If you live in an older home and notice the gutters are falling into disrepair, you may be wondering how long gutters last. The answer depends on what they’re made out of and how well you take care of them.
How Long Do Gutters Last?
Most gutters installed today are made of aluminum. Seamless options provide superior advantages over other types of gutters, including fewer leaks, greater durability and less maintenance. Aluminum gutters have a life expectancy of 20 years. Since downspouts experience less wear and tear than gutters, aluminum downspouts may last 30 years.
Older homes often have gutters made of copper. You may want to add these to your home to promote an Old World charm. Copper gutters have a life expectancy of 50 years or more while copper downspouts can last an impressive 100 years before needing to be replaced.
How to Extend the Life of Your Gutters
They already have a pretty impressive life span, but you can help your gutters last even longer with these tips:
- Clean the gutters twice a year, once in the fall after all the leaves are off the trees and again in the spring.
- Don’t lean a ladder against the gutters when cleaning them.
- Avoid using abrasive chemicals when you power wash the house, including bleach, because this could eat away at the gutters.
- Apply sealant to the corners every five years.
- Hire a good gutter company to perform maintenance and repair for you.
Knowing When It’s Time for Gutter Replacement
If you live in an old house, you might not be sure how old the gutters are. It can be difficult to tell when to replace the gutters because they wear out so gradually.
However, to help prevent roof damage, water leaks, fascia rot and more, it’s important to replace your gutters before they fall completely into disrepair. Watch for these signs:
- Sections coming loose
- Widespread visible rust
- Holes or cracks in the gutters
- Gaps between gutter connections and fascia boards
- Nails lying on the ground that came loose from the gutters
- Broken fasteners
- Mold or water stains on the siding
- Pooling water near your home after a downpour
- Water channels or completely washed-out sections of landscaping
Schedule Gutter Repair & Maintenance in Maryland
Now that you know how long gutters last, you may realize it’s time for a replacement.
Contact Accurate Insulation for more help deciding, or to schedule services in the Washington, DC metro area.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I don’t clean my gutters?
Neglecting gutter cleaning does a lot more than lead to clogs. Dirty and clogged gutters will wear down faster over time, resulting in gutter replacement sooner than should be necessary. It’s important to clean your gutters regularly. You can also invest in gutter guards to keep out most of the debris.
How far should downspouts be from my home’s foundation?
You want your gutter system to divert water as far away from your home as possible, so make sure your downspouts are at least 4–6 inches from the foundation. You can also add rocks or gravel at the ends of your downspouts to prevent erosion.
Can gutters be installed on a flat roof?
Flat roofs are often chosen for their waterproofing membrane and the slight slope that helps divert water — but that doesn’t mean you can’t add gutters for additional protection. However, gutters on flat roofs will require more consistent maintenance.
What’s the best way to clean gutters that are high and hard to reach?
Using a ladder to clean your gutters can lead to gutter damage. If your gutters are hard to reach, it’s best to invest in gutter guards and rely on a professional gutter contractor for needed maintenance and repair.