As a homeowner, you may or may not realize the terms, “maintenance, repair and replacement” have distinct meanings when used as professional jargon. There are some clues you can watch for to understand which your home likely needs when your gutters aren’t working properly, although each situation can be a little different. It’s important to listen to your contractor’s advice and explanation when determining what is needed. An understanding of his lingo will help you understand what he plans to do and why.


Typical gutter maintenance is simply cleaning debris that builds up in them, eventually causing a dam in the gutter or a clog in the downspout. Sometimes it may include minor adjustments such as tightening loose bolts or screws, or perhaps rearranging the collector at the bottom of the downspout. It’s normal for your gutters to need regular cleaning, but if they need it too often you may want to consider upgrading them with a LeafProof Gutter Cover to prevent debris from draining into them along with the flow of water.


Gutter repair can cover a number of damages that occasionally happen to even the best of gutter systems. A storm can knock off a downspout, snow and ice can cause the center of a gutter to sag and hold water instead of draining, or the natural settling of the home on its foundation can loosen the gutters and cause a gap for water to run between the gutter and fascia board. Although more rare than maintenance tasks, these types of repairs are to be expected over time and are common enough for most reputable contractors to be familiar with the problem and solution. Unfortunately, after these repairs are made once the need for them comes back sooner than before, so after having these repairs made a few times it’s likely going to be time to consider complete gutter replacement to assure your home’s continued nice appearance and to allow the gutters to work the way they were designed to.


Full gutter replacement is fairly self-explanatory. Theoretically you may be able to replace a single section of gutter, but assuming you’re replacing worn out gutters rather than approaching a singular incident that damaged a gutter beyond repair you probably want to replace them all at once for cosmetic consistency and to avoid having to replace the rest in the near future. It simply makes more sense in most cases to do your whole house at the same time.


At this point you’ll want to work with an experienced contractor with a specialty in conducting gutter work, as the job requires specialized knowledge and tools. The old gutters have to be removed and hauled off for recycling. New gutters offer options for appearance and function which you’ll want to discuss with your contractor to assure you have less maintenance and repairs in the future and a longer time before the next replacement.


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