LEARN HOW TO IDENTIFY AND FIX COMMON GUTTER REPAIRS
A guide to fixing broken gutters
As homeowners in Winnipeg, we all know how expensive it can be to replace broken or damaged eavestroughs. Over time, with our extreme temperatures here in Winnipeg, and sporadic clanging ladders against our gutters, damage will start to occur. But replacing your eavestroughs is not always necessary. Sometimes, you can repair your eavestroughs and save a lot of money in the process. Here are six great tips for eavestrough repair.
How do I know my eavestroughs need repair?
Before you go about gathering supplies and spending money, the first thing you need to do is an assessment of how extensive the repair is. There are some telltale signs that your gutters aren’t working.
The most common sign is water pooling around the base of your house. Other common signs are when water is not flowing out of the bottom during a rain storm. It could be that you have a blockage, but it could also be that you are losing the water entirely where joints are located.
Other signs that you need to fix your eavestroughs are:
- Leaking seams, corners or joints
- Corrosion or holes
- Separation between the gutter and the house exterior
- Significant ice buildup on the roof’s edge in the winter months, or icicles on the eavestrough
- Corrosion, mold, or rot on the soffits or fascia
- Water damage or staining on the brick or siding
1. Sagging eavestroughs
Your eavestroughs need to be firmly attached and secured to your house for the most effective use. However, sometimes our secure fastenings come lose and the eavestrough starts to sag at different locations around your roof.
What you need to do is realign them. You can do this one of two ways:
- Nailing in a loose spike
- Repositioning the existing bracket
Make sure you don’t move the eavestrough too much, as you might run the risk of pushing the alignments at joints off course.
If you’re looking for a temporary solution, you could always attach some string to the gutter then rope it around a nail in the roof to keep it from sagging. Keep in mind that this is a very temporary solution.
2. Pinhole leaks
Another common problem with gutters are pinhole leaks. Most often, these types of leaks can be fixed with a bit of silicone. In some home hardware stores, you can find specific kits for eavestrough repair that contain the proper silicone solution.
Keep in mind that this is mostly a temporary fix. Eventually, you’ll have to replace the whole section to completely fix it.
3. Cleaning debris out of your gutters
Now that we’ve gone over the resulting problems above, it’s time to talk about what causes sag and pinhole leaks.
When your eavestroughs get filled with everything from leaves to branches to asphalt to seeds, and then everything proceeds to get saturated, there is a lot of weight put on your water drainage system.
With a filled eavestrough, you won’t be able to spot any pinhole leaks simply because they are being clogged by debris.
It’s time to get your hands a bit dirty and clean them out.
Some people like to force the debris down the hole via a hose or pressure washer. Others like to do it the old-fashioned way and scoop it all out with their hands. Note that if you use a hose or pressure washer, the debris might just get stuck again in a part of the downspout where the pressure isn’t that strong. That means you now have to take everything apart just to clear it out. It’s probably better just to scoop everything out first then wash it down with a pressure stream after. Besides, using a high-pressure stream can lead to more damage being done to your water drainage system if a clog does happen.
4. Loose rivets
The rivets in your eavestroughs are what make one short section become a longer, connected section. After time, these rivets can loosen, which then threatens the integrity of the entire length of connected eavestrough.
If you don’t already have one, you may have to purchase or rent a rivet gun to secure them back into place. For a non-professional use, you might be able to pick one up for around $30.
Important: You must buy the same type of rivets that you already have in place. For example, if you have aluminum eavestroughs, you need to buy aluminum rivets.
5. Cracking caulking at the seams
If you have water leaking at the seams, it may be because your caulking has cracked. Most of the time, this is due to it simply being old.
You’ll have to remove the old caulking, clean the area and then apply new caulking.
These types of repairs are important as water might get behind the gutters and damage your roof or outer walls.
6. Patching holes
When you have a clogged eavestrough, you get standing water. When you get standing water, you get rust. When you get rust, you get holes in your gutters.
With pinholes, you can get away with some silicone for a while. But with larger holes, you’ll need to either patch them up or replace the entire section.
The first thing you need to do is clean the area of debris. Then you need to cut away any rust that resides around the hole. Make sure to buy a patch that is of the same material as your eavestroughs (i.e. steel eavestroughs = steel patch). Place the patch over the hole and apply roofing cement with a putty knife to secure.
Need a free quote for a new roof and eavestroughs?
Here at Denali Exteriors, Winnipeg Roofers, we’re always glad to give you a free quote for eavestroughs and roofing.