Simple Gutter Repairs You Can Handle Yourself

Simple Gutter Repairs You Can Handle Yourself


We replaced the gutters on our home less than two years ago when we had the roof replaced. Good thing too: the gutters were in bad shape, leaking in several places and starting to pull away from the home. By replacing several backboards (fascia) holding the gutters in place as well, we’ve nipped our home drainage problems in the bud.

homeRecently, a branch from a nearby tree fell, hitting the front gutter with a glancing blow. Initially, the damage wasn’t apparent, but as time passed by we can now see that the gutter is bent and pulling ever so slightly away from the house. With the last storm we noticed that rainwater isn’t draining properly, meaning it is time for me to get back up on a ladder to make a repair.

While elevated, I’ll be looking for the following to make sure that everything is in order:

Clean out gutters — I schedule two full gutter clean outs each year — once in the Spring and once in the Fall. But, because I live in an area that has lots of trees, I’ll put up the ladder at various times of the year to do a quick inspection, making sure that my gutters and downspouts are clear especially before tackling a repair project.

Examine fascia — If any part of gutter is separating from the fascia, then I’ll replace bent or broken gutter hangars as necessary. Usually, all that means is one hook needs to be replaced which should take care of the problem at once.

Check seams and joiners — Because modern gutter systems contain ten foot long sections, I’ll have fewer seams and gutter joiners to deal with. Still, I will make sure that the seams are sealed and that the joiners are doing their job.

Verifying gutter pitch — If water doesn’t drain out of the gutters properly after I make my repairs, then I’ll attribute that problem to the gutter’s pitch. In that case, I’ll bring in a professional to verify my findings and make the adjustment for me. Sometimes it pays to have a trained professional handle the problem, especially if you don’t have all of the equipment needed to make repairs or if you hate to climb a ladder.

Gutter shields — Leaf strainers are popular, but I don’t use them. My experience with them is that they still have to be removed seasonally and the gutters cleaned out thanks to pine needles and pollen which always seem to find their way in. Still, they can be a good idea to have in place if you find yourself needing to check the gutters monthly.

Once my gutters are back to snuff, then I know that they’ll do the job they’re supposed to do. Until then, I won’t rest until I’m confident that the repair is done, not giving much thought to my gutters and downspouts until after the autumn leaves have finished falling.

Adv. — Warmer weather is here so now is the perfect time to dress up your deck or patio with the latest in outdoors furniture. Make your backyard BBQ the center of your weekend entertainment by choosing a grill that is right for you. After the guests have left, treat yourself to a hammock to gain some rest. Redwood furniture looks nice and lasts for ages; choose other outdoor furniture as desired.


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Categories: Home Improvement

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".