Water Damage Prevention: Fixing Sagging Gutters
Why fix a sagging gutter?
Often sagging gutters get neglected either because they go unnoticed, or because it is a project that gets placed as low priority as it seems to be simply a slight aesthetic issue. Many are unaware that sagging gutters can damage the integrity of your home.
Best case scenario, sagging gutters can prevent the gutters from draining so the water pools allow mosquitoes and other bugs to breed in your gutters and creates rust.
Worst case scenario, your gutters overflow and the water damages your walls and foundation and floods your basement.
What causes a sagging gutter?
- Heavy snow and ice build-up weighs down the gutter.
- Ladders bend the gutter when hanging Christmas Lights or other home repairs.
- Large amounts of dirt or debris in your gutter can weigh it down.
Fixing your gutters
First, evaluate: There are usually two causes:
1) The metal in the gutter is bent or torn.
2) The supporting gutter hangers are missing or detached.
1) An easy way to check whether your gutters are sagging is to look for standing water inside the gutters.
2) Gutters need to be sloped. If your gutters are level, water will not drain. The slope should be ¼ inch for every 10 feet.
3) Always have a spotter.
4) After installing, you can check your work by running water inside the gutters to make sure water is running toward the downspouts.
If the metal is bent: There really is no way to fix the gutter with minor repairs. The best solution is to replace that section of the gutter.
If hangers are missing: Hangers or spikes can be purchased at home improvement stores or online. The best place to insert the new spikes is where there are supporting beams. You will be able to identify these by looking for nail heads along the roofline.
Here is an excellent Do It Yourself video to help with adding new brackets:
If the hangers are broken: Remove the broken hardware with a pry bar or locking pliers and a hammer. Install the new hardware in their place. If it is gutter spikes you are installing, you will need to place wooden shims coated in epoxy into the original hole first to make it a tight fit. Then insert the threaded spikes.
Here is a Do It Yourself video to help with replacing gutter spikes: