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How Long Should A Gutter System Last?

How Long Should a Gutter System Last?

It is imperative to the wellbeing of your home that your gutters are in tip top shape and working well. Gutters can last a great amount of time, if maintained properly. So how long are they supposed to last?

According to the National Association of Homebuilders, “Gutters have a life expectancy of more than 50 years if made of copper and for 20 years if made of aluminum. Copper downspouts last 100 years or more, while aluminum ones will last 30 years.”

Gutters and Downspouts     Life in Years
Copper 50+
Aluminum 20
Galvanized Steel 20
Downspouts (Aluminum) 30
Downspouts (Copper) 100


Vinyl gutters should last 25+ years according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors.

Traditional Gutters

These seamed gutters are the least common and best for a DIY gutter job. They are already pre-manufactured, made of steel, and last about 20 years, if cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Because they are galvanized, they do tend to rust quickly and they require a paint job after being installed. This also means that the paint needs to be maintained to ensure a good visual appeal.

Seamless Gutters

Seamless gutters are designed specifically for your home and also have a life expectancy of about 20+ years. As the name suggests, they are also seamless, which means debris doesn’t build up as easily around the welded areas. They do not have breaks and expansion joints at regular intervals like the traditional system; therefore, leaks and wear downs are less common. They also require less maintenance, no large clean-up cost, and are able to be hung more securely.

These time periods do not take “acts of God” or damage from ladders into account, though. So how can you utilize the entire lifetime of your gutters and how do you know when to replace them? Here are some tips…


Termites and carpenter ants absolutely love the wet environment of decaying leaves and mold that tend to build up in a dirty gutter. These insects are tricky to detect as they blend in with natural environments. Look for holes in the wood around your home and spongy like textures. These nasty pests could ruin your foundation and drain your wallet.

  • Do not rest your ladder on your gutters when cleaning them or getting onto the roof. Ladders can easily damage your gutters and dramatically decrease the life expectancy.
  • Clean your gutters on a regular basis! Depending on the type of weather your area has may determine how many times you need to clean out the gutters.
  • Put leaf guards on to help with debris control.
  • Check fasteners and reseal the corners and endcaps every 5 years.
  • If your gutters are made of galvanized steel, check them for rust.
  • Ensure your downspouts are attached properly and extending 10 feet from the foundation, at minimum.

Signs You May Need to Repair or Replace Your Gutters

Most of the time, gutters can be repaired instead of completely replaced. Be sure to check with a professional before taking the leap of replacing your gutters.

  1. Visible cracks, holes, and/or rust on the gutters
  2. Paint that is bubbling or pealing on or around the gutters or off the house’s siding
  3. Accumulation of water near the foundation of the house
  4. Gutters are beginning to separate from the house or fasteners are broken
  5. Gutters are separating from each other
  6. Sagging gutters
  7. Standing water in the gutters


When choosing a gutter system for your home it is important to know their lifespan with proper maintenance!  Contact the experts today from Gutter Professionals, Inc. for more information about gutter installation on your home.


POSTED ON April 28, 2017 // 0 COMMENTS


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