How to Repair Metal Gutters

Rain gutters are of course an important part of any home, and a clogged or leaky gutter can lead to significant damage down the line. If your gutters are in need of repair, it is important to address the situation as soon as possible, before additional damage takes place. It is of course a good idea to periodically examine those gutters to make sure they are whisking water away from the home as they should. If you see water pooling after a rain, it may be a sign that those gutters need some attention.

If you do notice some problems in your metal gutters, it is important to assess the damage and gather the materials and supplies you'll need to complete the repair. In order to repair a metal gutter, you'll need:

  • silicone caulk
  • flashing
  • a variety of sandpapers
  • roofing cement
  • an assortment of wire brushes

If a gutter repair is needed, the first step is to determine where that problem lies. Some of the most common problems seen with metal gutters are leaks in the downspouts and in the gutter railings. These types of leaks are often caused by leaking joints, and most of them can be easily resealed with roofing cement.

The steps needed to repair leaks in gutter railings are as follows:

  1. Clean the area around the leak using a wire brush and some water.
  2. Carefully dry the area, then rub it with a coarse sandpaper.
  3. Cover any holes you find in the metal gutter with some roofing cement. The cement should be spread at least two to three inches around the holes.
  4. Larger holes can be carefully covered with a piece of flashing (sheet metal). If the hole is very large, the flashing can be pressed into the cement. The edges of the cement can then be feathered in order to hold the flashing securely in place.

In addition to leaking gutter railings, leaky downspouts are one of the most commonly seen problems with metal gutters. The steps needed to repair leaks in gutter downspouts include the following:

  1. Carefully remove the leaking part of the downspout.
  2. Any old adhesive or caulking should be carefully cleaned from the joint using a wire brush.
  3. If the gutters are PVC or vinyl instead of metal, be sure to replace the rubber gaskets.
  4. Apply a bead of silicone caulking to one joint. After the caulking is in place the gutter can be put back together.
  5. Reattach the gutter. It may be necessary to use new connectors or fasteners.