3 Common Gutter Repairs You Can Do Yourself

Sagging Gutters

What You See: Gutters are sagging, usually at mid-point in the gutter run. They may be hanging so low that water cascades over the side rather than traveling to the downspouts.

What You Do: Install gutter hangers. If you look at your current attachment method and see spikes running through thin tubes, this is called the “spike and ferrule” method and should be replaced with gutter hangers. Attach the gutter hanger at a solid spot in the fascia and screw in firmly. Purchase metal hangers. Avoid plastic hangers, as they tend to break.

Leaking Gutter End Caps

What You Do: Install new end caps. Most end caps are either left-side or right-side, so you will need to buy the correct side. Remove the old end cap. Thoroughly scrub off any debris from around the end of the gutter. Fill inside section of end cap with exterior grade silicone sealant and press end cap onto gutter. Attach with a pop rivet tool or sheet metal screws. Clean off excess caulk with a gloved hand.

Loose Downspouts

What You Experience: Your downspouts wave in the wind or bang on the side of the house when you are trying to sleep.

What You Do: Thankfully this is an easy fix. Purchase a number of downspout straps. These flat, thin strips of metal can be formed by hand into a U-shape that holds the downspout to the corner of the house. Attach straps (or use existing straps, if in good shape) to the house. Form around the downspout. Drill pilot holes into the downspout and connect with two 3/8-inch sheet metal screws per strap.

Homeowner’s Go-To Guide: To Repair or Replace?

Your gutters are a crucial part of your home’s defense system, but it can be an easy thing to forget until something goes wrong, or it’s time to clean them out. Use this go-to guide to troubleshoot and decide if it’s time to replace or just repair your gutters.

Your gutters are sagging.

Gutters sag when they are weighed down by debris and leaves. Not only does sagging look bad but it can also cause damage to your home- damage that can be pricey to fix.

For example, when a gutter becomes too heavy it can pull away from the home, taking the fascia with it. If it completely detaches from your home it can pose a hazard to both people and your property.

While adding a brace or hanger under the problem area may fix the sag itself. Its not the most effective or safest way to fix the issue, especially long term. The best, lasting fix is to replace that section of gutter.

Your gutters are leaking.

The true purpose of gutters and downspouts is to carry water away from your home so it doesn’t pool and compromise your home’s foundation.

If your gutters are leaking, this means the water is not being taken away as it should be, and can quickly cause an issue. This can allow water to seep into your basement and in some cases, cause cracking and bowing.

Gutter leaks are often caused by damage to the gutter itself, such as a limb hitting the gutter, or holes created by rust. These types of issues, would require the gutter to be replaced.

On the other hand, sometimes a leaking gutter can simply be fixed with some sealant or other minor adjustments. If you are not able to easily identify the cause of your leaking gutters, it may be best to ask for a professional’s opinion.

Your gutters are clogged.

Debris buildup can trigger big-time trouble in your gutters and roof. It allows water to back up so it overflows the gutters and pools on the roof. 

If your home doesn’t have gutter guards, clean them at least twice each year to keep water flowing away from the home. You should also clear them anytime you see visible signs of a blockage, such as a plant growing from the gutter.

Should you repair or replace your gutters?

Usually small areas of damage are fairly straightforward repairs and, if you’re a handy person, you may be able to do it yourself. For example, sometimes a small hole, as mentioned before, can be plugged by simply applying an exterior sealant. 

However, if the damage is widespread, or if you don’t feel comfortable making gutter repairs yourself, its best to call a professional.

If you decide it’s time to call a pro, our expert team will conduct an inspection and let you know what your options are to repair or replace gutters!

The Homeowners’s Rainy Day Gutter Inspection List

Spring is finally here and it’s no secret that in the lovely State of New York the elements take a toll on your home, both inside and out. Your roof is one of your first lines of defense against these elements, which is why an inspection and maintenance of your roof is recommened when Spring arrives. However, one area that often goes overlooked during this inspection is your home’s gutter system.

Your gutters are what directs water away from your home. It is a draining system that makes sure water doesn’t leak into unwanted places and create costly damage. Gutters help to protect your shingles, siding, soffits and more. When they aren’t working properly, they can even start to degrade the stability of your home through soil and foundation erosion. At the end of the day, gutters are just as important to inspect as the rest of your home.

