How to fix a gutter

Difficulty:

Easy

Problems with your guttering can develop for a variety of reasons, but the symptoms are pretty easy to spot. If your gutters are leaking, then you have a problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Leaving issues unattended can lead to bigger problems further down the line so you should fix them as soon as they are identified. Luckily, with this helpful guide, there’s no need to fret and you’ll have your gutters working as good as new in no time.

Gutter and drainage

1. Safety first

It’s vital that you don’t start working at height without taking proper safety precautions. First, check the area where you will be working and clear it of any hazards. If working on uneven ground, make sure you source a ladder stabiliser. Your ladder should also be stable at the top and resting against the wall and not your gutter. You also need to make sure you are using a stable, reliable ladder.


2. Diagnose the problem

There are many reasons why your guttering might be leaking but the main ones are:

  • A gap in the seal between a guttering joint
  • The end stop is loose or has come away completely
  • Leaves and debris are blocking the downpipe or hopper head
  • Cracks in the guttering

The first thing to do is check where the leak is coming from as that will indicate where the problem is and is where you should begin your investigation. Check the area for any debris and remove it in order to get a better look at the area. If the guttering is currently dry, pour some water from a jug into the gutter and observe where any leaks come from.

Removing debris from the guttering will fix most problems in the short term, however, if it has been there for a while, there may be other damage that has occurred. Check for bowing or bending around the joints and check the stability of the gutter and that the fixings haven’t come away from the walls.


3. Removing debris

You’ll want to wear gloves for this task as it can be unpleasant. You also need an effective scooping tool to make the task easier. A trowel would be best but if you don’t have anything to hand, resist the temptation to use kitchen utensils! Instead, we recommend cutting the bottom off a drinks bottle and use that.

Focus on removing the debris around the area where the leak is coming from but check the rest of the guttering, particularly outlets, for any other build-ups that might be occurring.

Before removing debris from the down pipe, be sure to cover the drain below with a rag to avoid blocking the drain. Rinse the downpipe through with water and check that the water is flowing down the pipe.


4. Repairing loose joints

If the leak is coming from a joint in the guttering, check the clip that holds the two lengths together hasn’t been damaged. It may simply be a case of clipping the guttering back together. However, if the clip is damaged or bent so that it is loose, a replacement will need to be purchased.


5. Repairing cracks and fractures

Extreme weather or the excess weight of standing water in the gutter can cause the guttering to crack. Smaller cracks can be repaired using duct tape. Simply identify where the crack is, then make sure the area is dry and clear of debris before wrapping the tape around the crack, ensuring the ends of the tape overlap.

For a more reliable fix, however, we recommend using a sealant. Prepare the area, by clearing dust and debris and ensuring it is dry and then apply the sealant according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Once you have completed your repairs, pour more water into your gutter and observe for any other leaks not previously diagnosed.