It's a good idea to check your gutters occasionally when it rains to look for areas where they might be leaking. If you don't want to go outside in the rain to check them, you can do it on a sunny day instead by running water through them from a garden hose. This simple test helps you spot problems that should be corrected before more expensive damage occurs to your home. If you see a leak, you should call a contractor to make repairs as soon as you can. However, if you're handy with DIY repairs, you can try some of these suggestions for repairing leaky gutters.
Fixing A Leaking Seam
The seams of a gutter trough are usually the weakest point. When the adhesive wears away, water will drip through. This action causes more adhesive to wear away and before long, you'll have a stream of water pouring through the gutters. This can eventually cause the trough to come apart and fall away from the roof. It's easy to make repairs when the leak is still tiny. All you have to do is buy gutter sealant from a hardware store and apply it over the inside of the seam. When it dries, it blocks the leak and the problem is solved.
Repairing A Sagging Trough
If you notice water leaking over the sides of the trough rather than through a seam, it could be due to sagging. First, clear debris out of the gutter to remove blocks that might be causing the overflow. Then, run water through the gutters to see if it drains out the downspout or if it puddles in the trough. If the water puddles, then the slant of the trough has been knocked out of alignment. A sagging trough can happen when screws come loose from the fascia or if the trough comes loose from an attachment hook. To repair this problem, you can replace the screws and hooks as needed. The tricky part of this repair job is to make sure the trough has a slight slant when you're finished. The best way to judge this is to run water through the gutters again. Make sure all the water drains out of the trough through gravity alone. If it doesn't, you may need to call in a contractor to get the troughs adjusted properly again.
Replacing A Fallen Trough
If you don't get a seam repaired in time, or if a gutter works loose from the roof, then a section of the trough may fall off. If the metal didn't get bent when one side of it fell, you might be able to replace the fallen section. If the metal is damaged, then you can buy a section of gutter at a home improvement store. You'll probably need to cut it to the necessary length so it will fit in place. Replacing a section of gutter can be tricky work since you have to attach both ends to the existing trough as well as attach the gutter to the fascia. If any of the screws or brackets were pulled loose when the gutter fell, you'll need to replace those too. When you replace a section of trough, be sure the seams on both ends are sealed well and that the trough is slanted properly to allow for proper drainage.
If gutter repair proves to be too difficult, you can always call a contractor to replace it for you. You can have a portion of the trough replaced without having to buy a whole new gutter system. Once your gutters are back in shape, you'll want to inspect them regularly so you can make repairs while they are still minor and easy to do.