How Long Do Gutters Last?

Aaron holding a ladder with his Global Exterior Experts gear on.
Aaron Venegaz
min read
Aluminum gutters on home in Bartlett, IL.

If you didn't already know, gutters play a crucial role in protecting your home against water damage. Knowing how long your gutters last can help you stay ahead of the game and prepare.

We'll go over not only how long gutters last but also factors that influence the lifespan of your gutters and warning signs of when it might be time for a gutter replacement. Plus, we'll also talk about steps you can take to maximize your gutters' lifespan!

Average Gutter Lifespan Based On Material

Gutters come in various materials, and the lifespan of your gutters will depend mainly on the material used. We've put together the average gutter lifespan you can expect for each gutter material:

  • Aluminum Gutters: 25 years
  • Vinyl Gutters: 15 years
  • Steel Gutters (Galvanized): 20 years
  • Copper Gutters: 90 years
  • Zinc Gutters: 70 years

While these are average lifespans, remember that the actual longevity of your gutters can vary significantly depending on the factors we'll talk about next, such as climate, maintenance, and installation quality.

Global Exterior Experts team member inspecting gutters with flash light in Homer Glen, IL.

Important Factors That Influence Gutter Lifespan

Installation Quality

It's important to note that installation quality plays a significant role in determining the lifespan of your gutters. Poorly installed gutters are more prone to damage and may not last as long as expected. That's why we always recommend hiring a reputable local gutter contractor that won't cut any corners.

Climate & Weather

Depending on where you live, your area's weather conditions and climate will be different, which means your gutter lifespan will also vary to a degree. For instance, if you live in an area that gets frequent snow storms and heavy rainfall, then wear and tear on your gutters may also accelerate.


Do you keep up with maintaining your gutters? From our experience, most homeowners don't, so don't be that homeowner. One of the easiest ways you can keep your gutters in good condition is by simply cleaning them out twice a year in mid-fall and mid-spring. You can also opt-in to get your gutters inspected by a professional to mitigate costly repairs or replacements.

Gutters severely damaged from a fallen tree.

Signs That You Need A Gutter Replacement

Unfortunately, you can maintain your gutters properly for years, but eventually, they will approach the end of their lifespan. Here are a few of the most common signs that indicate it may be time for a gutter replacement:

  • Visible Damage: If you see rust, cracks, holes, dents, or other types of gutter damage, it's a clear sign that your gutters are deteriorating and need attention.
  • Sagging or Pulling Away: Gutters that are pulling away from your home or sagging should be addressed immediately, as this can lead to water damage to your home.
  • Leaks: If you can see several gutter leaks, this may be an indicator that your gutters are indeed getting old and may require a replacement.
  • Frequent Clogs: Are you noticing that your gutters are frequently getting clogged even after you clean them? Well, this may be a sign that your gutters are warped, poorly installed or damaged.
  • Discoloration: Can you spot discoloration/stains on your siding or fascia? It may have come from your overflowing or damaged gutters!
Pro Tip: If you notice any of these signs, it's important to address the issue promptly. Ignoring damaged gutters can lead to costly repairs to your home's foundation, siding, roof, landscaping, and more. Speak with a professional gutter contractor to assess the damage and determine whether a gutter repair or replacement is the best course of action.

When To Seek Professional Help

While gutter maintenance tasks like gutter cleaning can be done on your own, here are some situations where you'd want to contact a gutter pro:

  • Significant Damage: For more severe damage, such as a tree falling on your roof and damaging your gutters, or if you notice significant sagging or pulling away from your house, it's crucial to contact a professional gutter contractor.
  • Uncertainty: If you're unsure about any aspect of your gutters or even downspouts, it's always wise to consult with a local gutter company. Most contractors offer free inspections nowadays, too, so it doesn't hurt your pocket.
  • Installation: If you're looking to upgrade your gutters with a new material or simply replace them with new ones, it's always best to let a pro handle it to ensure proper installation.

How To Maximize Your Gutters' Lifespan

While normal wear and tear is inevitable, you can take proactive steps to maximize your gutters' lifespan and potentially delay the need for a gutter replacement anytime soon. Let's explore some practical steps to ensure your home's gutters stay in top shape for years to come:

  • Regular Cleaning: As stated previously, we recommend that you clean your gutters at least twice a year, once in mid-fall and once in mid-spring. Gutter cleaning will reduce stress on your gutters and keep them looking beautiful!
  • Install Gutter Guards: By getting gutter guards, they'll prevent debris from accumulating in your gutters, plus you won't have to clean them as much.
  • Prompt Repairs: Address all gutter issues promptly by repairing or replacing damaged sections to prevent further damage.
  • Professional Inspection: Look up "gutter contractor near me" and schedule a free gutter inspection. You'll receive a comprehensive report on the condition of your gutters and action steps that need to be taken.
Pro Tip: Fix minor issues like loose fasteners or small leaks ASAP to prevent them from escalating into bigger issues. If you're not comfortable with DIY repairs or if the damage is extensive, don't hesitate to contact a professional gutter contractor.


Just to reiterate, the lifespan of your gutters depends on several factors, but from our experience, the two most important are regular maintenance and hiring the right gutter replacement company. Further, by picking quality gutter materials, ensuring professional installation, and following a regular maintenance schedule, you can enjoy years of worry-free protection for your home's foundation.

Don't forget, investing in your gutters is an investment in your home's long-term well-being.