Just as a proper ceiling can prevent accidents within a home, so can eavestroughs. The gutter system running around the perimeter of your roof has a simple but vital role: collecting running water and directing it away from your home. 

Unfortunately, over its lifetime, an eavestrough will start to wear out and/or become less efficient. When malfunctions occur, problems such as leaks can put your home’s internal and external structure at risk. Even in the case of multiple repairs, a new drain can sometimes be the best solution to avoid future costly problems. To help below, we have noted six signs when a new eavestrough is required.

Cracks, Holes, and Rust

Cracks and holes can form from harsh weather, age, and/or gradual deterioration. However, regardless of size, a gutter with damage will eventually leak and cause a blockage. Initially, the impact may not be worrisome, but minor gaps can lead to bigger issues in your drainage system over time. 

Similarly, the formation of rust can also compromise the strength of your pipes. However, small cracks, holes, and rust may not require much time to repair, , so it’s best to call a professional to address any issues sooner than later.

Water Damage Around the Gutter

To ensure there is no damage around an eavestrough, remember to inspect it regularly. See if there is wear and tear on the facia boards behind the gutter, shingles above the drain, and the foundation below. These areas can reveal water leaking through the channel from unresolved cracks and holes.

Detached and Sagging Drains

A quick and easy way to determine whether a pipe needs repairing or replacement is to see if it is sagging or moving away from home. Drains that pull away or sag suggest that they are full of water. This suggests that the system is not suitable for your home as water is not being drained, or there is dirt creating a blockage.   

Pinches on an Eavestrough

In addition to sagging and detached eaves, some gutters will form an awkward bend that may look like a pinch. The appearance of this can cause water to pool and overflow. 


Inspect for clogs if you notice leaves and stems protruding from your eavestrough. Another sign is that less water is running down from the eavestrough to the street after a rainstorm. Debris that gets backed up usually indicates a problem in your downspouts. A simple cleaning may be all you need, but you’ll likely need a complete replacement if the issue reoccurs.

Separated Seams

When multiple pipes are joined together, their purpose is to ensure they remain airtight. However, when two eavestrough seams separate from harsh weather or age, leaks and damage are inevitable, leading the system to begin to fail at its job. Of course, reconstructing is always an option, but why risk more frequent repairs that could result in costly damages? Instead, call a professional and install seamless gutters for even better long-term results. Let’s examine some more signs that indicate you need to replace your eavestrough.

Peeling Paint

If the paint on your home starts to peel or bubble, it’s usually an indication of excessive moisture in the area. When this occurs, check the gutter above to see if there is any leakage. If you find this problem in multiple places, consider replacing your eavestrough system.

Additionally, the fading of paint on your drainage system can signal that a repair or replacement is needed. Typically, the paint on your eavestrough will withstand the wear and tear of an environment. However, when the protective layer has worn away via shedding, it warns of your drainage system losing its functionality. Fading or peeling paint can also represent still water or cracks in your eavestroughs. 

Dry Rot

The formation of dry rot on exterior wood is another sign to look for when considering the replacement of your eavestrough. When water infiltrates spaces such as sills, fungus spores grow and deteriorate its surface (this is known as dry rot). If this is above your eavestrough, replace the wood wherever it is affected, as well as the gutters as dry rot can cause moisture issues.

Leaks, Mildew, and Mould

Having a leaky gutter can give water access to the sides of your home all the way down to the ground. Without proper care, water travelling down to the basement or other areas can cause headaches like mould, mildew, and flooding. 

If you face any water-related issues in your basement or other spaces within your home, identify if the source stems from the roof and replace it as needed. This can be fixed through a simple unclogging procedure sometimes, though it’s best to reach out to a professional experienced in cleaning eaves and gutters as a precaution to ensure the best results.

Missing and Loose Fasteners

Pieces such as nails, fasteners, and screws are manufactured to keep your pipes and eaves together and close to your roof. As your system regresses, nails and pins will begin to rust and lose their resilience to hold objects. Occasional repairs may not be concerning, but frequent fixes may indicate that a new drainage system is needed. 

Even with regular maintenance, when you live in a location that endures months of harsh weather, like our long Canadian winters, the reality is that eavestroughs can develop problems relatively quickly despite regular maintenance. Therefore, we always advise and inform our customers of the importance of performing regular roof inspections. These can help spot any minor issues before they escalate into big, expensive problems.

During your next trip up to your rooftop, keep an eye out for any of the signs that indicate you need to replace your eavestrough. If you’re unsure or want an expert’s option, we’re happy to assist here at Roofmaster. With over 35 years of experience, we can help you inspect, maintain, repair and replace your eavestrough, along with our ability to handle a wide range of other roof-related matters. Get in touch with us today to get started!