Tips from experts on gutter repair and replacement
Know the signs of when to replace or repair your gutter. (Photo courtesy of Summer Steenburg)
If your gutters are starting to fail and you aren't sure whether it is better to try and repair them or just replace them with new gutters, here are answers from three Dallas gutter experts to help you make the best decision for getting long life from your gutters.
How often should my gutters be cleaned?
Mike Long, manager at Frazier Roofing & Guttering Co. of Arlington, Texas: It should be more than once a year.
Jason Phillips, owner of Phillips Painting, Roofing & Gutters in Plano, Texas: Annually, at a minimum. If you have a lot of trees, several times a year.
What are some indications I may need to repair or replace my gutters?
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.
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.