Rain gutters are built tough to handle the elements because they go through a lot. From rainstorm water to fallen leaves and heavy snowfall, there’s no shortage of elemental damage assuaging your house’s rain gutters.
The good news is there are plenty of ways to fight natural wear and tear. In fact, we’re going to share the best gutter leak repair tips to help you fix gutter leaks without paying a dime for it.
It’s important to properly maintain your gutters or else they bring down the value of your house. When properly maintained, gutters can last for up to 100 years, but poorly maintained models will only last a few years.
Of course, the materials used to make them matter as well. The most durable options are made from copper which is also the priciest, while steel and vinyl are more accessible but at the expense of durability.
It’s worth noting that just because your gutters are leaking doesn’t mean you should replace them completely. Home gutter repair is a great solution and oftentimes all it takes is a few hours of dedicated work over the weekend to get them in top condition.
Keep reading to learn some actionable tips on how to fix leaking rain gutters at home, especially if you start to see noticeable signs of wear and tear.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. – Charles R. Swindoll
Find Out If You Have a Clog
Rainwater blockage is one of the most common problems that homeowners face when it comes to gutters. You’ll know this has happened when rainwater starts spilling onto the sides as it runs into the blockage. Obviously you can’t do anything about the situation while the storm is going on. You have to wait until after the storm to remove any blockages that might be inside the gutters.
Be sure to wear protective clothing, such as work gloves and a sturdy ladder. You’ll most likely find that there’s a whole lot of muck and leaves causing the blockage. Get a small trowel to scoop out much of the gunk, while keeping your hands covered in gloves at all times. You should have a bucket somewhere nearby to drop everything that you scoop out.
Once you’ve taken out most part of the dirt, blast the gutters clean with a power washer or your garden hose. Now, fill the gutters up with water to see if there’s any leaking. If the water goes through to the other side with no leaks then you’ve officially solved the problem.
Check for Cracks
Over time, gutters tend to develop small holes and cracks due to general wear and tear. When this happens, the gutters will start leaking straight from the joints.
The good news is there are ways to quickly fix this problem so that you can get a few more seasons out of your gutters. All you have to do is apply a sealant, rubber gutter caulk or silicone.
There are many solutions that come highly recommended as an effective waterproof sealant. Plus, they are super easy to use as all you have to do is squeeze it onto the affected area and apply it liberally onto the gutter joint. This is a short-term fix but it will greatly extend the gutter’s lifespan.
Tighten Loose Gutters
It’s worth noting that gutters might also start to loosen up and detach from the walls due after some time. This is due to rusting on the fasteners which happens as a result of exposure to extreme weather conditions or simply because they got old.
The damage can get so extreme that you can tell just by looking at the gutters that they’re slowly detaching from the walls. Other times the loosening can be so subtle that you can’t tell from looking at the gutters that they’re detaching from the walls. It’s at this point that you should check your gutters using a bubble level.
There should be no more than a ¼-inch drop in the direction of the downspout.
Look at your gutter fasteners which should take the form of clips or spikes that jut out of your gutter, to see if there’s any loosening.
- Gutters that are fastened through rusted or loose spikes aren’t very easy to fix because you can’t just hammer it back into place. The best thing to do in this situation is to get a longer and thicker nail to replace each spike. For best results, use 8-inch rain gutter screws or spikes.
- If your gutters are held together by brackets or clips, then you should check if they’re broken or looser than usual. Be sure to replace the old clips with new ones. It’s pretty easy to find new clips from most home improvement stores and they typically cost about $1 apiece. Simply use a power screwdriver to attach the clips onto the fascia. On the other hand, if the clips are still working fine then you only need to replace the screws with two-inch long versions that are able to hold the gutters in place through all types of weather conditions.
Install Gutter Aprons
It can be quite difficult to prevent rainwater from seeping through the gutters when the gutters aren’t in the proper place. You’ll know you have a problem when you see puddles forming at the base of the walls or when water starts running down the walls.
The best way to fix this issue is to install drip edges or gutter aprons. This basically refers to metal flashing that’s L-shaped and can be attached underneath the shingles using sturdy roofing nails. This helps to get rid of any gaps that might open up between the wall and your gutters.
Most gutter aprons come in 10-foot sections and are available in most home improvement stores for just $10 a section. It’s a great way to save on gutter repair costs.
Do you need rain gutter repair ASAP? Then contact a professional and request a free quote!