Gutters and downspouts are a very important part of the drainage system of your house. Without these the rainwater will not drain out fully and properly. As a result of which the roof of your house as well as the walls can get damaged. The downspouts and gutters combine to make the conduit system. This gutter installation makes sure that no rain water is collected and the integrity of your home is maintained.
For many house owners the thought of maintaining their home’s conduit system may seem like a daunting idea. While many rely on DIY methods to look after the gutter systems at their homes. Gutter repair is easily available and is encouraged on a regular annual basis. Especially when you notice a major problem like a visible leakage which can be indicated by yellowing walls or generally before the weather gets harsh. But as far as more frequent repair and maintenance is concerned, you can get your hands dirty yourself and do the job.
Tips on Gutter Repair
Now, repairing gutters is not exactly a walk in the park and requires hard work. It is still quite doable and with some handy tips you can get on with repairing your house’s gutter system by yourself.
Tip #1 Unclog Gutters
If you are not afraid of heights and are comfortable up on a ladder, unclogging the gutters should not be a problem for you. Unclogging your gutters is the best way to maintain your gutters and keep them in good shape. This also helps avoid any serious issues from happening. All you need to do is clean out any dry debris that may be stuck on top. Then take a water hose and sluice the gutter so that the line gets cleared and rain water can easily drain out. After you are done unclogging the gutter, install gutter covers to keep debris from falling in.
Tip #2 Properly Align Gutters
At times even when the gutters are unclogged, the water doesn’t drain properly because the gutters are not aligned properly. Here is how you can align the gutters so that they work smoothly:
- Drive nails into the fascia board of the section of the gutter that you are about to realign to support it.
- Remove the support brackets off the gutter.
- Making sure that it falls towards the downspout, tie a string on the fascia from one end to the other. The tilt of the fall should be half inch for every 10 feet of the gutter line.
- Following the tilt of the string, put the support brackets back on the gutter.
Tip #3 Remove Rust
Rust can cause some serious damage to the gutters if you let it go unattended. So as soon as you spot rusty areas on the gutter line, you must remove it. Here is how:
- If the rust is in a small area, you can clean it off with some sand paper. Larger areas can be cleaned with a wire brush.
- Once the areas are clean, use a rust-resistant primer on the surface.
- While applying the rust-resistant primer, make sure there are no cracks in the pipe. If there are cracks, seal them off with some sealant.
- Finish off by applying some gloss paint or bitumen. Apply a second coat once it dries.
Tip #4 Fix Leaks
Gutter pipes made of PVC and UPVC can get leaks. The common spots are around the joints. The joints contain rubber seals to make them water tight which can get worn out over time and leak. This may also occur due to dust and debris getting stuck. Here is how you can deal with them:
- Locate the leak and squeeze the gutter pipes, separating them from the seal.
- Check for wear around the seal and replace if it has become damaged. If not just remove the dirt and debris from around the seal.
- When you are replacing the seal that has been worn out, make sure that you press it in hard to avoid any leaks.
- Refit the gutter pipes back with the joints.
Tip #5 Fix Loose Downspouts
Downspouts can become loose over time and can cause the whole guttering system to be affected by it. But it does not mean that you must replace the whole gutter drain. Examine the gutter line and observe if there is a gutter bracket that has come loose. The weather and elements can cause it over time and if that is the case you can simply replace the bracket. You can put it higher or lower than before with the help of new pilot holes in the gutter.
If the brackets are not the problem, check for loose wall plugs. A loose wall plug can cause the gutter’s alignment to go bad and as a result the rain water won’t drain out properly. Thankfully, replacing or tightening the wall plugs is an easy task and can be done quickly. Just make sure that they are not rusted and you are using ¼” or the 6.5mm galvanized plugs.
Safety is a Priority
Before you start with the repair and maintenance work, you need to keep your safety in mind and make it a priority.
- Make sure the equipment you choose to use is tested first and is safe for use. Check the ladder for any signs of rust, broken welds, cracks or loose nuts and make sure it is sturdy.
- Always wear gloves when cleaning the gutters so that you can avoid getting bruises, cuts or scrapes on your hands.
- Wear glasses or goggles at all times while cleaning the gutters because you never know what may come out of them ad harm your eyes.
- If you find some wildlife has nestled inside the gutter system, try not to poke or remove it yourself and contact the wildlife removal service.
Once you find your way around repairing your house’s gutters yourself, it won’t feel like such a task. Just have a little confidence in yourself, be safe and you will be fine.