Owning a home puts lots of fun tasks on your agenda -- new paint, fresh decor, even a remodel or two. But rain gutters? That regular maintenance is one of the least fun things you "get" to tackle. But clogged gutters can do more than just misdirect water. All that detritus leads to wear and tear on the gutters, and the rain runoff can pool near your foundation, causing leaks or damage. Gutters that aren't working well might pull away from the roof, equaling home repair havoc there, too. Here's how to keep yours in good working order.
What you'll need: Wire brush, gloves, hose
Remove debris by hand (stand on a ladder if necessary), and use a wire brush to get at stubborn accumulations. Rinse gutters with a hose to remove remaining dirt and leaves.
Holes or Gaps
What you'll need: Sheet metal, metal snips, roofing cement, large putty knife, gutter caulk
For holes: Size and snip a piece of sheet metal to fit over the hole. On the inside of the gutter, spread roofing cement around the edges of the hole. Gently bend the sheet metal and press into roofing cement. Coat the patch with additional cement; let dry.
For gaps: Seal with gutter caulk.
What you'll need: Wire brush, roofing cement, putty knife
Using a wire brush, thoroughly scrape away the rust. With a putty knife, apply a thin coat of roofing cement.
Detached Gutter or Downspout
What you'll need: Sheet-metal screws, screwdriver, U-shape brackets
Drive a pilot hole, and secure the gutter or downspout with U-shape brackets and short sheet-metal screws.
What you'll need: Fine-tooth hacksaw, file, metal downspout section, gutter caulk, U-shape brackets, screws, screwdriver
Measure the section to be replaced. Using a hacksaw, cut a new section of downspout, being careful to cut square. File the edges and secure using U-shape brackets and screws. Seal seam with gutter caulk.
New Screens and Strainers
What you'll need: Wire-cage strainers, scissors, screen guards the width of your gutters
Place the strainer above the downspout connection. Cut lengths of the screen guard to fit your gutters. Slip the inner edge of the guard under the first course of shingles and bend the other edge in place under the lip of the gutter.