This article will outline some of the leading causes of gutter failure, as well as offer some advice on how to get the best lifespan out of your gutters.
What is the life expectancy of a roof gutter?
Every gutter experiences excessive rainfall, leaf blockages and erosion through sun exposure, but how soon your roof gutter needs to be replaced will depend on a number of factors, including the local climate, how often extreme weather events occur and how well you look after them.
The average life expectancy of your gutters will also depend on the material they are made from. Galvanised steel and aluminium gutters can expect to last for around 20 years, with copper gutters lasting up to 50 years. The best way to maintain the life expectancy of your roof gutters will be through regular inspections and making sure you repair any damage as quickly as possible.
How often should you check your roof gutter?
Keeping an eye out for noticeable damage to your roof gutter is a good start, but we recommend giving it a thorough inspection twice a year. You can also use this time to clear your guttering of debris and detritus. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always give our experts a call at Endpoint Plumbing.
What should you look out for when checking your roof gutter?
There are a handful of red flags when it comes to the health of your roof gutter, so if you spot these, there is a good chance something is wrong. Some of the warning signs that your gutter is reaching its life expectancy are:
Issues with your property’s foundation – If you have a blocked gutter or a leak that travels towards the base of your property, this could affect your foundation and cause cracks to develop.
Problems with basement leaks – The primary cause for most basement leaks is gutters failing to do their job. Whether it is clogged or damaged, poor guttering can cause water to flow towards your basement and lead to all kinds of trouble. Such as:
Mould in your basement – As the water leaks into the basement, excess moisture in the atmosphere will cause mould to develop. This is a notable health risk, particularly for people with breathing difficulties such as asthma.
Peeling paint – If you have noticed large flecks of paint peeling from your walls, it’s likely that water from the roof gutter is overflowing and running down the exterior. This can be caused by a blockage, worn guttering or poor installation.
Loose guttering – If your gutters are noticeably loose, or if the fasteners have fallen off, then your gutters are at risk of failing.
Water erosion – If you have noticed channels of water developing on your property from below the roof gutter, then water is not being adequately channelled away. This is a telltale sign that your gutter is failing.
Noticeably deformed gutters – If you have roof gutters that are drooping or have a lilt to one side then that should be addressed promptly. It might be a blockage, broken fasteners or another failure in the guttering.
Standing water – If you get up to your roof gutters and find standing water, then this is a strong indication that water is flowing away from the guttering properly.
What to do after your roof gutter has exceeded its life expectancy
If you have noticed any of the above faults, then it’s time to address the issues with your roof gutter. The best time to go about this is during the drier months as there will be less water and foliage to contend with. We recommend using a professional service such as Endpoint Plumbing to thoroughly inspect the set-up, alignment and any damage to your roof gutters.
A well-maintained roof gutter will have a life expectancy ranging from 20 to 50 years depending on the material, but it’s always wise to regularly keep an eye out for possible faults. If you do notice that something is not quite right with your roof gutter, it might be time to call in the professionals.
If you need help with your roof gutter or are concerned that it might be nearing the end of its life, contact our team at Endpoint Plumbing today.