How To Fix Leaking Gutters

Oct 11, 2023 | Gutter Problems

Do you catch yourself looking out your window on a rainy day, watching the water pour through your gutters rather than flowing through them? If the answer is a frustrating “yes,” you’re not alone. Leaking gutters can be a homeowner’s nightmare, causing damage to your home’s foundation, walls, and landscaping. 

Why Gutters Leak in The First Place

Clogged Downspouts and Gutters

One of the primary causes overflow actually has nothing to do with leaks at all.  Gutters will inevitably clog, which occurs when downspouts and gutters become filled with debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt. When these materials accumulate over time, they obstruct the flow of water, causing it to back up and overflow. 

Thankfully, this is usually an easy fix and is the first thing you should check for if  you suspect a leak (cleaning should be apart of your routine maintenance anyway!)

It’s important to not let water and debris accumulate for to long, as this can cause bigger issues down the road. 

Ice Dams

In colder climates during winter months, ice dams can be a significant contributing factor to leaking gutters. Ice dams form when accumulated snow on roofs melts due to heat escaping from inside the building.

The melted snow then flows down towards cooler areas near roof edges where it refreezes. This cycle repeats as more snow melts and refreezes at these lower points.

The result is the formation of ice dams, which can cause leaks in two ways. 

  1. Since your gutter is blocked by ice, water cannot flow through the gutter and away from your home. So the chances of it seeping into the roof and under shingles becomes quite high. So if you’re experiencing leaks and moisture in your ceiling in the winter, this may be a reason why.
  2. The freezing and thawing of ice in your gutters can cause the gutter its self to expand. Over time, this can cause a range of problems leading to leaks in the spring. One of the more common causes is the expansion causing the sealant at the joints becoming compromised, which is a prime area for leaks to occur. 

Cracks or Holes in the Gutter System

Cracks and holes in gutters are often a consequence of wear and tear. Over time, exposure to changing weather conditions like extreme heat or freezing temperatures can cause metal gutters to expand and contract, leading to weak points that develop into cracks.

Loose or Disconnected Gutter Sections

Improper maintenance or severe weather events can result in loose or disconnected gutter sections. When brackets holding the gutters in place become loose due to rusting, deterioration over time, or improper installation, the structural integrity of the gutter system is compromised. As a consequence, gaps form between gutter segments where water can escape rather than being effectively channeled towards downspouts.

Understanding these causes is vital because it enables homeowners to identify specific issues within their gutter systems and take appropriate action. By addressing these underlying causes promptly and effectively, one can prevent further damage while preserving the integrity of their home’s drainage system.

Safety Precautions Before Starting Repairs

When it comes to fixing leaking gutters, ensuring your safety should be a top priority. Before you begin any repair work, it is crucial to take appropriate safety precautions. This will not only protect you from potential accidents but also allow you to carry out the necessary repairs with confidence and peace of mind.

Wearing Protective Gloves and Safety Goggles

Before getting your hands dirty, equip yourself with a sturdy pair of protective gloves. They will shield your hands from sharp debris or potential contaminants that may be present in the gutters. Additionally, wearing safety goggles is highly recommended to protect your eyes from any flying debris or water particles during the repair process.

Ensuring Stable Ladder Placement

Working at heights requires special care, which includes using a ladder properly. Before climbing up, ensure that the ladder is stable and securely positioned on a level surface.

Make sure all its legs are firmly planted and locked in place before ascending. Avoid placing the ladder on unstable surfaces such as wet grass or loose soil that could compromise its stability.

Clearing Debris from Clogged Downspouts and Gutters

As mentioned earlier,  clogged downspouts and gutters are a primary culprit for water overflow, which can be mistaken for leaks. So it’s worth metnioning how to properly clear debris from your gutters, as removing debris is an essential step in restoring proper gutter functionality

Removing Leaves, Twigs, and Dirt Using a Garden Trowel

Manually remove large debris like leaves, twigs, and dirt from the gutters. Gently scoop out this unwanted material while being careful not to damage or bend the gutter channels.

Flushing Out Downspout & Remaining Debris

Once most of the solid debris has been cleared away manually, use a garden hose to flush out any remaining smaller particles. Direct the water flow towards the downspouts. 

