Gutters and downspouts are the unsung hero of your home. When properly functioning, they go a long way toward protecting against rain, the natural enemy of any manmade structure. In the process, gutters prevent a slew of potentially extensive, expensive moisture-related problems, all while remaining largely out of sight and out of mind. Though well-maintained, high-quality gutters can be expected to last many years, they certainly don't last forever. Click through to learn what signs might indicate the time has come to replace yours.
Cracked gutters are about as pointless as a bucket with a hole on the bottom. To inspect your gutters and downspouts, be aware that while larger cracks are plainly visible on dry, clear days—at least with the aid of binoculars—smaller cracks may only reveal themselves in a storm. No matter their size, cracks defeat the purpose of a drainage system and warrant serious appraisal. Individual cracks may be repaired, but extensive cracking is a reason to consider replacement.