Sunday, June 23

Five Fixes for Leaky Gutters That You Can DIY

Problems with your gutters can be frustrating: Loud drips, water collecting in places it shouldn’t, and water taking an unplanned path, which can cause damage and make rainstorms more trouble than they need to be. While some issues with your gutters require professional help, others can be solved simply yourself with just a few simple tools. Here’s what you need to know.

If your gutters have a split where water is leaking out in the middle instead of going down the downspout, using a slip joint to attach a replacement section of gutter is a repair you can do yourself. The slip joint is placed on the outside of the existing gutter piece to join two pieces of gutter together. Hanging a new section of gutter to replace the damaged, leaking piece and then using a slip joint on the seam is as simple as sliding it over the seam and using sealant to hold it together.

If there’s a dent or a buckle in your seamless gutter, rather than replacing the whole thing, you can cut the affected part out with a pair of shears and replace a smaller section. A ten foot section of gutter is around $7 and can be cut to fit a damaged section. Measure the section you need to replace and then cut a section of replacement gutter to that length.Then, use a slip joint mentioned above at each end, and some gutter hangers to attach the repair section.

If your gutters have areas that are sagging or pulling away from the roof, they might be attached with spikes or nails. Newer gutters are usually attached using screws and brackets known as gutter hangers. Reattaching your gutter to the roof using brackets and screws can solve the problem of the gutter pulling away from the house, allowing water to run down the roof behind the gutter. For this repair, you’ll need a drill with a quarter-inch nut driver attachment to fit the screws. Using the brackets will allow for a stronger connection between the gutter and the roof.

Sometimes, the slope of your gutter can cause water to collect along the middle of the run. If this happens, you can either use some gutter hangers to raise the middle of the gutter up just a little bit to cause a slope towards the downspout, or you can choose to add a downspout, if it makes sense. Installing what’s known as a drop outlet to allow water to flow into a downspout is similar to repairing a section of damaged gutter. Measure the width of the drop outlet and cut away the section of gutter you want to attach it to. Then use your gutter hangers and one slip joint at each seam to attach it to the edge of the roof. Add your section of downspout below the drop outlet to complete the repair.

If there are joints between sections of your gutter or between components that have become leaky, you can repair them using sealant. Sometimes, the sealant can get worn out over time, so it might be that the existing seal is just eroded if there’s no damage to the gutter around the seam where the leak is occurring. If that’s the case, clean off the area around the seam and make sure it’s dry. Then apply a sealant that’s made for gutter repairs to the seam, making sure to allow it to run into any nooks and crannies.

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