Salvage old gutters


Old 03-05-13, 08:50 AM
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Salvage old gutters

I recently purchased a house that has some water issues due to sagging gutters and limited draining options that are poor at best*.

The gutters seem rather new, so I'd like to reuse them if I can. The gutters roof is probably 20 feet high and I have no ladder at present (considering purchasing a Werner 22' and a stabilizer), so I can only guess that they are the aluminum K-style held by ferrules and screws.

Is my best option;
1) take gutters down, seal and rivet all joints, reinstall with stronger 5" hidden hangers (with possibly different downspout placement).
2) get up to roof line, seal and rivet all joints, add some hangers.
3) pay someone to install 180 feet of "as seamless as possible" gutters
4) something else

*In particular, I have a flat lot and a driveway running along the south side of my building. The gutter runs from the back (with downspout), west for 20 feet to a valley that goes south 8 feet. A large amount of water pours down there and what doesn't jump over the gutter drips out the broken seal and onto the steps for that unit. After the 8 feet to the south, it turns again to the west for about 16 feet, where the downspout come to the middle of my driveway (right up against the house). I have a plastic extended spout that I can drive over, but it still isn't ideal.

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There is a five foot extension on the back gutter that wasn't there when this photo was taken.

I THINK I can put another downspout in the interior corner by the stairs and run a downspout along the back of the stairs and have it drain across the concrete to the yard. If so, I'd like to separate the gutter at the back of the house from that corner and have the gutter from the middle of my driveway drain the other way, into that corner.

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Add the white downspout
Possibly add the red downspout to tie into white one
Get rid of the downspout in the middle of the driveway

Last edited by Michael Rivers; 03-05-13 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 03-05-13, 09:10 AM
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Getting rid of the existing downspout might be difficult if the gutter is pitched down to it. So, I'd say leave it if all possible. I would add one downspout about where you show the white line. Maybe just come a foot away from the corner where it's easier to work. I don't think I'd bother with the red downspout addition at this point.

In the corner where you white line is I would install a deflector to keep all the water flowing down the valley from jumping the gutter.

I don't know if I would bother with minor leaks at the joints and rivet holes unless it's staining the house or really bugging you. Installing some additional hangers, installing the extra downspout and insuring that the gutters are properly pitched should take care of the bulk of the problem. The seams may drip when it's raining but if you are getting the water out of the gutter then it should stop shortly after the rain does.
Old 03-05-13, 09:22 AM
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Thank you. I already plan to install deflectors. I purchased them in the fall before realizing that I have no way to get up there to install them.

The joints are not "minor leaks". The only thing holding the joints together is pure luck. About as much water comes from the joints as comes through the downspouts. Given the house's grading, this drives it all right back to the basement.* It also creates some impressive icicles that I do not want at all, let alone above a doorway.

*I will be getting a few tons of topsoil to do some better grading this summer.
Old 03-05-13, 09:40 AM
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As a DIY, you would need to raise the gutter on the left of the pics so the water will run to the new down spout. You will need to have a look above the gutter at the facia to see if there is room for this or if you need to also lower the gutter to the right. You can patch the hole from the old spout and caulk the seams while the gutter is in place. Hidden screw type hanger work well for this and may already be installed. Unscrew then, lower it, and screw it back.
Or, replace the gutter with new. I don't see 180' here. I would guess 180' is the whole house? On this part of the roof, I would install 6" gutter and spouts where you want them. About $6.00/ ft. Sometimes they have a minimum.
Old 03-05-13, 09:52 AM
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I know that I would need to change the slope of at least the front part. That's why I'm considering separating the gutter at the "red" corner, sloping the 16 feet to the red corner, and sloping the 8 feet to the new white downspout. Does that seem doable? I don't like the thought of having a small gap in the gutter, but since it's at an outside corner, I do not really see too bad of an effect.

Given that the bit of gutter that I can access at the front of the house has the cheap screws (possibly nails), I doubt they splurged on the top gutter.

The 180' is for the whole house. The other side is in worse shape, but there are no driveways on that side, so my options are better and more numerous.

Thank you for the responses.
Old 03-06-13, 06:25 AM
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That seems doable. Here is a pic of a very simple hanger that I use.
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Old 03-06-13, 06:28 AM
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To add another opinion... gutters are cheap. I wouldn't want to go through all the hassle of taking them down, re-pitching them, sealing them up, just to get a few more years out of older gutters. I'd get someone to make the seamless gutters to size and you can install them. (Or as I'm getting lazy at my age, I'd just have them install them).
Old 03-06-13, 07:31 AM
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That is a good opinion, Zorfdt.

In looking at my gutters again, I think they are as "seemless" as they can be. The 20 foot one is all one piece. The only joints are at the corners.

Then it comes down to (assuming the gutters aren't rusting)
1) Paying over $1,000 for new gutters to be installed
2) Paying about $350 for a new ladder, some sealant, and lots of brackets.
Well, I could sure use a new ladder. And whatever company installed the gutters before (I'm going to guess three years ago, since the roof was done then) didn't do it right that time, since every joint is bad, no deflectors were installed and the pitch of a gutter on the front of the house looks correct, but a level shows that it is pitched the other way. I don't want to accidentally get that company again.

Of course, if the ends and joints are rusting, this is pretty moot. Sadly, I need to purchase a ladder just to find that out. Oh, first-world problems.

See my next thread for "how do I install gutters".
Old 03-07-13, 07:31 AM
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The gutters should be aluminum.

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