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How to Fix Gutters

Repair those leaky or sagging gutters

FH99JAU_SAGGUT_01-2Family Handyman
Seal leaky gutters and straighten sagging and bulging gutters. We'll show you how to restore good drainage and your self esteem at the same time.

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Repair sagging gutters

Photo 1: Mount a gutter hanger

Hook the gutter hanger under the front edge of the gutter and over the back edge. Then drive the hex head screw through the wood trim behind the gutter. The hangers will be stronger if you screw them into a rafter. Look for nailheads, which indicate rafter locations. Add new gutter hangers about every 3 ft. along the entire length of the gutters if the old ones have let go.

Photo 2: Close-up of a gutter hanger

This style fits one common type of gutter and mounts from the top.

If your metal gutters have developed a middle-age bulge, get ’em back in shape with these easy-to-install gutter hangers. (Make sure the problem isn’t caused by rotted wood.) They’re available at home centers. For help finding them in your area, contact Amerimax Home Products at Amerimax.com.

Another style of gutter hanger slides under the shingles and is nailed to the roof boards. If you use this type, be sure the shingles are flexible enough to be lifted without breaking.

WARNING

Stay well away from electrical power lines.

Seal leaking end caps on gutters

Photo 1: Scrub around the leak

Scour off oxidation around the seam or end cap with a scrub brush or coarse steel wool. Rinse with water and let the area dry.

Photo 2: Apply the sealer

Squirt a bead of sealer around the seam or end cap and work it in with a gloved finger. Let it dry.

Even if you have seamless gutters, there’s going to come a time when the end caps leak. If that time has arrived for you, here are two sealers recommended by pros: Aluminum Pigmented Gutterseal (No. VTS-138; available by the tube at vintagetrailersupply.com) and GeoGreen Pro Gutter Seal (available in cases of 12 at amazon.com).

To fix your gutter leak, start by scooping out all the crud. Clean the area with household spray cleaner, a scrub brush and rags to get it as clean as possible. If you have to, resort to a toothbrush for crevices. The cleaner it is, the better your patch will hold over time. Next, remove any oxidation and apply the sealer (Photos 1 and 2). Go back several days later and cover the entire area with a rubberized coating to prevent rust (one brand is Rust-Oleum LeakSeal Flexible Rubber Coating; available by the can at home centers).

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you startyoull save time and frustration.

  • Drill/driver - cordless
  • Scrub brush

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.

  • Detergent
  • Gutter hangers
  • Gutter sealer

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