Hot Topics: Bad Gutter Installation and How to Fix It

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Just because you hire a professional to install your gutters, doesn't mean the installation will be perfect—or even correct. Make sure whomever you hire gets the job done right or that you know how to fix it when it goes wrong.

Original Post: Gutter Installation Question—Leaks From Behind

I recently moved into a house that had no gutters. I decided to have seamless gutters installed professionally. During the first rain after the install (only a day or two later), I noticed that there was a decent amount of water dripping from behind several of the gutters. I haven't yet paid them in full. I told the installer about the leaks, and he basically said "it just needs to be caulked, I can do it, but you should still pay the rest of your balance beforehand because it's not a problem and it's not even considered part of the initial scope of work."

I was really put off by this. First, if my gutters are leaking immediately after installation, that seems like an incomplete installation. Furthermore, I'm more concerned that the installation was just completely incorrect and it's not just a matter of caulking better.

I've attached a picture of a spot that seemed like pretty good evidence of bad installation, but I'm no expert. Wondering if others can share their opinions here.

Sorry for the close-up picture... I'll try to take some from farther away to add more context, as well. The picture shows the gutters (lighter color towards the bottom of the picture, the spacing b/w the gutters and house, and some half-hearted attempts at caulking what appears to be a huge gap. You can also see some pre-existing drip-edge at the top of the picture picture.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Highlights from the Thread

joecaption Member

Looks like they're so low; they're attached to the side of the house, not the facias, which is totally wrong.

XSleeper Member

They need to be taken down. Cut a notch in the back to fit around that PVC drain pipe. Then slide the gutter up under the drip edge and reinstall it. Obviously the downspout will need to move up along with the gutter.

Can't tell measurements from just a picture. Get up there with a tape measure and measure the height of the back of the gutter. Then measure the distance from the bottom of the board that is currently above the gutter to a point that is maybe 1" up under the drip edge. (The gutter should surely be pushed up AT LEAST that far, which is how far the gutter brackets will slip under the drip edge.)

There is nothing that says the gutter has to be 100% supported by that board, since it hangs from the screws. If the gutter is longer than that board and if it would look funny to install it that high because it would leave a hollow space behind the bottom of the gutter, you could always add a 1x2 and paint it.

There is no question the gutter should have gone higher. It goes behind the flashing, period. He might say that board should have been longer, and maybe that is true. But he should have mentioned it and proposed a fix... not just put them down below it.

Read more about how this should have been installed and how to DIY the fix: