When it comes to gutter repairs, you want to be careful to not mess up your work. In fact, gutter repairs can sometimes be quite tricky. Generally, gutter repair consists of:
Checking for holes, cracks, missing sections, or missing pieces. Checking for the loose downspout, gutters, broken parts, or missing pieces. Nail down rain gutters to fascia board if sagging and pulling away from the fascia board. Check for large pieces of debris stuck in downspouts. If you cannot get them out, try using a wire cutter to cut the pieces out.
Cleaning the gutters of leaves, pinecones, and other debris is necessary before starting any type of gutter repair. It is best to clean it thoroughly with a pressure washer, insecticide, and water. You may want to use a garden hose as this will be more effective. The leaves and pinecones can clog gutters and damage the gutter system over time. Remove all of them. The pressure washer will remove much of the moisture which allows the water to percolate through the structure of the gutter system.
Once the gutter is clean and free of debris and clogged material, you are ready for some serious gutter repairs. Start by removing the hanging brackets from the ends of the downspouts. These are typically made of copper or brass. Using a screwdriver, pry off the tabs on the end caps. You will need a pair of long tweezers for this job.
Next, remove any of the decorative hardware such as finials and spouts. Some homeowners like to include many gutter repairman signs as this makes the structure look more appealing. Once the gutter repairman has taken these out, clean the copper or brass with rubbing alcohol and a cleaner.
Now it’s time to install the new downspouts and gutter guards. The gutter guards will install over the old downspouts. There is generally a lip on each side to prevent water from entering. Once installed, secure them to the walls with screws or nails. After you have done this, make sure that the gutter is completely covered with leaves so that nothing falls into it.
If you want to finish off your repairs then it is time to check your gutters again to ensure they are not leaking. Use a small auger to check the gutter seams. This can be done while standing in front of the gutter. If water is dripping inside the downspout then there is a seam where the gutter meets the downspout.
It is important to fix leaks before they become larger. If water damage is already large then using a gutter guard may not be enough. You need to get behind the gutters and remove any large pieces of wood that may be preventing water from getting behind the fascia board.
After you have got the gutter securely in place and all the hardware is screwed back together you can continue with the repairs. Now is the time to clean up the downspouts. Remove any large pieces of debris such as leaves and sticks that may have fallen from the tree. Now is a good time to check to see if the downspouts have rust. If there is rust, you can strip it away without causing any damage to the fascia board.
If the water damage is not too bad, you may want to try cleaning it with chemicals. However, always test chemicals on a piece of wood first. Also, remember to wear gloves and other protective materials to avoid getting chemicals on your hands. If the water damage is very bad, you may have to rip out and replace the shingles. The best way to do this is to raise your gutter to the roof and then cut horizontal pieces on the shingles.
You can buy gutter guard kits which can help to prevent you from having to repair the downspouts altogether. These kits consist of an inner liner that catches all the rainwater that hits your roof. On the outside of the kit are plastic strips that form a funnel to direct the water down the gutters. If you purchase one of these kits, be sure to also purchase an inner liner. This will help your system to last longer.
If the water damage is bad enough you can pull out the entire shingle system. However, this might require more advanced skills. If the damage is not bad enough for this, you will probably want to tear them all out and replace them. Also, note that if you are doing this job yourself you will want to use some type of patching compound and make sure that the area where the gutters will be replaced is level. By using a patching compound you will save money by being able to repair the shingles yourself.