Gutters and downspouts help to collect water from the roof and channel it away from walls or the foundation. But if your gutter system is not working properly due to bent, dented or rusted areas, it’s not going to protect your home as well as it should. When annually inspecting your rain gutters and you discover broken sections, spring or autumn is a good time to replace problematic sections of your gutter system.
Before you begin your DIY gutter repair project, choose a day when it isn’t raining or too windy to eliminate the possibility of slipping on a slick roof or ladder rung or being blown off the ladder when maneuvering a length of gutter into place. Since you will be using a ladder to access your gutters, plan on properly stabilizing the ladder and having someone on the ground as an added precaution. Use a good pair of work gloves to protect your hands and increase your grip on tools and gutter sections.
To replace sections of gutter that are bent, dented or rusted beyond repair:
- Remove any retainers and/or connectors from the section of gutter that needs replacing.
- Place a 4 x 4 block of wood inside the good section of gutter next to the section you will be removing. This will help prevent the gutter from twisting as you cut out the length of damaged gutter with a hacksaw.
- Measure the section of gutter you removed and add about 2 inches; this will allow for some overlap.
- With a caulk gun, apply roofing cement to the existing gutters and position the replacement section so that it overlaps about an inch on either side.
- Drill holes in the overlapping gutter sections to match the rivets you will be using. Then using the rivets, securely fasten the sections together.
- To ensure that the gutter remains in place, reattach any retaining hardware to the replacement gutter section.
There are a number of reasons gutters can become dented or damaged, including harsh climatic conditions; leaning ladders when accessing the roof or gutter system; and unusual weather patterns. Replacing damaged sections of a gutter system might be a viable alternative to installing a completely new gutter system.