Oct 20, 2022

A Quick Guide On How To Fix A Gutter Leak

Tim Shepel
Greater Seattle Gutters rated 5/5 based on 17 reviews.

Gutter installation is not mandated by law; hence, not all homes have gutters. However, it’s important to note that gutters are necessary, especially if your home is in a sloped area or built on clay-rich soil. Additionally, homes with basements and no overhang will find gutters valuable because they help keep water away from the building's foundation or siding.

Keeping your home dry is vital, especially when preparing for more violent storms and prolonged flooding. According to a Reuters article, flood damage may reach USD$32 billion by 2051, an increase of 61% from 2021.

To prevent this, if you experience a leaky gutter, the issue must be fixed as soon as possible. When a gutter leak is left unattended, it may cause multiple problems that compromise the structural integrity of a building. Water that stays on top of your home or the ground for long periods may cause water damage, mold problems, and a foundation issue.

Regular checks on your gutter can help spot issues that turn into significant problems later. If you’re wondering how to fix a gutter, this article is your quick guide.

Addressing the most common gutter problems

Rain gutter

As with other home fixes, a gutter restoration activity will depend on the type of damage or the cause of the leaking. In most cases, these problems can be identified by checking your roof drain.

Gutter repair costs range from USD$143 to USD$604, depending on the extent of damage and the materials needed. If you're confident in your skills, here's a quick guide to fixing gutter leaks.

1. Restoring sagging gutters

A gutter slope is vital because it ensures water flows smoothly away from your roof and home. Ideally, your gutter must be slanted half an inch downward every 10 feet until it reaches the downspout.

However, misalignments may cause water to flow elsewhere. In this case, you may fix a gutter slope problem with these steps:

  • Prop a brace on the affected area.
  • Remove the affected gutter hanger.
  • Reposition the sagging gutter.
  • Replace the hangers and add one on each of the affected sides.

2. Fixing loose gutter hangers

Fasteners and nails support the gutter, which is mounted on gutter hangers attached to the fascia boards or strap hangers attached to the roof. Hangers secure your roof drain, resulting in a leaky roof.

Here's what to do in case of loose gutter hangers:

  • Remove the affected hangers.
  • Use new roofing nails after adjusting them.
  • Cover the nail head with roof cement once installed.
  • Add more hangers for better support.

3. Patching gutter holes and cracks

Gutters deteriorate with time, and it's uncommon to see holes and cracks that cause a gutter leak. Some stores sell gutter patch kits containing all the items you need.

  • Make sure the gutter is free of any debris.
  • Prep the sealant according to the instructions
  • Apply sealant from inside the gutter. If there are big holes, placing a thin metal scrap with the adhesive may be necessary.
  • Place waterproof tape for extra hold.
  • Let it dry, and remove excess product using a putty knife.

4. Fixing gutter corner leaks

Water leaking from the gutter corners could signify an improper connection between the main body and the downspout. You can:

  • Clean and dry the area
  • Caulk the joints
  • Press them firmly together and hold
  • Remove excess products

5. Replacing damaged gutter sections

If your gutter is completely out of shape and has been causing several leaking problems, it may be time to replace it. Take the following steps:

  • Accurately measure the length of the gutter needing replacement
  • Buy a new gutter
  • Cut to size, leaving at least an extra inch on both ends
  • Remove the damaged section
  • Place the new gutter and attach the connections
  • Use sealant on the corners to prevent further leaks

6. Replacing and adding a downspout

An overflowing gutter can be caused by clogged roof drains or a broken and improperly sized downspout. To fix the problem, you may:

Add another downspout
  • Drill a hole in the bottom of the gutter
  • Place the connector in the hole
  • Secure the connector in place
  • Attach the elbow to the connector
  • Place the downspout and seal it with straps and screws
Replace your smaller downspout with a bigger one
  • Use the drop outlet to cut out a larger hole in the joint
  • Insert the drop outlet on the hole and fasten
  • Seal the joint

Preventing water leaks even if your gutter is working well

Worker Installing Rain Gutter Guard Leaf Shield

A heavy downpour can sometimes toll your gutters, causing severe water runoffs everywhere. It's best to install accessories like gutter guards and aprons to fix gutter overflow and prevent a leaky drain.

Gutter guards

These devices are placed on the gutter's top to prevent solid debris from entering, allowing water to drain away seamlessly and prevent clogs. Consumers find gutter guards effective in reducing maintenance tasks and minimizing leaks. Consequently, market research projects a 2.5% sector annual growth rate, reaching USD$746 million by 2025.

Gutter apron

An apron eliminates the risk of water overflowing behind your gutters. It's placed under the shingles and over the roof drain and works like a drip edge, directing water away from your home more efficiently onto the gutter.

Final thoughts

You can save on substantial gutter repair costs and water damage problems by regularly monitoring your roof and gutter and fixing minor issues promptly. Taking heed of this quick guide can help you tackle minor fixes more confidently. Ultimately, it's best to call professionals to do the job when facing more severe gutter problems.