Once at the downspout, turn your hose to the most powerful setting and spray into the downspout. In most cases, the water pressure be sprayed directly into the downspout should be enough to clear out any clogs. If you see water flowing out of the bottom with debris, and then flowing clear, you’ll know you successfully unclogged the downspout. 

Repairing Cracks or Holes in the Gutter System

To effectively fix leaking gutters, it is essential to address any cracks or holes in the gutter system promptly.

Cleaning Damaged Area with a Wire Brush

Before applying any sealant or adhesive materials, thoroughly clean the damaged area using a wire brush. This step removes any loose rust, dirt, or old sealants that could hinder proper adhesion of the repair materials.

Applying Silicone Caulk to Seal Small Cracks and Holes

For small cracks and holes in your gutter system, silicone caulk is an excellent option for sealing them. Apply a generous amount of caulk directly into the damaged area, ensuring complete coverage. Smooth out the surface with a putty knife or your gloved finger for an even finish.

For Larger Damages: Using a Patch Kit or Replacing Damaged Sections

In cases where cracks or holes are too large for silicone caulk alone to provide adequate repair, consider using a patch kit specifically designed for gutters. 

These kits typically include patches made of sturdy material (such as aluminum) and adhesive compounds that offer long-lasting repairs.

Alternatively, if the damage extends to an entire section of your gutter system and patching isn’t feasible or efficient, replacing the damaged sections may be necessary. At this point, you may want to consider reaching out to  professional gutter specialists.

If you’re in Edmonton, our team at Gutter Dunn has years of experience in both gutter repair and replacement. We can help diagnose the extent of damage and provide any gutter solutions you need! Get in touch with our expert eavestroughing team today!

Reconnecting Loose or Disconnected Gutter Sections

When repairing leaking gutters, it’s important not only to address structural damages but also ensure all components are securely connected.

Inspect for Loose Brackets and Screws

Carefully inspect the gutter system for any loose or missing brackets, as well as screws that may have become detached or weakened over time. Identifying these weak points is crucial for a comprehensive repair.

Once you’ve identified loose screws or missing brackets, tighten the screws firmly using a screwdriver or an appropriate tool. If any brackets are damaged beyond repair, replace them with new ones to ensure proper support for the gutter system.

Use Silicone Caulk to Reinforce Connections

To further reinforce the connections between gutter sections, apply silicone caulk on joints and seams. This creates an additional barrier against water leakage, helping to maintain a watertight seal.

Preventing Future Leaks

While fixes are vital, preventing future leaks in your gutters is equally important. By taking some proactive measures, you can minimize the chances of facing recurring issues.

Maintain Regular Gutter Cleaning

Regularly clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent debris build-up that can lead to clogs and subsequent leaks. 

We recommend cleaning your gutters at least twice a year – once in early to mid Spring, and once in middle to end of Fall. Of course, if the specific demands of your environment require you to complete more frequent cleanings – like being surrounded by trees or during seasons with more severe weather, then clean and maintain them more often.

Install Gutter Guards

Consider installing gutter guards to keep debris out while allowing water to flow freely through them. These protective devices act as a filter, preventing leaves and other materials from entering the gutter system in the first place.

Conclusion

Fixing leaking gutters requires attention to detail and a commitment to regular maintenance. Remember to always follow safety precautions before starting any gutter repairs. 

clearing clogged gutters thoroughly, repairing cracks or holes diligently, reconnecting loose sections securely, and implementing preventive measures against future leaks such as regular cleaning and gutter guards, you can ensure the longevity and efficiency of your gutter system. 

Remember, investing time in these repair and preventative actions will protect your home’s foundation, exterior walls, and overall structural integrity, leaving you with a well-maintained and worry-free property.

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See why our customers chooses Gutter Dunn!

