Gutter Repair – How to Identify and Repair a Gutter Problem

Gutters are an integral part of the home’s drainage system, directing rainwater away from the foundation and preventing water damage. But gutters can be difficult to assess and maintain.

Choosing a professional with extensive experience can provide the peace of mind that the job will be done properly and safely. Licensed professionals also have access to specialized equipment that can save you the expense of buying tools for yourself. Contact Gutter Repair Baltimore now!

Leaking gutters can cause extensive damage to your home and should be fixed as soon as possible. In addition to water stains and erosion around your doors, windows, and siding, you could also find that your fascia boards have begun to rot from the moisture. Fortunately, gutter repair is relatively simple if you catch it early enough.

There are several different ways that your gutter system can leak, but the first step is determining where the problem is coming from. If the leaking is from the point where the downspout meets the gutter, it likely means that it is clogged and needs to be cleaned out. Alternatively, if it is leaking from the end of the gutter, that could be because of loose screws or hangers that need to be tightened.

Another common source of gutter leaks is holes or cracks. Luckily, these can be fixed with a few supplies and some basic DIY skills. Start by preparing the area by clearing away any debris and making sure that you have a stable ladder to work from. Put on some gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from sharp edges.

Once the area is clear, you can begin to patch the holes. If you have roofing cement on hand, that is a good option for this job as it is designed to be used in exterior situations and creates durable seals. Otherwise, you can try using Loctite PL Roof and Flashing Polyurethane Sealant. It is a commercial-grade product that is flexible even after it is dried, resistant to UV radiation and moisture, and works well on most gutter types.

To prepare the gutter for patching:

  1. Scrape off as much rust or old tar as you can.
  2. Wire-brush the metal to clean it thoroughly and give it a nice smooth surface for bonding.
  3. Cut a piece of patching tape that is slightly larger than the hole and peel the paper backing off.
  4. Apply the patch to the hole and firmly press it down.
  5. Be sure that it overlaps the hole by at least 1 inch on all sides and work it into any curves or corners.

Pooling Water

If water pools in your gutters it can damage your landscaping, foundation, roof, and siding. This is a sign that the gutter system isn’t functioning properly and needs attention. The good news is that a little work can prevent this issue from becoming a large one and save you some serious money in repairs or even replacements.

The most common cause of pooling water in the gutter is that the downspout isn’t draining correctly. Often this is simply because the gutter has been installed incorrectly. The downspout should be pointed away from the house instead of towards it, so that the water doesn’t saturate the soil around your foundation or create issues with your home.

Other reasons why water might be pooling in the gutters include that the gutter spikes are missing or that there are holes in the gutter. These can be a problem because they put extra weight on the gutters which causes them to sag or pull away from the fascia. These can be fixed by simply putting some roofing cement or sealant on the hole.

Another problem is that the end cap seams may be leaking. These are the seams where two sections of gutter come together, or where a gutter meets a corner miter. These seams are sealed when the gutters are installed, but over time they can begin to leak due to corrosion or just normal wear and tear. The solution to this is to clean the gutters and then re-seal them under the right conditions.

Holes in the gutter can also be a problem because they allow water to pour out of the gutters. This can be a big problem because the extra water will saturate the soil and lead to a host of problems including mold, cracking, and erosion of the foundation of your home.

To fix this you can try to fix the holes with tin snips or a hacksaw, then fill any exposed metal with roofing cement or sealant and paint over it. You can also replace the gutter section with a new piece of gutter if it is damaged beyond repair.

Detached Hangers

If gutters become detached from the fascia board, they won’t stay stable and will start to sag. This is usually a sign that there is a major problem with the gutter system, and a variety of factors such as an excessive amount of debris, improper slope, misaligned hangers, or ice dams could cause it. If you notice that your gutters are sagging, it’s important to fix the issue right away to avoid further damage to your home and costly repairs down the line.

Gutter hangers are a metal piece that fastens the gutter to the roof and fascia boards to create stability and prevent leaks and sagging. There are many different types of hangers, each with its own unique features that offer varying levels of durability and performance. Some of the most common include hidden hangers, K-style gutter brackets, T-bar or t-strap hangers, and wrap-around hangers.

Hidden hangers are designed to be hidden from view so they don’t detract from the aesthetic of your gutters. These types of hangers are clipped into the front lip of the gutter section toward the open mouth, then span across to the back. They are held in place by a long screw that runs through the hidden hanger, through the gutter, and at least 1″ into the fascia board to ensure it stays securely fastened.

The most durable gutter hangers are made of stainless steel or aluminum, and are less likely to sag over time. They are also available in a variety of colors to match your gutters and roof color, making them a more attractive choice than other styles of hangers. Gutter hangers that are fabricated from dissimilar metals can be more prone to electrolysis, where the two materials chemically react with each other.

Gutter hangers should be spaced evenly along the length of your gutters. Most professionals recommend spacing them between 24-32 inches apart to provide adequate support and prevent sagging or pulling.

Mold or Water Stains

If you notice black or green stains on your gutters, you have mildew and mold that need to be cleaned. A standard all-purpose cleaner or a mixture of bleach and water can help you remove it. If you can’t get rid of the stains, it may be time to consider gutter replacement.

You might also notice rust spots on your gutters. These are typically caused by corrosion from a mix of elements like acid rain, air pollution, and volcanic debris. Gutter stains are not just unsightly, but they can also indicate that the aluminum gutters have become structurally weakened. In some cases, a corroded gutter can actually fall from the wall. If you see this happening, call a gutter repair company right away.

In most cases, you can remove rust stains with a little elbow grease and some sandpaper or a wire brush. If sandpaper is not an option, you can try applying some rubbing alcohol to the rusted area and then scrubbing with a sponge or toothbrush. Then rinse off the soapy residue with a bucket of water and a clean sponge or garden hose. If you still have rust spots, you can sand the area to remove the rust and then paint the gutter with a rust-inhibiting primer or spray paint.

Another common issue is black streaks on your gutters. These are usually caused by oily residue or other pollutants that build up on your home’s fascia boards and siding, then wash off with rain. They can also be caused by a power washing, especially one done around windows or between buildings.

Before climbing a ladder to fix any gutter issues, you need to make sure the area is free of plants, shrubs, or garden decorations that could block your view and prevent safe climbing. You should also make sure your ladder is stable and secure. Lastly, if you plan to work over a window, be sure to use a ladder stabilizer.

To fix a leaking gutter seam or hole, you’ll need roof cement or a similar waterproof sealant. Be sure the area is clean and dry before beginning, and wear rubber gloves for safety. It is also a good idea to apply the sealant in a warm, sunny day to give it a chance to set quickly.