Damage to your gutters can happen quickly. Even if you only have minor damage, the weight and continual pressure from built up water and debris can turn an easy fix into a major problem. That’s why inspection and maintenance is so important. The best time to make these inspections is during the spring months, right after the harsh winters but before the heavy rains begin. Add it to your list of chores and make sure you not only inspect them but to also clean them and take proper maintenance care as spring turns into summer.

We at GutterXpress have put together a quick check list for Homeowner’s to use when they are inspecting their gutters. Taking a quick walk around your home and knowing what to look for can end up saving you a lot of time and money down the road!

THE GUTTER INSPECTION CHECKLIST

1. Do the gutters extend at least 1⁄2 inch beyond the shingles at the end of every gutter run? They should to ensure that all the water coming off of your roof makes it into the gutter.

2. If your gutter is more than 20 feet long, does it have more than one downspout attached to it? Your gutters need at least one downspout for every 20 feet of gutter length.

3. Are there vertical water or dirt stripes coming down your fascia board behind your gutter? This is a sign that your gutters are either beginning to pull away from the fascia board or that your shingle or other roof covering is not extended FAR enough out over the gutter.

4. Do you see pools of water remaining in your gutter long after the rain has stopped? Besides providing a mosquito breeding pool, water mixed with shingle and organic acids will eat away at your gutter if allowed to remain pooled inside.

5. Are there any worn/dead spots in the grass or splashed out areas in your landscape that indicate a mini waterfall may be occurring at that section of your gutter? Your gutters may need to be re-hung and/or re-pitched.

6. Do your gutters show any signs of wear such as pitting or paint oxidation? (paint that has become chalky and wipes off if you touch it). This is a sign that sections of your gutter could break through at any moment.

7. Has your gutter been installed with spikes? How far apart are the spikes placed? They should be spaced no more than 2 feet apart. It is recommended that hidden hangers be installed next to each spike to strengthen the gutter. Spikes are much more likely to work loose from the fascia board than a hidden hanger.

8. Is the fascia board your gutter attached to in good shape or has it begun to deteriorate? Is it “spongy” or decayed? Even though your gutter may be in good shape, it’s dangerous to have it attached to a decayed fascia board as it may pull loose and drop at any time.

9. Are there leaks at the gutter’s end caps or downspout openings? These can usually be easily fixed with a new application of gutter sealant.

10. MARBLE TEST: drop a marble down your downspout, if it drops quickly and freely, your downspout is clog-free.

11. Does your gutter have to handle the water coming off more than one roof? Does water gather from two or three roofs and then channel into a valley or downspout that empties the water into your lowest level gutter? If so, the amount of water will likely shoot right past your gutter if it is only 5” wide and you will need to install a water handling diverter to stop water overshoot of your gutter or choose a wider gutter.

12. If your downspout is not connected to underground piping, ensure that it has an extension that is at least 3 feet long in areas where the downspout is dumping water onto a downhill area of your yard and at least 8 feet long in areas of your yard that are flat or near flat. This helps ensure water will not back flow into your basement.

13. Check your basement for signs of dampness after or during heavy rain fall, If you see signs of water this can be a sign your gutters aren’t diverting the water properly away from the home.

14. Do the shingles, or any part of the roof extend down inside the gutter? If so, water will splash back onto the subroof and cause it to decay. The gutter must be removed and re-hung in a lower position.

15. Does your gutter have inside corners? In almost every case a valley controller will be needed to prevent water overshooting the gutter at the inside corner.

When to Call a Professional

Sometimes, unfixable damage does happen. After a harsh winter, strong winds or long-term regular wear and tear you may need to fix or replace your gutter system. If you find that your gutters need a bit more than just some spring-cleaning or if you’re unsure about self-inspection, professionals will make sure that you don’t miss anything that could lead to costly repairs in the future.

If you are looking for highly skilled professionals then look no further than GutterXpress. We are a team of experienced contractors that work efficiently and with every budget. All of the jobs our teams do are done with high levels of integrity with longevity in mind. We are transparent and will only make repairs or replacements to what you need done. Everything in good condition will be preserved so that you never over pay.

To contact an experienced team of specialists today, give us a call at (585) 455-6556