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Underside of rusty gutters

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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Homeowners know it’s important to keep their gutters working correctly to control water draining on their property. Unfortunately, rusty gutters make this difficult, and they are a common problem that homes all over Georgia face. Generally, rusty gutters arise when the gutters don’t receive regular maintenance. Other factors play into rusty gutters too, such as an inadequate slope, their age, and material. Here, we’re going to dive into why rusty gutters arise in the first place, and the negative effects rusty gutters have on your home.

How Does Rust Form On Your Gutters? 

We’ve all seen rust at some point — a reddish-brown colored growth found on materials made with iron. It forms when iron mixes with oxygen and moisture like rain, snow, or humidity. Since gutters are installed outside, there is a high chance your gutters will become rusted over time, especially in Georgia. According to the National Weather Service, North and Central Georgia alone receive over 60 inches of rain on average every year!

One of the most common ways gutters become rusty is when water doesn’t drain properly due to gutter clogs, an improper slope, faulty installation, or any combination of these issues. When water gets stuck in your gutters, it encourages and amplifies the chemical reaction that causes rust.

What Happens When Gutters Get Rusty?

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 actually cause holes to form in your gutters.

For that reason, rusty gutters can start a chain reaction of water damage around your property. Eventually, your home’s siding can deteriorate and puddles can form around your foundation, leading to structural damage in the future.

What Does Gutter Rust Look Like? 

Obviously, rusty gutters will have the reddish-brown color typical of rust. Often, rusted gutters look corroded, rough, and partially destroyed. You might even see holes in your gutters where rusted section fell off. Gutter rust has the potential to spread across 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 what rusty gutters can look like for reference. Do any of these look like the gutters on your property?

How To Prevent Rust 

During the year, Georgia experiences high amounts of humidity and rain which may contribute to rust on your gutters. One of the best ways to treat rusty gutters is by providing regular maintenance. Staying on top of your gutters’ condition can help you prevent rust from arising in the first place. If you catch it early, you can replace rusted sections quickly.

Unfortunately, rust can be a repeat problem for steel gutters because they are prone to the chemical reaction that causes rust, even more so when exposed to Georgia’s elements for a long time. This is especially true for homeowners living in more rainy and humid areas of the state, like Atlanta.

While rust on your gutters is frustrating to deal with, there are ways to mitigate rust as much as possible. It’s important to choose the right material for your gutters depending on the climate that you live in. AquaGuard has a specially designed gutter system that are rust-resistant and actually solve the issues that cause rust in other gutters.

It’s our hope that being armed with the information behind WHY and HOW gutters become rusted, you can make the most informed decision regarding your gutters. If you’re looking for more information, continuing exploring our gutter services or contact us for a free gutter inspection.

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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Athens Office

1 Huntington Rd., Suite 803,
Athens, GA 30606

North Atlanta Office

875 Pickens Industrial Dr
Marietta, GA 30062

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382 Senoia Rd
Tyrone, GA 30290

South Atlanta Office

3205 South Martin St.,
East Point, GA 30344