Leaky gutters can be a serious problem that can lead to water damage in your home. It’s always best to fix any issues before they lead to major problems such as flooding in your garage. First you have to know how to recognize the signs.
Whether it's rusted gutters or fixing sagging gutters, here are 10 signs you need gutter repair and how to fix it yourself.
Before we get into the list, just a note of caution. When you take on any home improvement project yourself, safety should always be your first consideration. This applies when repairing your gutters as well.
This means making sure you have a sturdy ladder for the work and making sure you have someone to spot you at the base of the ladder. If you have a way of tying off at the top even better. It’s also important to have the right tools available if you want to do gutter repair the right way and do it safely.
Over time the elements can do damage to your gutters. You may notice cracks or holes appearing along the length of them. Holes and cracks can cause leaks, and over time they can get larger and more severe causing damage to the rest of the gutters. Leaving small cracks and holes can lead to a higher gutter repair cost. If you can identify these early enough they can be repaired with sealant or pieces of fascia that can be screwed on over the damaged area. Covering up the holes will ensure your gutters last a lot longer.
Fasteners are used to connect your pieces of gutter together and to connect these pieces to your roof. If you notice these pieces hanging loosely or lying on the ground they need to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. You can use aluminum fasteners from your local home hardware store, or you could even use zip ties to keep things together.
To ensure things are fastened well, give them a light shake to see how well the gutter is held together. A sturdy gutter means you'll save yourself a gutter repair cost down the line.
If you see some nails lying around on the ground there’s a good chance it’s time for some gutter repair work. It’s possible they weren’t fastened properly or that the area around them has eroded, causing them to work loose and fall on the ground.
It's also possible small animals in your area have shifted nails or screws out of their sockets, or completely removed the ones that were already loose. Screws are more reliable to use as they won't pull out over time like nails might. A standard screw will do the trick to keep your gutters in place.
One of the most easily recognizable signs that your gutters need repaired is if there’s actual separation between sections. If you don’t want to pay for a new gutter installation you’ll want to repair issues like these right away. This one's a pretty simple fix!
Purchase a section of gutter from your home hardware store and cut a piece to fasten it wherever the gap is. The piece of gutter in place will act as a joint to connect both ends of the original gutter. This will save you the gutter repair cost of replacing the entire thing!
If you can see space between the inside face of your gutters and your home that’s a clear indication that there’s a problem. They can’t do their job of collecting runoff water if they’re not connected.
Over time, the gutter can get separated from the rest of the house due to weather damage or even old shingles falling off and knocking into the gutter. With a drill and a few extra screws you should be able to reattach the separated pieces securely. You want to make sure that there are no gaps between the roof shingles and gutter.
Even if your gutters are still securely attached to the roof you may notice sections that are deformed and sagging. When this happens water can pool and spill over causing damage to anything below them. It’s possible that these pieces can be bent back into shape, but normally these sections will need to be replaced with new ones.
You may not need to replace the entire gutter, you can use sections of gutter wherever you find the the original gutter to be deformed. Just use snipping pliers to cut out the bad section and replace it with the new section.
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Peeling paint may look harmless, but it can be a sign that water is leaking over the edges and causing water damage. There’s a good chance you’ll notice sections pulling away from your home on closer inspection. When you see peeling paint it’s time for some gutter repair work.
Repairing gutter paint after peeling is simple. Strip the old paint off using a scraper, and wash off any debris. You can prime it with a primer and after letting that dry for a few hours, you can repaint the gutters to make them good as new. You can get the paint from your local hardware store.
If you notice areas on your patios and driveway where water is pooling underneath your gutters that’s a good indicator that there may be an issue with your gutters that needs repaired. If you notice pooling it’s time to get out the ladder and have a closer look at the gutters above. Chances are you’ll find some kind of damage that’s causing the pooling below. It'll likely be caused from water pooling in an area of the gutter itself.
You can fix this by sloping the entire gutter so that it runs to the spout and stops from pooling in one area. It may also be caused from holes, cracks or just debris like old leaves being stuck in an area and preventing the water from reaching the end.
One sign that you need gutter repair that’s a little harder to detect is when you have water damage in your flower beds and planters. This may be because water is leaking over in that section and causing the damage. Don’t automatically assume it was caused by a heavy rainfall. It’s best to climb up the ladder and have a closer look to be sure.
Inspect the section of the gutter above the area your flower beds are getting water damaged. If your gutters are leaking, you can rectify this by installing a gutter diverter. This will redirect the water back where it's supposed to go.
It’s never nice to come home to a flooded garage or basement. Although a flooded basement may be the start of the basement cleanout you've been putting off, no one wants to deal with this messy situation. If you find yourself dealing with this type of problem, there’s a good chance a damaged gutter is the cause.
A quick repair may not be the best approach in this instance. A new gutter installation is the better option if you want to prevent any more flooding in the future. The gutter repair cost will certainly be less than the cost to repair everything in your garage or basement. The gutter may need to be redirected away from where the flooding is prone to happening.
So you’ve done a quick inspection of your gutters and you’ve found some of the signs we discussed above — now what? If you’re reasonably handy you may want to consider repairing or replacing your gutters yourself.
It’s probably one of the easier home improvement projects to take on as you usually have easy access to the areas you need to work. Here’s a quick list of some replacement parts you may need to get started:
Before replacing anything, you need to identify the type of damage your gutter has. If the damage is extensive, you’ll need to replace the entire gutter. If there’s a leak in a specific spot, you can replace a section of gutter instead and install a new piece in its place. Repairing a section of gutter is a much easier job.
To replace a section of gutter, you’ll need to remove the old section of gutter with either tin snips or a hacksaw. Once the damaged section of gutter is removed, put the new gutter piece in place. Make sure it overlaps with the old, undamaged gutter by about four inches.
Next, you’ll want to drill a screw through the overlap down through the bottom. The screw will help the old undamaged gutter hold the new gutter piece together as one unit. Install some hangers to keep the new section of gutter secure to the roof.
Lastly, you’ll want to seal the overlap with a sealer or caulk to prevent any leaks during rainy days.
The list above is pretty extensive so you may be wondering just how much is this going to cost? Obviously the answer to this depends on the size of your home and the amount of gutter work that needs to be replaced. You'll want to look into the average cost of each material before embarking on your gutter repair project.
Depending on the material of your gutter, the repair cost will vary. Here's a quick rundown of the average cost of the most common gutter material:
According to HomeAdvisor, the average price range for gutter repair costs between $617 and $1664. If you can do the work yourself it can be considerably cheaper so it’s a great option if you're good at DIY projects.
If you think the job is too complicated for a weekend DIY project, you're better off hiring a professional to do the gutter fix for you. The range is just an average cost of replacing gutters, so be sure to shop around to get the best price possible.