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How to Prevent Rusty Gutters

Although naturally occurring, rust can spell out damage and failure for your gutter systems. Here are some of the ways to prevent rust from ruining your gutters. 

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As time passes, there’s a good chance your gutters will need to be cleaned (regularly), and some repairs may need to be made. One of the most common and unavoidable things to happen to them is rust. Although it’s common, rust is also one of the worst things to go wrong with your gutters. When left to progress, rust can result in your gutters becoming useless as deterioration takes over. In this post, we’ll discuss how you can keep rust under control and prevent unnecessary replacement in the future.  

How Does Rust Form On Your Gutters? 

At first glance, rust looks like a reddish-brown colored growth on your gutters which is known as iron oxide. It’s formed due to a chemical reaction between iron and oxygen when it comes in contact with water or moisture in the air. One of the most common ways rust forms on your gutters is when water pools inside of them due to clogs, an improper slope, or faulty installation. Steel, for example, can rust over time from simply being exposed to humidity.  

If you’ve walked outside and noticed rust on your gutters, it’s important to act fast to prevent it from spreading to your entire gutter system. Once it begins to form, it spreads fast and can eat through the material making your gutters fail. If only a small amount has formed, it can be scrubbed away with a stiff-bristled brush and dish detergent. Aluminum foil also works to remove tiny amounts of rust.  

Once all visible rust has been removed, the next step is to make sure it can’t form again on your gutters, or at least, be more difficult to. This can be done by using metal primers for rust prevention or by annually cleaning them and checking for clogs. If rust has already corroded through a specific section, it may need to be replaced by a professional.  

What Does Signs Of Rust Look Like? 

Under the right circumstances and over time, rust and corrosion can form and destroy your gutter system. Gutter rust can affect all components of your gutter system such as the corner miters, downspout drains, troughs, and end caps. Anything that is made of aluminum or steel is susceptible to rust. Here are some pictures of how rust can affect gutters. 

How To Prevent Rust 

During the year, Athens experiences high amounts of humidity and rain which can lead to rust forming quickly. Of course, the best way to treat rusty gutters is by preventing them from happening in the first place. Unfortunately, although steel gutters are stronger than aluminum gutters, they are far more prone to rust formation. This is especially true for homeowners living in especially rainy and humid climates like Atlanta. There are other types of materials that gutters can be made of, such as galvanized steel which is resistant to rust and corrosion. 

While seeing rust form on your gutters can be frustrating, they can lead you to other issues such as clogs, sagging gutters, and separated joints. It’s important to choose the right material for your gutters depending on the climate that you live in. It’s also imperative that they are properly installed and any rust spots that arise be treated as soon as possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions – Rusty Gutters


During the spring, most trees won’t shed their leaves. Instead, they drop flowers, seed pods, and pollen. Unknown to most people, some tree pollen can be acidic and become dangerous for your gutters. Highly acidic tree pollen can cause the coating to erode off the aluminum, which causes rust and corrosion. Since pollen particles are so small, they easily wash away through your gutter system when it rains. When there is no rain, however, is when the damage starts to happen. All it takes is moisture to start the process of rust within your gutters. It’s important to wash off any pollen from your roof or gutters to ensure rust does not cause problems.  

Temperature Fluctuations 

Although less uncommon in Columbus, extreme temperature fluctuations can also wear down your gutters. When the temperature fluctuates from really high in the day to very low at night, it can lead to aluminum breaking down. 

Gutter Neglect 

Maintaining your gutter system is one of the best ways to prevent rust and corrosion from happening. Gutter neglect can mean several things, but one of the most common is not cleaning them of debris. When they’re left with clogs from trees and plant materials the water can’t drain properly, which leads to pooling water within the gutters.  

It’s important to remember that gutters won’t rust on their own unless they’re left to clog or don’t receive general maintenance. It’s important to hire professionals or inspect them on your own if you feel comfortable to prevent rust from forming in the gutters. 

Splashguard stones can be a helpful tool to prevent small scale erosion of your homes siding and soil. If splash guards still don’t do the trick, it’s time to consider a downspout extension.

Downspout extensions relocate the opening of the gutter conduit to a further location, so it can’t erode down the important structures of your home.

The most common cause for gutter leakage is clogging. As debris builds up in your gutters, it stops water from flowing through to the downspout, forcing it to exit over the side of the gutter or to exert weight on the gutter joints, breaking them.  

Gutters can also wear down over time through rusting, or by being broken down by pests. The best way to prevent gutter clogs is to clean out your gutters at least twice a year. You should clean your gutters more often if you have large trees near them.  

Choose the Experts at AquaGuard to Repair Your Gutter System And Prevent Damage 

If your gutters have become rusted or corroded, it may be time for an inspection or otherwise removal and replacement. Here at AquaGuard, our team of professionals is highly trained in spotting the signs of rust and can offer solutions to prevent it from happening again. When you call and set up a free inspection, a member of our team will come out to your home, inspect your gutters, and provide you with a written estimate of our repairs. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and repair your gutters. 

We proudly serve all homeowners in Athens, Atlanta, and Columbus! 

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