Rusted Gutters

Rusted Gutters: What To Do When You Have Rusted Gutters

Gutters are one of the most overlooked, yet critical, parts of your home. Unfortunately, most people don’t think about their gutters until they have a problem. Improperly cared for gutters can cause irreparable damage to your home’s foundations and leave you vulnerable to other problems, like insect infestations, water damage, and fall risks. If you want to prevent water damage and keep your gutters as rust-free as possible, here’s what you need to know about rusted gutters and how to fix them:

When rust appears in your gutters, it can cause a number of serious problems that can require a large-scale and costly solution. Here at Ned Stevens, we know the importance of proper gutter care, cleaning, maintenance, and repair.

What Is A Gutter For?

Gutters are designed to collect water that gathers on the roof of your home and drain it away from your house. They then dispose of that water into an underground pipe or sewer system. They help prevent water damage to your home and protect your home’s foundations.

Gutters can be made from a number of materials, including metal, wood, or plastic. However, metal gutters are susceptible to rust.

  • ALUMINUM: Although aluminum gutters don’t corrode, they are nonetheless prone to dents, especially when used with tall, heavy ladders. Aluminum gutter joints are typically caulked and riveted together. It is necessary to replace the caulking every few years. Since aluminum gutters are frequently made on the job site from long rolls of aluminum stock, they typically have very few joints. The pre-finished nature of aluminum gutter eliminates the need for routine painting. The average lifespan is thought to be 20 to 25 years.
  • GALVANIZED STEEL:  There are some pre-finished galvanized steel gutters, but most are not. Periodic painting is required for galvanized steel. Galvanized gutter joints are often soldered together. The lifespan of this kind of gutter is 20 to 25 years.
  • PLASTIC: Gutter systems made of plastic are often intended for do-it-yourselfers. Plastic comes in a small range of colors, and some varieties have a tendency to fade over time. The majority of plastic gutter systems are quite small, and some of the older ones are prone to breaking in the cold. The quality of the kit and the installation will determine how long it will last.
  • COPPER:  Although copper gutters are rare and extremely expensive, they are thought to be the best. Copper has a 50–100 year lifespan.

They require professional maintenance and care to keep them working and safe. There are special tools that are needed for repair, maintenance, and cleaning. Contacting a licensed professional is recommended to prevent damage and ensure the job is done thoroughly.

What Is Rust?

Rusted Gutters

Rust is a natural process. This occurs when iron in your gutter reacts with oxygen. When you hear the word rust, you probably think of something old and rusted over. But rust can happen to any metal under the right conditions.

When iron in your gutters comes into contact with oxygen from the air, it creates a chemical reaction that turns red-brown (rust). This process is called oxidation, and it happens naturally when metal is exposed to moisture and air.

The problem occurs when this oxidation process speeds up too quickly because of exposure to moisture—like how often your gutters get wet from rain or snow meltwater in colder months. In some cases, corrosion will also contribute to faster rusting if there’s an improper amount of protective coating on your gutters (like paint).

How Does Rust Affect Your Gutters?

Rust is the enemy of your gutters. When rust forms in your gutters, they can no longer do their job correctly. Gutters can crack, causing leaks, which then cause water damage to your home. When water damage happens, it’s often a costly affair.

Rust can also cause the gutters to expand or contract and fall off the roof, or even break apart in some cases. This increases the risk of your gutters falling on passers-by or damaging the foundations of your home.

What To Do If You Have Rusted Gutters?

If you have rusted gutters, the first thing to do is remove the rust. You can use a wire brush to loosen up any stuck-on bits of rust before cleaning with a garden hose. Once your gutters are clean, apply a rust inhibitor and/or waterproofing coating to keep them from rusting again. Minor damage is easy to get rid of this way. However, other actions might be needed if the damage is more severe.

If the damage is more severe, you might find small cracks that have appeared in the gutter. This is known as rust corrosion and professional help is needed. You should call a contractor out to your home if you want to ensure a thorough job.

Professional gutter cleaners can use the tools they have at their disposal that aren’t available to the everyday homeowner. Using a professional also eliminates the risk of doing an improper job and causing more damage. A professional can also give recommendations about proper gutter maintenance.

To Prevent Water Damage, Keep Your Gutters As Rust-Free As Possible

To prevent water damage, keep your gutters as rust-free as possible. Unless you’re doing some serious remodeling, you can take a few basic steps to keep your gutters clean and free of rust.

Keep debris out of your gutter. If the leaves and debris aren’t clogging up your gutter system, they’ll be able to flow freely into the downspout. A simple way to do this is by installing a leaf guard or cover over the end of each downspout. This will allow water to continue flowing without getting caught in a pile of leaves or other debris.

Rusted Gutters

The Takeaway

If you want to prevent water damage, keep your gutters as rust-free as possible. You can regularly clean them with a garden hose or pressure washer or use a wire brush to keep minor rust at bay.

However, if the damage is more severe, with rust corrosion and minor cracks, professional help is needed. If you need to replace any rusted parts, consider using stainless steel or aluminum instead of other metals that may corrode over time. Always consult a professional before conducting any work on your gutters. Remember, they’re an integral part of your home and need proper care.

Chathurika Lilani
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