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Eavestrough repair vs. replacement. That’s the chicken vs. egg question in our industry.

  • How do you know when to repair gutters?
  • When should you replace your eavestroughs and downspouts?

First, let’s break down what they do, what can happen if damaged, and what type of damage to look for. Then we’ll tackle your big question: Eavestrough Replacement or Eavestrough Repair.

Collage of 3 photos including eavestrough corner looking up at soffit, downspout with water pouring out, and snow melting into a gutter

What do eavestroughs (or gutters) do?

Eavestroughs sit along your roofline to collect rain and melted snow or ice. A properly installed system collects the water, drains it through downspouts, and directs it away from your home at controlled speeds.

What can happen if eavestroughs are damaged?

Without properly functioning gutters your home is at risk of several potentially expensive problems should water leak inside. Typical issues can include:

  • Dirty marks on exterior walls
  • Roof rotting
  • Soil erosion and flooded yards
  • Weakened foundation with potential for cracks
  • Interior water leaks, leading to mould
collage of 3 photos including dirty siding with damaged eavestroughs on the ground, rotten roof with misplaced gutter causing damage, and water leak damage inside a house corner

How many years do gutters last?

If properly maintained, eavestroughs should last many years. But they don’t last forever. It is important to clean them regularly and perform eavestrough repairs quickly when you notice signs of damage.

What types of damage should you look for?

Signs of wear and tear that show it is time for an inspection to determine the best course of action include cracks, seam issues, sagging or water collecting, peeling paint, rotting trim, mould and mildew, as well as obvious physical damage.

collage of 3 photos including cracked eavestrough dripping water, gutter with seams separated filled with leaves, and eavestrough sagging and falling off fascia


Large cracks are obvious. Smaller ones may only be visible during a storm. Obviously, cracks, no matter if big or small, prevent gutters from doing their job so need to be eliminated.

Seam Issues

Seams are the place where two sections of gutters meet. It is common for leaks to happen at a seam or even separate. Sometimes a simple repair will do the trick. Other times the damage is too far gone and replacement is best. In that case, Only Eavestrough will recommend seamless gutters to prevent these types of issues in the future.

Sagging or Water Collecting

If you notice water collecting in the troughs and not draining, that might indicate the pitch isn’t quite right. This is rarely a quick fix but also has the potential to be a bigger issue.

Peeling Paint

Check the paint on exterior siding and painted eavestroughs themselves. If moisture has caused the paint to peel, it is a clue that moisture is an issue with nearby gutters.

Rotting Trim

Beyond peeling paint, unchecked moisture leaks lead to rotting edges around windows and doors. This is a sure sign the issue is most likely past the point of repair and the system merits replacement. Did you know Only Eavestroughs also does window and door capping?

Mould and Mildew

Noticing the distinct scent of mould and mildew inside your home? If water does not drain away from the foundation properly, it collects around your home and will seep inside. Not only does it smell and look unpleasant, but it is also a health hazard too.

Perhaps redirection is a simple fix. Or maybe bigger problems lurk. Either way, mould and mildew mean scheduling an inspection.

collage of 3 photos including old, damaged eavestrough with peeling paint and rusting, rotting window frame, and mould damage inside a home from water leaks

Physical Damage

If a storm causes trees or large debris to fall onto your eavestrough or you mistakenly bang a ladder into the gutter creating a dent, you should have it looked at to see how it affected the flow. And don’t get me started on Christmas lights.

pile of damaged eavestrough repair vs. replace

Eavestrough Repair vs. Replacement - How to know?

Man in safety glasses and hard hat looking up while writing on clipboard performing gutter inspection to determine eavestrough repair vs. replacement

Eavestrough Repairs

It may be possible to repair minor cracks, but it’s important to have the gutter system inspected to confirm they are just small cracks and not a symptom of a bigger issue lurking beneath.

If you notice just a few small areas needing attention, perhaps simple repairs are all that you need. But if more than a couple of issues pop up, it could be in your best interest to consider replacement to avoid future, more expensive issues.

Eavestrough Replacement

When lots of little things add up to an extensive list, that indicates replacement is best. If you have made multiple repairs but issues recur, you might be ready for gutter replacement.

It all starts with an inspection

As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider before deciding between eavestrough repair vs. replacement. The best first step is an inspection. Only Eavestroughs offer free inspections. We will review the condition of your entire system, make recommendations based on what we discover, and provide an estimate with options for you to consider.