Home Gutter Repairs
Although it often goes unnoticed, the gutter system is the protector of your home. Gutters are crucial in safeguarding your house – both exterior and interior – from harsh weather, rain, wind, moisture, and more. Without properly functioning gutters, your home would quickly become damaged – ridden with water damage, rotting, mold, mildew, structural damage, and a slew of other costly issues. Damaged gutters can even impact the structural integrity of your roof. That’s why when your gutter system becomes damaged, it is imperative that you address the issue and perform a gutter repair as soon as possible.
When you detect damage in your home’s gutter system, it can be tricky to know whether you need a gutter repair or full gutter replacement. Modernize is here to help you navigate the process and get your gutter system working effectively. Continue reading this guide to gutter repairs to determine the best course of action.
Common Gutter Problems
How do you know when it is time for a gutter repair? It may not be so obvious. Gutters are a part of the home we rarely pay attention to – unless a noticeable problem arises. For example, your gutters may be cracked and leaking, resulting in rainwater rolling down windows and even entering your home. This, of course, would cause immediate concern as water damage can be very costly.
- Leaking gutters. One of the most common gutter problems is leaky gutters. During a storm, you may notice rainwater dripping or pouring from the gutters. This can be caused by cracks or holes in the gutter system. It is important to address this damage immediately to prevent water damage to your house.
- Clogged gutters. If they are cleaned regularly, debris like leaves and twigs can easily build up in your gutters. This leads to clogged gutters, which often causes the rain gutters to overflow with water during storms.
- Warped or sagging gutters. Depending on the gutter system’s material, you may notice that your gutters are warped, sagging or crooked. This often happens due to the expansion and contraction of metal during rainfall and temperature changes. This type of damage can cause rainwater to pool or stand still, and make it difficult for gutters to redirect rainwater away from your home properly.
- Damaged joints. The joint is the place on the gutter system where pieces connect together. When gutter joints are damaged or loose, rainwater can easily leak and cause drainage issues.
- Downspout drainage problems. If you notice that your downspouts are pooling heavily, address this issue immediately. Water pooling directly on the ground below the downspout can lead to water damage and structural damage to your home. Downspouts should extend three feet outward from your home to avoid damage.
How Much Does a Gutter Repair Cost?
The cost to repair a gutter system is dependent on the gutter style and material, and extent of damage. You will need a gutter contractor to come out and assess the damage and root of the problem in order to get an accurate estimate. With that being said, the national average cost of a gutter repair is between $180 and $560.
In addition, you will likely need to pay an additional $4 to $30 per hour for professional labor, depending on your geographic location. Most gutter repairs take 1 to 2 hours to complete, but keep in mind that the extent of labor your home needs is dependent on your specific situation.
Gutter repairs also vary in cost depending on the type of gutters. Here are a few cost examples by gutter material type do give you an idea:
|Gutter Type||Average Repair Cost|
|Aluminum gutters||$10 to $12 per linear foot|
|Steel gutters||$9 to $10 per linear foot|
|Copper gutters||$20 to $25 per linear foot|
|Box gutters||$20 to $50 per linear foot|
|Fascia repair||$6 to $20 per linear foot|
Depending on the extent of gutter damage, it may not be worth it to repair. Gutter replacements tend to be more cost effective and yield a higher ROI compared to repairs, especially since they do not cost much more than repair projects. The average cost of a gutter replacement project is $1,800 to $6,000, depending on your home size.
The Risk of Ignoring Damaged Gutters
It is important to address gutter problems as soon as possible when you notice them. When it comes to gutter damage, time is money. The longer you wait to repair or replace the system, the more damage can accumulate and cost you more money when you do move forward with a gutter repair.
Damaged gutters can severely impact your home. Common damage caused by fault gutters include:
- Foundation damage
- Roof damage
- Window, door, and wall damage
- Mold and mildew
- Leaking and flooding in basements and ground level rooms
- Pest and insect infestations
- Exterior landscaping damage
Gutter Repairs vs. Gutter Replacements
Many homeowners want to know what issues can be repaired and which require a total gutter replacement.
Minor gutter damage, such as small cracks and holes and loose and sagging gutters, can be repaired by a professional. Also keep in mind that many gutters simply need a deep cleaning, rather than a repair. Many professionals can clean and repair gutters during the same visit.
