Gutters are not something most Toronto homeowners think about – except for the twice yearly cleaning. However, they are the kind of architectural element that is vitally important to the health of your home.
Purpose of gutters
Gutters are meant to catch all water run-off and channel it away from your home. Water can cause significant damage to homes if left unchecked. It can ruin foundations, destroy paint jobs and cause mold to thrive. Water is one of the most destructive elements and it is necessary to protect your home from the damage it can cause.
Spotting gutter problems
It is usually quite easy to sport issues with your gutters. There are a few telltale signs that yours are in need of either repair or replacement. Firstly, most gutters have a 20 year lifespan. Copper gutters can last up to 50 years. If yours are nearing the end of their life, it is best to be on the lookout for these signs:
- Cracks or fractures
Cracks or fractures can be very tiny or large enough to see easily. Gaps are usually caused by sections that have rotted away or fallen due to seams coming loose. Sags are weak points where water and debris collect and are a precursor to breaks. Rust is obviously not good as it will lead to holes and gaps in your gutters.
Other telltale signs
Aside from the above, there are other less obvious signs that your gutters are an issue.
- Paint peeling on the side of your house
- Mold in your basement
- Foundation problems
- Soil erosion
- Water damage marks
Peeling paint is usually due to moisture build-up. While modern paints are designed to withstand moisture, if there is too much of it, the paint will peel. Mold is another common result of problematic gutters – especially in basements. And, if water is allowed to build up around your foundation long enough to cause mold, it will usually impact your foundation as well. If you find spots where the soil around your home seems to be uneven and depressed, it likely means that there is a leak from your gutter that is causing the soil to erode. Lastly, if your home shows any signs of water damage, such as wet spots or discoloration, you should have your gutters checked for issues.
Cost of changing your gutters
If you do need to change your gutters, the cost can vary greatly based on the type of gutter you want and the material it is made from. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $15-$35 per linear foot.
Gutters might not be the most showiest home reno you could do, but it is one of the more important ones. And, once done, it will protect your home for years to come.