Sunday, 24 March 2019
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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

How to Repair Leaking Rain Gutters

Written by Posted On Thursday, 14 March 2019 10:04

Do you have a troublesome gutter system, but don’t know how to repair leaking rain gutters? Rain gutters may not be the most exciting part of your house, but they play an important role in rerouting the runoff from the roof to prevent water damage, especially during rainstorms. However, they can also easily become leaky or clogged, which can lead to irreversible damages down the line if neglected.

How to Repair Leaking Rain Gutters - A DIY Solution

First, you need to gather the tools and materials you will need for the repair. Here are the most crucial ones that you’ll need:


  • Silicone caulk

  • Puffy knife

  • A variety of wire brushes

  • Gutter sealant or roofing cement

  • Drill or Screwdrivers for firming gutter screws

  • Glove

  • Detergent

Clean the Gutters and Check for Leaks

Debris and leaves can accumulate over time, and this can affect the normal drainage along the gutter. These blockages will force water to find other avenues to flow, which in most case, is down the house. Once you have cleared the blockages, clean the gutters, especially around the leaks with a scrub brush or steel wire. The cleaner it is, the easier it will be to repair. It is also safer to work with clean gutters. When it is clean, flush with water and leaves it to dry. The next step is to inspect for obvious leaks.

Seal the Leaks

A leaky gutter can be easily sealed with roofing cement or caulk. For small holes, you can use gutter sealant to cover the leaks. This can be achieved by spreading the sealant or cement using a putty knife over the damaged area. For large holes, it is better to patch the damaged area with fresh metal. If you have an extra gutter lying around, cut a piece of it and cover the leaky area. Make sure the metal repair patch is slightly bigger than the hole itself.


It is also important to patch the affected areas with the same material as gutter material. In short, patch aluminum gutters using aluminum flashing. For complex leaks, such as a series of leaks along the gutter system, opt for full replacement of the gutter.

Fix Loose Joints

Over time, joints at the end of the gutters fail. If you identify problems on the joints, adjust the gutter hangers. Alternatively, add new hangers, especially on the loose areas.

Boost Sagging Gutters

Sometimes the leaks or faulty gutter system cannot be solved with a simple patch job. This problem is often caused by poor craftsmanship, for instance, improper installation of pitched gutters or missing ferrules. To rectify a sagging gutter, replace the spike with firm hangers. Also, check the slope of the downspout to make sure it allows for a free flow of water.

Bottom Line

Rain gutters are mostly out of sight, and sometimes, you only know of their importance when you leaks have developed. Even if your gutters are working today, time will reach when they will develop leaks. If that time has arrived, you better know how to repair leaking rain gutters. Of course, it would be prudent if you check and clean them periodically to avoid most of the gutter faults.

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Rocky Degrenia

Small business owner; all types of flooring. #1 Rated Flooring Installer in Phoenix, AZ. Over 6 decades of experience and education. Residential and Commercial. Family man, father of three teenage girls.
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