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Gutter Rust & Discoloration

Gutters can rust, corrode, and discolor for several reasons, but it all boils down to one main element – water.

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Having a functional gutter system is essential to controlling water around your property. If any piece of the gutter and downspout system is damaged, your home could sustain significant damage. Take a good look at your gutters. If you spot signs of rust or other discoloration, your home could be in trouble, and professional repair options can greatly benefit you. That’s where our team at AFS Foundation & Waterproofing Specialists can help. Read on to learn more about problematic gutters with rust and discoloration, and how we can help you solve the issue for good. 

The Cause of Gutter Rust and Discoloration

Gutters can rust, corrode, and discolor for several reasons, but it all boils down to one main element – water. Attached below the roof, the purpose of gutters is to catch rainwater to prevent excess water build up around your home. This means that gutters are constantly exposed to water. In an area like Chattanooga, TN, which frequently experiences rain, your gutters will be put to the test. 

Rust and discoloration forms on gutters due to a specific chemical reaction. Rust, also known as iron oxide, develops when moisture in the air or water meets iron and oxygen. This is common in wet and humid areas like Chattanooga. If water is able to sit in a gutter, whether due to poor installation or blockage, rust and discoloration are all the more likely. Additionally, rain can be slightly acidic and cause rust to develop as it wears away at the gutters. 


Along with frequent rains, pollen that circulates through the air can actually contribute to gutter damage. Whether they are the large, “fluffy” particles you can easily see or too small to visibly detect, many types of pollen have acidic properties that can contribute to corroded gutters. Huge swings in temperatures also could take their toll on the stability of the gutters over time. 

Gutter Materials

How gutters are constructed has a huge impact on their ability to stand up to the elements. Gutters are made from a variety of metals including galvanized steel, but the most commonly used material is aluminum due to its overall durability. Aluminum is lightweight, cost-effective, and generally rust-resistant. However, when exposed to external elements over time, it too can fall victim to rust, corrosion, and discoloration.

Other Miscellaneous Sources

Tar and asphalt from the roof have the potential to break down and wash into your gutters, leaving black streaks behind. General dust and dirt also can accumulate in your gutter, along with other debris. If too much debris is clogging up the gutter, not only will you have a problem with the clog, but this can attract pests that will leave behind droppings and other damage. 

No More Rust with the AquaGuard Gutter Solution

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Schedule Free Inspection
No More Rust with the AquaGuard Gutter Solution

Problems with Gutter Rust and Discoloration

Rust and discoloration on your gutters has other effects on your home including:  

  • Diminished appearance and property value 
  • Gutter leaks and other damages 
  • Attic leaks 
  • Basement or crawl space leaks 
  • Foundation cracks and damage 
  • Exterior and/or interior water stains and damage 

Frequently Asked Questions

Rust and discoloration on your gutters aren’t completely preventable, simply due to the amount of water they encounter and Chattanooga’s generally wet weather. But having a proactive attitude and maintenance schedule goes a long way in protecting your gutters. The quicker you can catch and repair an issue, the longer your gutters will last. The best rule of thumb is to have your gutters checked and cleaned at least twice a year, usually in the spring and fall. You can take on this task yourself or reach out for professional assistance if there is any doubt.

It depends on how much rust is on the gutter and if it has sustained other damage. One section may only need to be replaced, or the entire gutter may need to be upgraded to a more durable material if it is too damaged. No matter the extent of the damage, it is always important to call in an expert for repairs. We discourage DIY solutions like duct tape, “waterproof” paint, and similar projects.

Get Expert Gutter Installation and Protection from AFS 

Rust, corrosion, and discoloration on gutters are not an isolated problem, they can also contribute to other gutter problem signs. Keeping up with a regular inspection and maintenance schedule is the best way to nip any problems in the bud before serious damage results. 

Gutters are not always easy for homeowners to access, so if there is any doubt about your safety or ability to check your gutters, contact professionals. Our experienced team at AFS will do a thorough inspection of your gutters as well as your home’s exterior and interior to find the root of any existing or potential problems. Then, we will recommend repairs best suited to your home’s unique needs. Contact us today to schedule your free inspection and estimate. 

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