Gutters are important parts of your home because they prevent water from entering your house through the roof.
If you don’t take care of them properly, however, they can cause serious problems.
One such issue is water entering your home and causing serious damage to the interior. Or the gutter itself damaging the structure of your house.
You can easily repair or replace damaged gutters using basic tools and materials. This guide shows you how to install new gutters and fix existing ones.
Table of Contents
Tools You’ll Need
The following items will help you with this project:
- A ladder (if necessary)
- Wire cutters
Materials You’ll Need
The following supplies will ensure that your gutter (see also our guide to cleaning gutters from the ground) system is in good working order:
- New flashing tape
- Waterproofing compound
How to Fix Gutter Slope
Step 1: Clean Your Roof
Before installing a new gutter system (see also ‘How To Install Seamless Gutters‘), it’s best to clean any debris off the roof. Remove any leaves, twigs, or other objects that could fall into the gutter during heavy rainstorms.
Use a garden hose to wash away loose dirt and debris on the roof. Then use a trowel to scrape off any remaining mud or moss.
Step 2: Measure and Cut Flashing Tape
Measure the length of each side of your roof by holding one end of the tape up against the wall at the top of the roof. Mark the spot where the tape meets the edge of the roof.
Cut the tape so that it extends past the mark. The extra length allows for expansion and contraction when the weather changes.
Step 3: Attach Flashing Tape
Attach the tape to the wall using screws. Make sure that the screw heads extend beyond the bottom of the gutter.
Attach the tape along the entire length of the roof. Be careful not to overhang the eaves. Overhanging eaves can create leaks.
Step 4: Install the Fascia Board
Install the fascia board under the eaves of your roof. Use a level to make sure that the board is plumb.
If necessary, attach the fascia board to the wall using screws that go through the fascia board and into the wood siding.
Step 5: Install the Downspouts
Place downspout extensions at the ends of the downspouts. These extensions should be made of metal or plastic.
If possible, place the extensions above ground level. They won’t interfere with the flow of water if placed below ground level.
Make sure that the extension goes all the way around the downspout.
Step 6: Connect the Downspouts
Connect the downspouts to the extensions using flexible connectors. Flexible connectors allow the downspouts to move as the gutter expands and contracts.
Step 7: Fill In Any Missing Pieces
Fill in any missing pieces of flashing tape or fascia boards.
Step 8: Test Your Work
Test your work by pouring water onto the roof. Check to see whether the water flows freely across the roof.
If there are gaps between the roof and the gutter, check to see whether the water runs out of the gutter. If it does, fill in the gap with waterproofing material.
Repairing an Old Gutter System
If you have an old gutter system that needs replacing, follow these steps to get rid of the old system.
Step 1: Remove the Gutters
Remove the gutters from the house. You may need to remove some shingles to access the gutters.
Step 2: Replace the Shingles
Replace the shingles on the roof. This step protects the roof from further damage.
Step 3: Repair the Existing Flashings
Check to see whether the existing flashing is damaged. If it is, replace it.
Step 4: Remove the Damaged Section of the Roof
If the damaged section of the roof extends more than 12 inches from the eave line, cut it off. Otherwise, leave the damaged area intact.
Step 5: Clean Up the Surface of the Roof
Clean up the surface of the roof. Use a garden hose or pressure washer to clean the roof.
Step 6: Seal the New Gutter System
Seal the new gutter system. Use a sealant such as tar or silicone caulk.
Use a brush to apply the sealant to the seams between the gutter and the fascia board. Allow the sealant to dry before applying another coat.
Step 7: Paint the Roof
Paint the roof. A color-matching paint will blend better with the surrounding materials.
Repairing a Leaking Gutter
Leaky gutters are difficult to repair because they are hidden behind the fascia board. Follow these steps to fix a leaking gutter.
Step 1: Find the Source of the Water Damage
Look for signs of water damage around the home. Look for wet spots on the ceiling, walls, floor, or other areas where water could enter the building.
Step 2: Identify the Problem Area
Identify the problem area. The leaky spot might not be visible if the leak occurs inside a pipe or under a deck.
Step 3: Cut Out the Problem Area
Cut out the area around the leak. Make sure that you don’t accidentally cut through the roof.
Step 4: Patch the Hole
Patch the hole with a piece of plywood. Cover the patch with cement.
Step 5: Apply Caulk Around the Plywood
Apply caulking around the plywood. Let the caulking dry completely before painting.
Step 6: Paint the Roof
Apply a color-matching paint to the roof. Allow the paint to dry before applying another layer.
Repairing Cracks in Your Gutters
Cracked gutters are common. They can cause rainwater to run down the side of the roof and into the basement.
Follow these steps to repair cracks in your gutters.
Step 1: Determine Whether the Crack Is Serious
Determine whether the crack is serious. If the crack is large, it could lead to leaks.
Step 2: Fill In the Cracks
Fill in the cracks with asphaltic emulsion. Asphaltic emulsion is available at most hardware stores.
Step 3: Coat the Surrounding Material
Coat the sides of the house with asphaltic emulsion to prevent moisture from entering the structure.
Step 4: Wait for the Emulsion to Dry
Wait until the emulsion dries.
Step 5: Finish Painting the House
Finish painting the house.
Gutters play an important role in keeping homes safe and secure. When they need repairs, homeowners should contact a professional contractor.
However, many people do their own home improvement projects.
These DIY tips can help you complete your project successfully.