Gutter trouble? When to replace instead of repair
Know the signs of when to replace or repair your gutter. (Photo courtesy of Summer Steenburg)
How often should my gutters be cleaned?
Long: It should be more than once a year.
Phillips: Annually, at a minimum. If you have a lot of trees, several times a year.
Powell: At the minimum, they need to be checked out and cleaned in the spring and fall.
What are some indications I may need to repair or replace my gutters?
Mike Long, manager
Frazier Roofing & Guttering Co.
Jason Phillips, owner
Phillips Painting, Roofing & Gutters
Jerry Powell, owner
North Richland Hills, Texas
Long: Look for leaks in corners, staining or overflows from water, or rust in steel gutters. They should hang level, so if your gutters are turning down more toward the front, something needs to be done.
Phillips: With galvanized steel gutters, you'll start seeing rust. If the gutters aren't secured well, they'll start sagging. Also look for joints pulling apart or overflowing during rain.
Powell: If you see water coming out from behind the gutter, there's something wrong.
What are the average prices for gutter replacement or repairs?
Long: For an average 2,000-square-foot house, replacement usually costs $1,200 to $1,500, and repairs can range from $200 to $1,000.
Phillips: For an average 2,000-square-foot home, the average repair costs $600, and replacement is $1,500.
Powell: Repairs cost about 60 percent of the cost of replacement. Your average house is about $1,000 for new gutters, so it can cost about $600 to fix them. Most of the time it's better to replace them.
Do you recommend gutter guards, screens or covers?
Long: Screens don't work as well because of the fuzzies from oak trees in the spring. Gutter hoods are expensive, but they make your gutters zero to little maintenance.
Phillips: There are several different types and we recommend the one that's right for your situation.
Powell: We recommend using steel powder-coated mesh guards.
How long will new gutters last? How can I extend their lifetime?
Long: If you maintain aluminum gutters, they can last almost forever. Clean them, resecure the fasteners and reseal the corners and end caps.
Phillips: We use stainless aluminum and the materials have a lifetime warranty. Keep them cleaned out, put leaf guards on them and get them adjusted from time to time.
Powell: Aluminum gutters should last a lifetime. Just keep them clean and sometimes, because of settling of the house, they may need to be raised or lowered.