However, keep in mind that more major issues, such as bent, smashed, rusting or decaying gutters, often cannot be repaired and will require a replacement. Luckily, a gutter replacement typically does not cost much more than a gutter repair. Plus, you will have brand new gutters that last 15 to 25 years and boost your home’s resale value.
How to Repair Rain Gutters
Depending on the severity of the gutter problem, you may be able to repair and patch up a section of the gutters on your own – especially if you catch the problem early on. To nip the problem in the bud, here are a few DIY gutter repair tips:
1. Apply gutter sealant to cracks and holes.
If you notice a hole or crack in your gutter system that is causing leaking, you may be able to seal them up if they are relatively small.
First, clean out all debris from the gutters. Then, clean the area with a soft bristle brush. Lastly, use gutter sealant – ideally, a permanently flexible and water-resistant type – to patch up the hole or crack. Apply pressure when sealing, forcing the gutter sealant into the joint. Then press the materials together firmly.
Note that gutter sealant can take 24 hours to fully dry and cure. Also be aware that gutter sealant is best for small holes and cracks. If the problem area is larger, or you notice your gutter sealant is not holding up during rainfall, you will need to contact a gutter contractor to get the area repaired professionally.
2. Clean out gutters and install gutter guards.
Gutters that overflow or pool with water during storms may be a simple fix. When was the last time you cleaned out your gutters? There may be a build-up of debris, such as sticks, leaves, and flowers, sitting in your gutters causing the problem. Use a ladder to get a good view of the gutter system. Use gardeners gloves and pull all debris sitting inside. Pay close attention to joints and drainpipes, as these areas tend to be the culprits of clogs.
Once you have cleared the gutters, pour water down and check if it flows freely through the downspouts. If the problem persists, you may either need a professional gutter cleaning, or the problem may lie elsewhere.
3. Straighten sagging gutters.
Your gutters sit at a level position from back to front. If they are out of level, your gutters are sagging away from the fascia board behind. It may be visibly obvious that your gutters are sagging, but if you are unsure, use a level across the gutter to ensure they sit at 0 degrees.
You may be able to fix this issue on your own. If the gutters are attached using nails, spikes, or U-shaped brackets, you can replace them and tighten them to level out the gutters. If replacing and tightening the fasteners does not work, you likely need a professional to come out and assess the situation. Sagging can be the sign of outdated gutters that require replacement.
4. Tighten downspouts.
Loose downspouts can be identified by gaps between the gutter and downspout causing runoff water to leak or pool at the bottom. You may also see rusting at the point where the gutter meets the downspout.
This issue may be caused by loose screws that attach the gutter to the downspout. If this is the case, you can simply use gutter screws and a drill to tighten the downspouts into the correct position. If you notice your downspouts are decaying or have severe rust, you will likely need to replace them entirely.
How to Prevent Gutter Repairs
As mentioned, gutter repairs can be avoided by routine gutter cleaning and maintenance. Simply clean out your gutter system twice per year, at the end of spring and the end of fall. This will prevent clogs and rainwater overflowing.
While cleaning your gutters, also inspect the gutters for cracks, holes and other types of damage. If you can catch a small crack or hole before it worsens, you can often patch it up with gutter sealant. Additionally, make sure to inspect your roof for damage during maintenance.
Installing gutter guards can do wonders for your gutter system. It will lower the amount of maintenance you need to do as well as prevent clogs from forming.
Also, choosing durable seamless gutters over sectional gutters can help you prevent gutter leaks and damage.
Lastly, nothing prevents gutter repairs more than installing a new gutter system. Brand new gutters will be sturdy, durable, and have a lifespan of 15 to 25 years or more. If you have not replaced your gutters in more than 15 years, it is definitely worth considering a gutter replacement as soon as possible. Waiting any longer than 15 years can mean costly gutter repairs ahead.
Gutter Repairs Near Me
Modernize makes it easy to find a gutter contractor near you. Even if you are unsure what type of work your home’s gutter system needs, a professional will be able to visit your home, assess your rain gutters, let you know what work needs to be done, and provide you with a quote for the job. Be sure to compare a few professionals before choosing the best one to complete the project.
When you’re ready, use Modernize’s tools to find a gutter contractor near you that can repair or replace your gutter system. Our network of highly qualified professionals can be easily contacted, so you can set an appointment and get local quotes.