Wooden gutters are not only useful, but tend to add to the value of your home. Generally, a wooden gutter needs to be checked for damages from time to time and may require repaired. Performing such repairs yourself saves money, as well as helps you master an essential skill.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Utility Knife
- Shingle Oil
- Paint scraper
Step 1: Inspection
Use a ladder to inspect the wooden gutters. Make sure that the base of the ladder is supported properly and is not on a surface that is soft. You need to check the gutters visually. At times, what appears to be cracks are actually mere stains on close inspection. In such a case, take a piece of cloth wet with soapy water and wipe off the stains from the surface of the gutter.
Step 2: Removing Weeds
Look inside the gutters to see if there is any growth of plants or weeds. Remove them by pulling them out and sprinkling some bleaching agent on the area where they had sprouted, so that the chances of re-growth are lessened.
Step 3: Replacing Rotten Parts
If any part of the gutter appears soggy, it signifies a rot in the wood. This means that the oil applied on the inside surface of the gutter has probably broken down. Take a multipurpose utility knife and dig out the place in the gutter that has rotted. Take some plumber’s putty and flatten it on your palm. Fill up the portion dug out with the putty, so that the cavity gets fully covered. Smoothen the outer surface to make the putty at a uniform level with the wood surface around it. Finally, coat the gutter with shingle oil. This makes the wood moisture resistant and prevents damages due to absorption of water.
Step 4: Caulking
Locate the miter joints, which are 45 degree angular corner cuts in the gutters, to see if they have cracked or opened up. If so, fill the cracks in the joints with adhesive caulk. Use a putty knife to smoothen the topmost caulk layer applied, so that it has a neat look that blends with the surrounding wood.
Step 5: Painting
Sometimes damages can be due to the paint that peels off. In such a case, remove the entire layer of paint by scrapping with a paint scraper. Coat the gutter surface with exterior primer, and then a coat of oil paint to make the surface more durable. You may also coat the inner gutter areas with mineral oil mixed with motor oil in equal ratios. These can protect the wooden gutters for a long time.
Step 6: Replacing Rusted Parts
If a part of the gutter has been damaged due to rust, you must replace that section. Take off the screws by loosening them in a counterclockwise direction using a screwdriver. Take a 2-by-4 block of wood and place it in the gutter. Use another piece as a brace. Take a flat pry bar and place it at the edge of the gutter spikes and pull them out. Cut out the portion of the gutter that is damaged with a hacksaw. Use another block of wood to cut out a replacement of the exact dimension as the removed part, but having a 2-inch overlap. Bend the wood strip so that it fits in the gutter channel. Mix thinset mortar and spread it inside the gutter with a trowel and position the wood inserted. Drill holes in the parts that overlap with the help of a power drill. Secure these portions by driving in metal screws inside the holes and tightening them. Make similar holes using the drill for the spikes in the position that the previous ones were placed, and insert them until their heads are flush with the surface of the gutter.