A large part of home ownership revolves around maintaining your home and ensuring that everything is functioning as it should. As arduous as it is, roof maintenance should feature prominently on every maintenance to do list. 

That said, it’s no secret that one major repair that most Australians dread the most is the gutter replacement Melbourne residents do before the rainy season sets in. Not only is this one of the top ways to keep water damage at bay, but it’s also a crucial way to maintain your house’s value. 

Look for the Signs

In most instances, gutters don’t break from one day to the next, unless your home has endured one of those famous Australian storms. On average, residential gutters are expected to last up to 20 years. This means that you will start seeing the signs of potential gutter replacement well in advance. 

If you’re not sure what these signs are, then this post is a must-read. Keep reading as we share the most common signs to keep an eye out for as you plan your home maintenance. 

  1. The Gutters Have Started Sagging

Sagging gutters are commonly associated with age or inferior materials. However, the reality is that this can happen to the best gutters if they’re not maintained properly. Homeowners who live in heavy rainfall areas will know that leaving gutters full of leaves, mud, twigs and other garden debris will eventually cause them to pull away from the fascia boards running along the bottom ends of the roof. 

Gutter sagging usually happens when the gutters and downpipes haven’t been cleaned for a long time. Clogs of leaves and twigs in the gutter cause the gutters to become heavy which in turn sees them pulling away from the roof. Depending on the severity of this, cleaning alone may not be enough.

You may need a professional to reattach the gutters once they have been cleaned out. Keep in mind that ignoring this problem can lead to water damage to the walls and foundation.

  1. You’ve Started Seeing Signs of Water Damage

Another common sign to look for is obvious signs of water damage around the bottom of the gutters. The most prominent signs of water damage include the following: 

  • Peeling paint on and around the gutters
  • Water stains around the tops of the gutters and the bottoms of the downpipes
  • Mould and mildew forming on the gutters and walls
  • The wall against the gutter stays wet even after the rain has stopped
  1. Even Mild Rain Causes Your Gutter to Overflow

It’s not uncommon for gutters to overflow during severe storms. Especially if you have a narrow gutter system installed in a heavy rainfall area. Trees that lean over or next to the roof also make it easy for debris to get into the gutter. However, if your gutters have recently started overflowing even after the mildest of storms, you may need to check if they are clogged or damaged. 

If they’re just clogged, then a simple clean will solve the problem. However, if they are more severely damaged due to blockages, rust or corrosion, it may be time to speak to your local roofer about replacing your gutter system. In this instance, it’s essential to check that your new gutter system is big enough to handle the rainfall in your area. 

  1. You Have Started Noticing Splits and Cracks in the Gutter System

Factors such as age, materials, original installation process, the volume of rain and debris and how well the gutters have been maintained will determine how long they last. A clear indicator that you need gutter replacement is the appearance of splits and cracks anywhere along the gutter system.

While you may think a few occasional cracks aren’t such a big deal, it’s essential to remember that these lead to water leaks both inside and outside. This can also cause damage to the foundations. To avoid these costly repairs, be sure not to ignore any splits and cracks in your gutters or downpipes. 

  1.  There are Clear Signs of Rust Along the Gutter System

Some gutters are more prone to rust and corrosion than others. The same factors mentioned above will also determine how likely your gutters are to rust. In some cases, rust and corrosion are merely signs of old age, while in other instances, it can be a result of clogs and excess water that hasn’t been cleared out. 

Over time, the gutter material will break down and become susceptible to rust. This, in turn, causes leaking and potential water damage. Keep in mind that well-cared-for gutters can also develop rust if they are near the end of their 20-year lifespan. 

Final Thoughts

Gutters and downpipes are essential components used to direct water away from the walls and foundations of your home. Taking the time to look for damaged, clogged, or leaking gutters may prevent a costly repair down the line. Getting a professional roofer to-do routine checks and regular cleaning will also ensure that the rest of your home remains undamaged. 

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