Cathy PrudenCathy Pruden
01:38 29 Sep 23
Gutter Dunn provided us a reasonable quote for soffits, facia, eavstroughing and gutter guards. We were dealing with improper airflow which was as a result of additional roof venting when a new roof was installed. They were able to open up the older wood soffits before adding new soffits. Employees are friendly and knowledgeable about their product. We are very happy with their work which was done efficiently and in a timely manner and the house looks great! They got the job Dunn! Thanks
Lukas SchillerLukas Schiller
16:49 26 Sep 23
Hands Down, the very best Eavestroughing company in town. They were very professional (from office to the site crew). The workmanship is on point and looks fantastic! I will always recommend this business
Mike RMike R
16:10 11 Sep 23
Took a while to get a quote but well worth the wait. Everyone from the Estimators, Office Staff, Scheduler, and Installers were first class.They explained what was available and what they would recommend. We chose not to go with the leaf protection as we have a 1,200 sq. ft. bungalow and not that much gutter on either our garage or house. It's easy for us to just flush same.FYI their competitors Sales Rep provided a verbal quote and insisted we needed the leave filters and offered at least 5 different discounts and would have charged us double the price that Gutter Dunn invoiced. Competitor would not provide a written quote so I was leary about this company and their Rep.Installers were terrific, showed up a little early and reviewed the scope with us... They also installed new downspouts into our existing storm drain system. What a difference, they inserted the downspout into a pvc fitting vs the old tee pee cone style fitting.They were here for about 3.5 hrs and had everything cleaned up and put away.You know you are dealing with Professionals when they show up in a custom truck with Gutter Dunn and their suppliers ads screened on the side of same. The installers also wore company hats, tees and they were keen to do the work.If I could rate them as a 6 if I could, thanks again Gutter Dunn.
Barbara NBarbara N
21:07 09 Aug 23
They are an absolute delight to work with. I had my old wooden soffit removed and replaced. They were quick to get it done, from the first phone call to them being done was maybe two weeks and it involved coordinating with another contractor to fix the roof. Great communication, called if there was a problem or question, sent easy to understand emails. I can't say enough good things. The work they did was worth every penny.
Ryan McKayRyan McKay
18:15 24 Jul 23
What a great company. They listen to what you want done and then do it. I'll be using them again and now setting up annual gutter clean outs.
Grant Pegden-WrightGrant Pegden-Wright
23:38 21 Jun 23
We had a great experience with Gutter Dunn and our eaves troughs look and perform amazingly well! Would definitely recommend Gutter Dunn to friends and family.
Joel RebohJoel Reboh
15:16 18 Jun 23
Completed my gutters 8 years ago amd they are still in great shape 👍
Eric KEric K
00:27 12 Jun 23
Had soffits/fascia and eavestroughs completed by Gutter Dunn. Both crews were very professional and we are very happy with the final product. The office staff were very helpful as we navigated some other construction delays that affected the scheduling of the Gutter Dunn crews, much appreciated!
Don ShayDon Shay
13:25 07 Jul 21
Professional Service, great advice on product (Soffit, Fascia, 6" Eavestrough & large Downspout Size plus Alu-Rex Double-Pro Leaf Guard). Job was done on time, on quote and they cleaned up so well it was as if they had never been there.
Jean FiliatraultJean Filiatrault
23:10 19 Nov 20
We are very please with the work and workmanship that we received from Gutter Dunn. The eaves that they installed are working very well. the technicians that install the eaves troughs carried their work in a professional manner and were able to answer our questions quickly and to the point. We would certainly recommend Gutter Dunn to friends and family.
Reanna BowdenReanna Bowden
17:25 16 Nov 19
So happy with this Company! They were a little longer getting to me than quoted but worth the wait for the service and attention to detail. They have more selections for qutter profiles than most companies I contacted and they color matched my troughs perfectly to blend in with the exterior. Pricing was also very comparable to other companies when comparing installation techniques. Branden made me an extra extension for my rain barrel in summer, and changed a run on the garage I wanted reversed due to the slope. No hesitation to make it perfect for me. He made sure I loved everything before leaving. My favourite was the duel color downspout to match my exterior. Looks perfect! Thanks for Gutt N’ ER’ Dunn 🙂
Kent LamoureuxKent Lamoureux
18:49 23 Nov 18
I am really happy with how everything went! i picked gutter dunn because of how they came across and the quoting process where they understood what i wanted, so i did not pick them because they were the cheapest but totally competitive in the market and i felt they would get the job done. in the end the design desired was followed and the installer communicated really well to verify. Really happy!
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