Gutters ensure that water drains off your roof and away from your home, rather than tricking down the side of your home and along your foundation. Like most home components, gutters eventually need to be replaced -- but when? The following are five signs that your gutters are no longer servicing you well and are in need of replacement.

1. They have numerous holes.

Sometimes, a gutter will spring a single leak when it's relatively new, and you can fix the hole with a patch. However, if your gutters are more than a few years old and have a couple of leaks or more, you're probably best off replacing them. It won't be long before one of the holes grows large enough to let large amounts of water through, which completely defeats the purpose of having gutters in the first place.

2. Your siding is streaky.

If you see streaks of dark brown or green down your siding, take a look at your gutters. There's a good chance they have holes in them or are clogging, causing water to trickle down the side of your home. If you have wood siding, this won't just lead to streaks but eventually rot as well. 

3. Your basement is getting wetter and wetter. 

Now, there are a few reasons why a basement could be getting wet; leaky pipes are sometimes to blame. But it's also possible that your gutters are leaking water down the side of your home, and that water is making its way into your basement through cracks in the foundation. Since moisture can lead to mold growth, you may also notice moldy spots, a musty smell, or an increase in allergy symptoms in the home.

4. The gutters keep getting clogged.

Any gutter will clog if you do not clean it out a few times a year. But if you keep cleaning the gutter and it keeps getting clogged again only days later, this could be because there are rough patches or holes inside the gutter which are grabbing onto debris. Replacing the gutter is really the only option.

5. The gutters are rusty.

If you have steel gutters, you may notice excessive rust starting to form on the outside or inside of the gutter. Eventually, the rust will give way to holes. Replacing the gutters with aluminum or vinyl ones will keep you from having the same problem with your new gutter system.

Contact a gutter company like Raingutter Specialists for more information.