Is It Time for New Gutters?

Feb 28, 2017

Although gutters and downspouts may seem as though they play a minor role in how a home operates, they are in fact unsung heroes. “When properly functioning and well maintained, they go a long way towards protecting against rain, the natural enemy of any manmade structure. Gutters also prevent a slew of potentially extensive and expensive moisture-related problems, all while remaining out of sight and out of mind,” said Wendy Cline, owner of J&B Construction, serving southeastern Wisconsin homeowners since 1958 as a provider of high-quality exterior home improvement products and services. How can you know if you need new gutters? “Although properly maintained high-quality gutters are expected to last many years, they certainly don’t last forever. Let’s explore the signs that indicate the time has come to replace yours,” said Cline.

Cracked gutters are the first sign of a potential issue. Having a crack in your gutters is about as helpful as having a bucket with a hole in the bottom of it. While inspecting your gutters and downspouts, be aware that while larger cracks are clearly visible on dry, clear days, smaller cracks may only be noticeable in a storm. “No matter the 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,” said Cline.

Second, is seam stress. “The average gutters are typically most vulnerable at the seems, where two horizontal sections meet,” she said. Here, both leaks and separations are common, with both types of failure eventually leading to any number of undesirable outcomes, whether outside the home or indoors. Though gutter seams can be mended in certain situations, many homeowners are putting the entire hassle behind them, and instead opting for seamless gutters.

Peeling is the third indicator. “Believe it or not, malfunctioning gutters can ruin a perfectly good paint job,” said Cline. Check your exterior siding for any paint that has bubbled up or peeled away due to excess moisture. If you find a section of compromised paint, be sure to check the condition of the nearest gutter. If your painted gutters are peeling, it is very likely you have a leak. In cases where peeling paint extends beyond one or a couple of areas, it’s time to think seriously about gutter replacement.

Fourth, is checking for rot. When malfunctioning gutters allow rain to cascade over the home completely unchecked, then peeling paint might be the least of your concerns. “If allowed to rot, exterior wood trim elements like window sills and door jambs become unable to keep the weather out,” she said. So a seemingly isolated problem, such as water-damaged drywall, may in fact be caused by inadequate storm drainage. If your gutters continually cause such issues, then it’s time to replace them.

Mildew is another issue. There is a reason that downspouts terminate about six feet away from the home. Moisture accumulation near the foundation tends to find its way into the basement, eventually causing unsightly, unhealthy, and often rather smelly mildew growth. “If you encounter mold and mildew in a formerly dry, mildew-free area below ground, damaged gutters are the most likely cause,” said Cline. When such problems recur after repair attempts, gutter replacement is the next logical course of action.

Lastly, maintenance is key. “Typical gutters must be maintained in order to function correctly, but since many people forget or delay their maintenance duties, smaller and more manageable issues inevitably develop into larger, costly affairs,” said Cline.

“Remember, every gutter installation has an expiration date, so be sure to be mindful of the telltale signs that indicate your system needs to be replaced,” said Cline.

J&B Construction offers exterior remodeling products and services with a focus on trust, craftsmanship, superior customer service, and care for the home. The company’s Germantown showroom, W140 N10589 Fond du Lac Ave., contains a variety of exterior home improvement product samples, including windows, siding, doors, roofing, and decking materials. As Master Elite GAF roofing contractors, J&B Construction offers the added security of a 12-year warranty, plus manufacturer warranties that range from 25 years to lifetime, depending on the product.

J&B Construction is a member of Milwaukee NARI and the Better Business Bureau. For more information or to arrange a complimentary consultation, call J&B Construction at 262-437-0537 or visit

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 The only complaint I have is when I have J&B do my roof in another 30 years or so, is Dave their sales man (a great guy) would not guaranty I could get the same great crew I had this time. They did a fantastic job. Much better than the last roofing company did. A nice bunch of guys. Did a very nice job cleaning up. I'd give them 10 stars but 5 is the limit. If you need a roof done this is the company you want to do it. One more point I need to make. The guys that did the chimney flashing are artists. I went up on the roof when they were done and was very pleased with not only the roofing job but the sculptured sheet metal work. It's kind of a shame it's on the roof and not hanging on the family room wall :). You get the point. Hire em. You'll like em. 
 We live in a historic designated neighborhood and recently had our 30 year wood shingle roof replaced with another wood roof and new gutters. From Day 1 of the project to the final day, the entire team was responsive, professional, and very competent. When some minor changes were proposed by us they quickly and effortlessly complied. After going through this experience with J&B, I would highly recommend them to anyone considering a roof and gutter replacement, whether it be a simple or complicated project. 
 J & B did an amazing job from start to finish. The initial meeting at my home took place exactly at the time that was agreed upon and Scott was thorough in his explanations and transparent about costs. When the time came to begin the project, the team that showed up was friendly, professional and timely in getting the project done. The cleanup afterward was such that it looked like they hadn't been there at all. The roof looks great, there were no surprises and Scott came by to inspect the work and explain the warranty upon job completion. I would highly recommend them. 
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Serving Homeowners Throughout The Milwaukee Suburbs & Southeast Wisconsin
J&B Construction

W140 N10589 Fond du Lac Ave, Unit C
Germantown, WI 53022
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