8 Gutter Repair Steps for Leaks and Small Fixes
If you have been noticing leaks in your gutters, chances are you have some holes or broken seals. Fixing gutters is a relatively simple task that can be done with a few basic tools. By understanding what it takes to fix your own gutters, you can make sure that they will be secure and able to take on any kind of weather.
While repairing your own gutters is not very difficult, it can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. This task will require you to get up on a ladder and ladder safety should always be taken very seriously. Make sure that you have a helper who can hold the ladder from the bottom while you are on it.
You should also never step on the top rung of the ladder and always have at least three points of contact with your hands and feet. As long as you keep safety in mind, you should be able to complete this task without falling or getting injured.
Tools and Materials
- Refuse bucket
- Electric drill
- Phillips and flat drill bits
- Garden hose
- Putty knife
- Seam sealer
- Roofing cement
- Gutter hangers
How to Repair Your Gutter Instructions
Step 1: Locate the Leaks
If you have noticed the leaks when it is raining, take note of where they are. If you aren’t sure, run some water through the gutters with a garden hose and watch for where it leaks out. This will also give you a good idea of how well your gutters are directing the water away from the house.
Step 2: Clean the Area Surrounding the Leak
Climb up on the ladder and clear the surrounding area of any leaves or debris that might be on the roof or in the gutters themselves. If it has been a while since you have cleaned your gutters at all, this would be a good time to do it. It will give you a good idea of the kind of condition they are in and how many repairs you will need to do.
Step 3: Fill Large Holes
If you are dealing with large holes, it is best to fill them using a waterproof material called flashing. Cut the flashing to fit over the hole and fix it to the gutter using roofing cement. You should also cover the edges of the flashing with cement to make sure water doesn’t get stuck on it and can flow freely.
Step 4: Fill Small Holes
If the holes are small enough, you should be able to fill them with the roofing cement alone. Roofing cement is waterproof and will be thick enough to fill small holes as long as they are no bigger than the head of a nail or screw. You can apply the roofing cement using a putty knife, much in the same way you would apply spackle to a wall.
Step 5: Seal the Joints
Your gutters have joints where different pieces join together and make curves or angles. If these joints have started to come loose, you can reinforce them using a seam sealer, which is designed to drip into the seams and form a tight seal.
Step 6: Check and Seal the Downspout Joints
Your gutters’ downspout is one of the most important components of the system and needs to be in good shape. Check to make sure that all the seals on the downspout sections are tight. If they aren’t, reseal them using the seam sealer.
Step 7: Replace Any Broken Hangers
If your gutters are starting to sag, they will more than likely start to develop leaks as the joints begin to separate. Check all of the hangers in your gutters and make sure none of them have broken or deteriorated from being exposed to the rain and weather elements. If they have, or they are starting to look old, it is best to replace them with new hangers.
Step 8: Maintain the Gutters Regularly
After fixing the leaks in your gutters, the best thing you can do is properly maintain them. Regularly check the seals and keep an eye on them, especially during the rainy season. Keeping your gutters clean will also help ensure that they don’t deteriorate or form holes in the sides.
When to Contact a Professional
If you are noticing many large holes or are having a hard time keeping your gutters in good shape, contacting a professional is your best bet. They will be able to assess the issue and work with you to find a solution that will last. In many cases, a full replacement and redesign will save you time and money on maintenance and fixes in the long run.
You may also want to contact a professional if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain. In these cases, an experienced technician will have the knowledge needed to make sure your gutters can withstand the rainy season. This way, you won’t have to be constantly getting on the ladder and making fixes whenever the wet weather comes around.