required. When is the right time to seek new gutters and expert gutter installation in Chicago? Consider the following tips from U.S. Exterior by Seidel.

Rotting Exterior Wood

When gutters wear out, one of the biggest problems posed is their inability to keep water from soaking a home’s exterior wood trim elements: door jambs, window sills, and the like. Repeated exposure to cascading water during thunderstorms will cause these elements to rot. Ideally, a homeowner will recognize what’s happening before both the gutters and the damaged wood require replacing.

Lack of Required Maintenance

The more conscious a homeowner is of cleaning out their gutters when required, the less one has to worry about premature gutter replacement. However, everyone gets busy, and too often gutter cleaning is neglected or ignored entirely. This inevitably leads to excess wear and tear due to gutters not functioning properly, along with the quicker failure of gutter systems – thus necessitating the need for replacement. If you notice your gutters are having difficulty distributing water, have them cleaned asap before larger problems arise that force your hand.


Over time, even the best gutters will begin cracking. If you or a gutter specialist periodically inspects your home’s gutter system, it’s easy to spot the larger cracks on a dry day. However, smaller cracks may be invisible to the naked eye, revealing themselves only in the midst of a storm. Individual cracks can be patched up by a gutter repair expert in order to keep a gutter system running, but widespread cracking is cause for replacement. After all, what good is a gutter if it can’t hold any water?


Well-functioning gutters and downspouts ably funnel water away from a home’s foundation in order to prevent foundation damage and basement flooding. However, the older a gutter system gets, the less efficient it becomes in this area. If you happen to be in your basement and you see and/or smell the unmistakable signs of mildew, there’s a good chance it’s the result of malfunctioning gutters, resulting in too much water penetrating your home’s foundation and seeping into your basement walls. Don’t hesitate to install new gutters, as the alternative can be exceptionally expensive.

Peeling Paint

If your home’ siding begins showing signs of peeling or bubbling, the probable cause is excess moisture due to compromised gutters. You or a gutter expert can confirm this by inspecting the gutter section that’s nearest to the problem. If the problem is isolated to a small area, timely repairs can extend your gutter system’s lifetime. However, if peeling paint is visible in several places on your home’s exterior, we recommend replacing your gutters.

Failing Seams

Although seamless gutters are gaining in popularity, most homes today still feature seamed gutter systems. After repeated use, these seams (located where two horizontal gutter segments meet) will begin to separate and leak, resulting in excess water that causes problems inside and outside of the home. Depending on a gutter system’s age, these seams can be repaired – but in the long run, it’s better to replace your system and consider seamless gutters.

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