Gutter Repair vs. Gutter Replacement – There is often considerable confusion between the two choices when it comes to maintaining a home’s gutters. There is little question that proper gutter maintenance can help prevent devastating water damage, but is it really necessary to replace the entire system at once? What are the benefits of doing so, and what are the disadvantages? Here is a look at both options and the pros and cons.
The primary difference between repair or replacement often comes down to the level of damage covered by a particular gutter system. If the damages are fairly small and only cover small parts of the gutter, then an all-in-one replacement of the entire gutter system is probably the best bet. However, if, though, the damages are widespread and cover larger areas of the roof, then simply repairing the gutter system may be the best option. In this case, gutter repair will likely be necessary as soon as possible.
The advantages of gutter repair are simple. It is less expensive than a full replacement, depending on where the damage is, and it is much quicker. In addition, since the holes must be replaced, it cuts down on the amount of time spent on the task, which is especially important if the weather is inclement. In most cases, there are no large holes to be repaired, and the smaller ones can often be filled in with a flexible membrane – if the damage is severe enough. Gutter repairs also tend to be more successful if the problem is not seasonal in nature, since strong winds and rains can sometimes loosen the gutters.
In addition, gutter repair is less complicated than the more complicated and costly process of a full gutting system replacement. In fact, many homeowners do not even think of removing their gutters until the system begins to leak. This fact alone makes it a simple gutter repair job that most homeowners can tackle themselves. Of course, in the event of a more severe leak, a professional should always be consulted.
If gutter repairs are not performed properly or in a timely manner, they can lead to even more expensive damage. For example, a gutter that is not installed properly or not downspouts that are not the correct size could result in surface water seeping into the foundation or yard, causing additional structural damage. At the very least, it will require the additional expense of replacement gutters or shingles. In addition, without the proper downspouts, it will be nearly impossible to keep out rainwater.
However, sometimes simple repairs to these systems can solve the problem itself. For instance, some smaller leaks might be solved by simply cutting off the excess line from the gutter and clearing away any obstructions on the walls. Even larger leaks, though much harder to repair, can be fixed with the help of an electric sump pump. A professional can also check for leaks under the floorboards, which may not only indicate the presence of a larger pipe or other obstruction, but could also indicate a much larger problem. In any case, it is important to never attempt to perform any type of major repair unless it can be performed safely and without additional damage.
The location of the downspouts is another area where a homeowner may need to consult a professional. In many cases, cracked downspouts or misshapen ones may need to be replaced. Moreover, older or damaged gutters may need to be replaced because they have become cracked or brittle due to age. Additionally, in areas where there is a great deal of tree branch traffic, branches can become caught between the downspouts and the walls of the home and cause significant damage to the gutters. In cases such as these, it would be necessary for the homeowner to hire a tree removal and replacement service.
One final consideration that many people fail to think about is the amount of times the gutter will be used. It is recommended that during winter months, all outputs should be left down. This is to protect the roof and prevent the risk of a leak from occurring. During summer, however, it is recommended that all outputs are removed except the lowest one. This allows the gutter to drain properly and prevent puddles from forming on the roof.
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