Gutters are pretty sturdy…but they’re not indestructible. Bad weather, winds, debris, and other factors can cause leaks or holes in your gutters that you’ll need to address sooner rather than later. Gutters that aren’t working properly due to damage could cause even more destruction to your property, so quick action is essential.
Fixing the holes in your gutters
Sometimes the holes in your gutters are quite obvious but other times you know they’re present but you’re not quite sure where they are. So, to find them, simply run a garden hose through the gutters and look for where the water is spurting out. That represents either a leaky seam or a hole. Sometimes you can also look for water spots on your fascia if the holes have been there for a while.
When making any repairs to holes in your gutters, you should clean them first. You can do this yourself if you choose to, but you’ll need a ladder and also something to protect your hands from anything sharp or otherwise dangerous that might have made its way into the gutters. You’ll also need some sort of tool, like a small spade or shovel, to dislodge the clogs or scoop out any debris that’s stuck. Then use your hose to remove any remaining clogs or debris and let it dry before going to the next step.
Next, go to your local hardware or home improvement store and find a repair patch that’s the same material as your gutters, such as aluminum. It MUST be the same material because combining certain metals is a recipe for disaster. Ask for assistance if you’re not sure what you need.
When preparing the patch, remember that it should be about an inch or so larger than the hole (but not too large) and it should match the shape of the hole. You can then use roofing cement to connect and seal the patch to the gutter. Just squeeze a bead of roofing cement around the perimeter of the hole, smooth it out with a small putty knife in an outward motion, and press the patch firmly into place.
Fixing the leaks in your gutters
Fixing leaks is rather similar to fixing holes in your gutters though the process may take a bit longer.
As with holes, if you’ve seen some issues with water coming out in places where it shouldn’t, you’ll need to check for leaks. Discolored areas or rust on the outside of the downspouts are a good indicator of a leak issue. Joints tend to open simply from age or due to wear and tear or other factors like excessive wind that jostles the gutters.
Once you’ve identified the leaky joint, you’ll need to remove all the screws and hardware and then remove the section in its entirety. After that’s done, clean the joints with a wire brush to remove old caulk and adhesive. A sanding block might work as well.
Next, you can replace your old downspout gaskets with new ones, available at your home improvement store. Bring your old ones with you so that you buy the right thing. To reassemble, you’ll need the replacement gasket you purchased as well as some silicone caulk. Apply a small bead of caulk to one of the components at the joint area and install the new gasket. Replace the screws or other connectors and you’re done!
DIY or hire a pro?
There are homeowners who enjoy working on their gutters and others who do it in hopes of saving money. But fixing leaks and holes in your gutters demands some strength and agility and can be unsafe, especially if you’re not adept at climbing ladders or are afraid of heights.
Instead, consider hiring Advantage Gutters to do regular maintenance checks on your gutters. By hiring a professional to clean and repair your gutters, you’re eliminating the risk associated with doing this on your own and you can be sure that the job is done right the first time, saving you both precious time and money. In addition, Advantage Gutters has all the equipment necessary to get the job done so you won’t have to purchase a ladder and other tools in order to do it yourself.