Seamless gutters are a great type to have on any home, but even they sometimes need to be repaired or replaced. It’s not that hard to repair the leaks or problems with seamless gutters if you take a few basic steps. Here are some problem areas and what to look out for in each one.
When evaluating your gutters, pay special attention to the downspouts, since they are the route from your gutters to the ground. If the water isn’t able to flow properly, the downspouts may spring a leak or crack, and you will have even bigger issues. Also, make sure the downspouts don’t open up right on top of another roof that is lower down, because then the water will build up there and could get heavy and leak through your roof.
With seamless gutters, you don’t have to worry about making sure a seam is holding together, but you still have to inspect each section for holes, cracks, or other issues. This is something you can start doing on a schedule, perhaps every change of season. Be sure to also do it right after any large storm. A little bit of preparation goes a long way toward preventing problems.
If your seamless gutters get full of leaves, less water will flow out, and they won’t work the right way. You'll end up with standing water, which breeds mosquitoes. To keep water flowing freely through your gutters, you just have to get up there on the ladder from time to time and clean the leaves out of them.
How to Patch Holes
If you have a hole in your seamless gutter that is bigger than a small nail puncture, you need to patch it. Use a piece of metal flashing. Cut it with tin snips and make sure the patch is larger than the hole itself. Then, use roof cement or silicone caulk to feather the edges of the hole from the bottom, fit the patch you created over the hole, and seal it up.
As long as you follow these simple instructions and take the proper safety precautions when you get up on your roof, DIY gutter repair is a breeze.
Water is dangerous because it's sneaky. Gutters direct water away from the foundation of the home, because that’s where water does the most damage. Water will erode soil, create mold and chip away at the structural integrity of the building, potentially causing major problems. Learn the proper way to discover it before it damages your home. Test your gutters for leaks, and make sure they’re functioning properly to make sure you keep your home safe.
Maintain Your Gutters
Gutters commonly get clogged by leaves and other debris. Maintain gutters and prevent leaks by cleaning them regularly. Twice a year, in fall and spring, is the best time to clean gutters.
Once gutters are free of debris, test them for leaks in order to make any necessary repairs.
Step 1: Find your position. Set up a ladder where you can climb it easily or choose a spot around the house that gives you access to the top of the gutters.
Step 2: Run the hose. Take the garden hose, turn it on, and take it to your position. Place the hose inside the gutter so the water will run into it. Either set the hose up so it will not move or get a helper to hold the hose in position for you.
Step 3: Walk around the perimeter. Check the entire perimeter of the house and look for water draining down from the gutters anywhere it shouldn’t. Periodically move the hose into new positions around the house in order to test the entire gutter system for leaks. Use a flashlight in dark areas, and be thorough.
Step 4: Take note of problem areas. Pay attention to any problem areas you find during your leak check. Any areas where water is appearing and shouldn’t must be repaired in order to keep the gutter system healthy.
Aluminum gutters are both affordable and durable. Plus, you can paint aluminum gutters any color you’d like, if you have the know-how. Check out some more of the benefits of buying aluminum gutters, and then follow the steps in this two-part guide to begin painting them.
Durability and Cost
One of the most noticeable benefits of having aluminum gutters is that they last much longer than other types of gutters. Typically, steel gutters will last for about 5 years before they begin rusting; aluminum gutters, on the other hand, can last as long as 30 years. In addition, normal steel gutters can cost upward of $20 per foot. Aluminum gutters range from about $4-$8 per foot.
Installation and Leaking
Unlike copper or steel gutters, aluminum gutters are so easy to install that most homeowners can install these gutters themselves. Copper and steel gutters often require joints to be soldered, whereas aluminum gutters are easy to manipulate into different shapes and positions by hand during installation.
After buying new gutters to paint, or deciding to paint your old gutters, follow the steps below.
Step 1 – Remove the Old Paint
If you already have aluminum gutters installed, you must remove any existing paint that you may have gotten on your gutters when painting your house. Use a paint scraper to scrape off as much paint from the gutters as possible.
Step 2 – Clean the Gutters
This step is one of the most important in the series. Ensure the paint will stick and stay on the gutter for years to come by using grout sponges to clean the gutters. Clean the gutters with the sponges and a mixture of soap and water. Take your time and clean them well.
Step 3 – Rinse the Gutters
Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the gutters, rinse them off with water. If you can, safely get onto the roof with a friend holding a ladder, and spray downward with a hose on the gutters to ensure any dirty water flows away from the gutters instead of pooling in them.
Step 4 – Prime the Gutters
Warning: When using primer or paint, wear safety gear and avoid getting any primer or paint on your skin. Use only in well-ventilated areas to avoid long periods of inhalation.
The key to a long-lasting paint job is to prime the gutters before painting them. Use an oil-based metal primer, and apply it per the product’s directions. Make sure your primer is ammonia-free, as a primer with ammonia could react with the aluminum, causing gas bubbles to occur between the layers.
When you have begun work on your aluminum gutters, after you have them installed and they are primed, it is now time for them to be painted. But take a moment to ensure that you have done everything properly leading up to you being able to paint them successfully.
Step 1 – Prepare Your Gutters
The first thing that you have to do is prepare your gutters so that they are ready to accept the paint. Begin by removing the old paint from the gutters using a paint scrapper then going over it with a piece of sandpaper to remove any remaining pieces. Once this has been done, it is important that you clean the gutters. By mixing a small bucket of dish soap and water, you can scrub the gutters down and ensure that they are clean. Remember that they need to be clean so that the paint will stick to them properly. Then take a hose and rinse the gutters clean from the roof down, so that dirty water doesn't pool within the gutters.
Step 2 – Prime the Gutters
You need to prime your gutters to help protect them and make them ready for the weather and the future. Pick a primer that is ammonia free because there is a chance that the ammonia will have a reaction to the aluminum and create a gas pocket between the layers of paint.
Step 3 – Apply Your Enamel
Make sure that you give the primer plenty of time to dry. About 48 hours is a good amount of time. Once the primer is dry, you can apply a coat of oil-based enamel. As far as the type of enamel, the choice is up to you. It comes in either flat, satin or gloss. It is recommended that you use either a satin or gloss enamel as these are both nonporous and will allow the gutters to more effectively repel water. Make sure that you apply the enamel evenly, picking up and smoothing out any runs that may occur.
Step 4 – Apply a Second Coat
Once you have allowed the first coat to dry, you can now go back and start on your second coat. Remember that depending on your location, the drying time may be shorter or longer.
Step 5 – Paint Your Gutters
Now that you have done both coats of primer and enamel, you can now paint your gutters. Once you have all of your equipment set up, you can begin painting. Make sure to allow each coat of paint to dry, and just like with the enamel, you need to be able to go back and pick up any runs that may have occurred. This will allow give you a professional looking finish.
When you begin your painting, you should remove the braces from the gutters. This way you can paint them separately as well as paint the gutters without running into any issues. By having the braces removed, you can freely paint all of the gutter without any problems.