Rain gutters can succumb to a number of problems due to old age, poor installation techniques, and inadequate maintenance. Some of the most common problems that gutters experience include overflowing, sagging, and of course leaking. The joints of a gutter system are most susceptible to leaks as standing water in gutters can cause the seams to rust or deteriorate.
When rainwater is able to seep through weakened seams in your gutters, it can run down the side of your house and affect the foundation. To minimize damage, it is important to learn how to repair a leaking gutter joint and understand why it is always a wise choice to hire a professional gutter contractor for the job.
Repairing Metal Gutters
While metal gutters are designed to be resistant to deterioration, they can still experience some level of corrosion over time. The nuts and bolts are especially prone to corrosion, making it highly difficult to take the gutter system apart for repair. Instead of taking the gutter apart, the joint can be scraped, cleaned, and prepared for sealing.
Make sure that the joint is completely dry before applying a roof-and-gutter sealant to the seam using an applicator gun. If this is not enough to stop the leak, you may need to take the gutter apart and reseal the joint. Remember to always use thick gloves when working with metal gutters as the rough material can easily slice your hands.
For this job, you will need a number of tools and materials, including:
- Metal primer
- New nuts and bolts of the proper size
- Roof-and-gutter sealant
- Safety goggles
- Wire brush
- Nail punch
- Small trowel
- Filling knife
- Sealant applicator gun
1. Remove the Old Nuts & Bolts
First try to remove the nuts and bolts that hold the joint pieces together using a standard wrench. If they will not budge, you may need to cut them off using a hacksaw. A hammer and nail punch can be used to take out the shank.
2. Separate the Gutter Sections
Using a hammer, gently tap the area around the joints to separate the gutter section.
3. Remove Any Leftover Debris
Once you have separated the gutter sections, use a chisel to remove any leftover putty material that may be stuck to the metal. With a wire brush, work in small sections to clean away any rust that may be around the joint area. Use the trowel to scoop away any debris that may fall into the gutter.
4. Apply a Fresh Coat of Metal Primer
Next, apply a coat of metal primer to the joint piece and the gutter ends. Allow the primer to fully dry.
5. Spread Sealant on the Joint
Spread a generous amount of roof-and-gutter sealant to the joint piece to help create a watertight seal. Reattach the gutter sections to their correct positions.
6. Replace the Nuts & Bolts
After applying the sealant, replace the old corroded nuts and bolts with new ones.
Repairing Plastic Gutters
Plastic gutters are highly common, especially with newer homes. Unlike metal, plastic does not corrode although it can still develop leaks around the joint areas. With plastic gutters, leaks most often appear where the section of gutter connects with the downpipe.
Although plastic gutters contain gaskets designed to make the gutter watertight, these gaskets can fail or pull apart due to an accumulation of dirt and debris. Start by cleaning the gutters and joint areas to see if that solves the leak problem. If it does not, the gaskets will likely need to be replaced.
For this job, you will need just a few simple tools and materials, including:
- New gaskets
- Roof-and-gutter sealant
- Filling knife
1. Release the Gutter Sections
The first step involves releasing the gutter sections from the union piece clips. To do this, simply squeeze the sides of the gutter sections.
2. Remove the Gasket
Carefully raise the end of each section of the gutter system. This will reveal the gasket in the union piece. Simply peel away the gasket.
3. Install the New Gasket
If washing away dirt in the joint area does not solve the leak problem, you will need to install a new gasket. Gaskets can be easily pressed into place. If you do not want to install new gaskets, you can also choose to fill in the grooves for the gaskets with roof-and-gutter sealant.
4. Reattach the Gutter Sections
To move the gutter sections back into the union piece clips, simply squeeze each gutter section.
Hire a Gutter Contractor
Responsible homeowners understand the importance of maintaining their gutters. A well-functioning gutter system allows rainwater to efficiently drain away from the home by diverting it off the roof and away from the foundation. This can help prevent a wide range of damages, such as soil erosion, wood rot, and basement flooding.
While it is true that you could repair a leaking gutter joint yourself, this is rarely a good idea. Climbing onto your roof with a ladder can be dangerous, leaving you susceptible to falls and serious injuries. In addition, it can be challenging to properly seal leaking gutter joints. This type of task requires the experience and skill of a certified gutter contractor. Professional contractors also have access to a wide range of essential equipment and premium products designed to last.
Schedule a Free Gutter Repair Consultation
If you find that your rain gutters are leaking, you can expect the most common culprit to be the joints between sections. If you fail to have your leaky gutters fixed, your home could experience a wide range of damage. By hiring an experienced gutter contractor, you can have your gutters fixed quickly, allowing them to perform the function that they are designed to do. Gutter repair can often eliminate the need for gutter replacement when leaks start to develop. For more information about how to repair a leaking gutter joint or to schedule a free consultation, contact the gutter contractors at Beyond Exteriors.