Often called eavestroughs, gutters keep water from damaging your house. Rainwater must be channeled from your roof to a storm drain system or an area well away from your house. Possible damage can include: flooded basements, mold issues (both interior and exterior), soil erosion, stained concrete, rotted decks, and stained stucco or siding.
If you see:
Signs of water leaking at the corners of your gutters, streaking, peeling paint, or water staining of the wood that the gutters are fastened to (the fascia board), water spilling down a wall during a rainstorm, signs of corrosion or rusting on the gutter, gutters sagging, twisting or falling away from the fascia board they are fastened to, mold or peeling paint on the side of the house or moisture problems in a basement or crawlspace (if your perimeter drains are o.k.). These can all be signs of gutter problems and should be corrected before your home is damaged.
When we do an estimate, we can discuss with you what we feel the scope of work should be. If the gutters were installed correctly initially, a handyman may be able to make repairs. If the gutters were not installed properly or the corners not joined correctly, the cost of repairs may be more than the price of new gutters.
The most commonly used gutter, continuous aluminum, should last as long as a good quality asphalt roof. That is about 20-25 years.
This is very unusual, but not unheard of. Very often this is caused by chemicals that some companies apply as an after-market treatment to wood shingle roofs to control moss and algae.