Simple Gutter Repair Options For The Do It Yourself Homeowner
The gutters in your house are simply part of your home water collection system. The roof is designed in a way that rain, melted snow and ice run down and collect into the gutters, then the water collects into the water storage system if you have one. Without the gutters, the area around your house would no doubt be filled with water and will always be muddy if you don't have any form of flooring, or always wet, something that is quite unattractive. Besides, excess water is also likely to cause damage to your house's foundation.
This is why it is important to keep your gutters in good repair. However, before repairing, cleaning out and draining the gutter is advised. You could always use a putty knife to scoop out the leaves or other debris in the gutter. A wire brush is perfect for scrubbing away any rust and if the rust can't come off after scrubbing simply cut it out with the help of aviation snips. Flush out the gutters with water using a hose and when they are clean, they become easier and safer during repair. Allow your gutters to dry before beginning the repair process because if you work on them while wet , it can be a dangerous and unpleasant task. Examine them for rust and any damage after they have aired out and dried.
You can now contemplate the gutter repair options you have. Some of them are as follows:
1. Repairing Holes In The Gutters: This is a common problem that causes leaks. The holes in the gutters can be caused by rusting or corrosion due to exposure. Thinner gutters develop holes when sharp objects or falling branches pierce them.
a) Small Holes: First do an inspection and find out how many holes are there that need repairing. Small holes in hard plastic or galvanized metal gutters are usually easy to repair because they simply need sealing by a clear and water-resistant glue.
- Before sealing ensure that you have dried off the area around the hole with a rag.
- Next remove rust if any, using a stiff wire brush and wipe off the residue to leave it clean.
- Apply the glue on the area and leave it to dry. It will be a perfect seal once its dry and no water will leak through.
b) Large Holes: Larger holes can be patched using the same water proof glue but a piece of thin aluminum that is cut to fit the hole should also be used to secure the place. Use the same procedure as used when repairing the small holes but after application of glue, press the aluminum patch into the glue when still wet and wait for it to dry. The glue will permanently hold the patch in place after it dries.
2. Repairing Gutter Joints: Sometimes your gutters might leak because of some disconnection at the joints. Even seamless joints leak over time. In this case the only option is reconnecting the joints. You can simply press the two disconnected sides back together and use a gutter cement and screws to hold them in place.
3. Repairing Sagging Gutters: Sagging gutters are never pretty but fallen gutters are even worse, don't wait for this to happen. A simple repair job can fix this. The problem is usually caused by missing ferules. These are simply the large spikes that connect the sleeves in the gutter. Often times a ferule becomes loose and falls out resulting to no support and causing the gutter to sag. Sagging gutters can simply be repaired by replacing the missing ferule with something that cannot loosen or fall such as gutter screws. Consider the 7-inch long gutter screws that go for about $10 a pack. Use your power drill to put the screws in place. A step by step procedure to help you replace the gutter spikes is as follows.
- Simply remove the old gutter spikes and ferrules by installing every new set as soon as you remove the old one.
- Put the new ferrule inside the gutter exactly behind the existing spike hole.
- Insert the gutter screw into the open spike hole and thread a fastener through the spike hole and the ferrule then right into the open fascia hole. Do this using a speed drill.
- As you thread the fastener, ensure that the head is even with the gutter and the screw has connected with the rafters on the other side of the fascia board.
4. Repairing Rusted Gutters: If your gutters are rusting then they have to be old or have simply succumbed to the exposure faster. You have two options in this case, you might consider getting new aluminum or vinyl gutters that don't rust; but if you want to stay with the ones you have you can still make them useful:
- Simply get or the rust of using a stiff wire brush or sand them down.
- Next paint them with a great quality primer and add a coat of rust-inhibiting paint.
- Wait until dry and your gutters will look as good as new. Remember to go for quality when buying paint and primer for best results.
Most of these repair jobs actually cost less than $100. Most the materials like paint and primer, wire brush, aluminum piece, screws, waterproof glue and so on cost less than $100 so the repair job should cost more than that unless you include a labor charge. The labor charge mostly depends on the contractor and the level of damage on the gutters. With the above gutter repair options explained, the repair process should go smoothly.
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