Somewhere on that “to do” list that starts off the New Year, you’re probably going to see that it’s time to clean out the gutters. It is recommended that you clean your gutters twice annually. Not keeping them clean leads to damage that causes you to have to replace them sooner than you should. As you are cleaning them, here are a few things to look for that should help answer the question, “is it time for new Baton Rouge gutters?"
Standing water next to the house
If you have standing water right next to your house, it means your gutter system isn’t working efficiently. It could mean you have cracks or leaks in the gutters themselves. If you see rust or water stains on the outside of your gutter, you know this is the case. It could also mean that water is getting past the gutters, draining right down the side of your home, and staying there. The whole point of your gutter system is to effectively remove water away from your home to prevent damage to your paint, your wood, or even your foundation. One good way to test this is after you are done cleaning your gutters, spray your hose on your roof to get a look at your gutters in action. You should be able to diagnose what, if any, problems you are having by watching it work.
Mold or mildew on the walls, soffit, or fascia
Another sure fire way to tell if your gutters aren’t getting the water away from your house is if you see a build-up of mold on the home. If there is mold, it means moisture is staying around longer than it should, probably in the gutters, or trapped behind it. Soffit and fascia tend to be the most susceptible to mold, and aren’t always the easiest things to replace. When you see mold or mildew, the next problem you will find is deterioration of the wood. This means that your attic will become vulnerable to insects, roaches, or many other kinds of pests.
Gutters separating from the house
When gutters get clogged, they don’t drain properly. When they don’t drain properly, they retain water. When they retain water, they weigh more than they are supposed to for an extended period of time. When that happens, the weight causes them to pull away from the house and sag. It may be possible to repair them, but those repairs can be more costly than they are effective. If they go unrepaired, they can cause damage to your home by leaving unprotected areas exposed, or by separating your fascia.
If you do clean your gutters on a regular basis, you are more likely to spot problems before they do any serious damage to your home. Some problems can be repaired, other call for replacement right away. Either way, paying attention to these things while cleaning your gutters is a good way to insure that you are mitigating any potential problems and getting the most out of your gutter and downspout system.