Your home's gutter system is essential to ensuring proper water drainage, and if it fails, can lead to flooding and leaks within your home, which can be expensive to repair. Thankfully, there are a number of warning signs that your gutters will exhibit as they reach the end of their lifespan. Knowing what to look for can help you replace your gutters before they end up failing.


Over time, physical pressure, weather exposure, and debris can loosen the fasteners and screws holding your gutters to the side of your home. This can result in your gutters sagging or bending outwards from your roof, leaving a gap between them and the edge of your roof. This gap can allow water to flow down the side of your home and pool near the foundation, where it can enter your basement and cause water damage. Thankfully, this is also the easiest warning sign to spot.

Water Damage

If you notice water damage along the sides of your home, either on the interior or exterior walls, your gutters are overflowing and need to be replaced. Water damage is not always easily noticeable: it can take the form of peeling paint and wallpaper, slight discoloration, and even odd smells.

Rust and Hairline Fractures

You should be cleaning your gutters out every few months, depending on the amount of rainfall that you receive. When you are removing debris from your gutters, keep an eye out for rust or thin, hairline fractures in the gutter itself. While minor, these are signs that the structural integrity of your gutters is beginning to fail, which can speed up over time and lead to more severe damage if left unchecked. Thankfully, only the gutter sections that have rust on them need to be replaced, though if they are left alone, the rust can quickly spread to other sections of your gutters.

Sump Pump Activity

If you notice that your sump pump is working more often than usual, and there are signs of increased moisture within your basement even though rainfall has been normal, your gutters are probably not draining properly. This leads to water seeping into your foundation and basement, which can eventually cause flooding and water damage, which can be expensive and time-consuming to repair. If your sump pump is working overtime, you should get on a ladder and visually inspect the gutters to confirm any signs of damage and have them replaced as needed. Contact roofing contractors in your area for assistance or more information.