How To Maintain Your Home’s Gutters
- Clogged Gutters
What you’ll need: Wire brush, gloves, hose
It is suggested that you clean your gutters twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. This helps to keep leaves, sticks, and other debris from piling up. Remove debris from gutters by hand while wearing gloves to clean them. To loosen stubborn accumulations, use a wire brush. Remove any remaining dirt and leaves from the gutters with a hose.
- Holes or Gaps in Gutters
What you’ll need: Sheet metal, metal snips, roofing cement, large putty knife, gutter caulk
Start by cutting a piece of sheet metal to fit over the hole if you notice a hole in your gutters. Spread roofing cement around the edges of the hole on the inside of the gutter. Bend the sheet metal gently and press it into the roofing cement. Allow the patch to dry after applying more cement.
Seal any gaps in your gutters with gutter caulk ($8 at The Home Depot) and allow to dry.
- Rusty Gutter Spots
What you’ll need: Wire brush, roofing cement, putty knife
Minor rust spots on gutters may appear as a result of exposure to the elements. Fortunately, they are relatively simple to repair. Scrape the rust from the gutters with a wire brush. Apply a thin coat of roofing cement with a putty knife.
- Detached Gutters or Downspouts
What you’ll need: Sheet-metal screws, screwdriver, U-shape brackets
Water can run down your home’s exterior toward the foundation if your gutters have pulled away or detached, potentially causing leaks and damage. Drive a pilot hole and secure the gutter or downspout with U-shape brackets and short sheet-metal screws to repair a detached gutter.
- Missing Downspouts
What you’ll need: Fine-tooth hacksaw, file, metal downspout section, gutter caulk, U-shape brackets, screws, screwdriver
If a section of your downspout is missing, you can easily replace it. Begin by measuring the area that needs to be replaced. Cut a new section of the downspout with a hacksaw, being careful to cut squarely. Edges should be filed and secured with U-shape brackets and screws. Gutter caulk should be used to seal the seam.
- Damaged Gutter Guards and Strainers
What you’ll need: Wire-cage strainers, scissors, screen guards the width of your gutters
If your gutter guards are in disrepair or a section is missing, use these instructions to replace them. Above the downspout connection, place a wire-cage strainer ($3, Lowe’s). Trim the gutter guard to fit your gutters. Slip the guard’s inner edge under the first course of shingles and bend the other edge under the gutter’s lip.