How to Repair Leaking Gutters

By Kim
Last updated 30th October 2020 - Reading time: 6 mins

Are you looking for a guide on how to repair leaking gutters? This article explains how to successfully repair leaking gutters. We will highlight all of the tools, materials and safety equipment needed to complete this type of job, and we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to repair leaking gutters yourself.

Leaking gutter

What Tools Do I Need to Fix a Leaking Gutter?

There are several tools that you will need to successfully repair a leaking gutter. Below is a list of the tools that you should have before attempting this job:

  • Ladder
  • Plastic bottle
  • Bucket
  • Butcher’s hook
  • Dustpan brush (if necessary)

What Safety Equipment Do I Need to Repair a Leaking Gutter?

There are a number of recommended safety precautions that you should take when repairing your gutter leak. Below is a list of the safety recommendations that you should use for this type of job:

  • Always have someone holding the bottom of your ladder in place so that it remains secure for the entire job.
  • Never attempt to climb a ladder or do this type of work while it’s windy.
  • Heavy-duty work gloves to protect your hands while handling dirt and debris.
  • Always move the ladder along with you and never attempt to over-stretch to reach further.

What Materials Do I Need to Repair a Leaking Gutter?

Below you will find a list of all of the materials that you will need to repair gutter leaks:

  • Gutter guard or mesh covering
  • Sealant (if necessary)
  • Replacement guttering brackets (if necessary)

How to Prepare for Repairing a Leaking Gutter

Erect your ladder in place and ensure that it is on a level surface and propped up against something secure. You need to have someone at the bottom of your ladder to hold it in place while you’re repairing the gutter, so make sure you speak to someone first and organize having someone there who can assist you.

Check the weather before committing to do the job. You should never climb a ladder when it’s windy as this can be dangerous and you want to avoid rain too as the ladder could get slippery.

You should also attach a bucket close to the top of the ladder using a butcher’s hook. This is so that you can place all the loose dirt and debris into the bucket without making a mess and also keeps your hands free.

How to Repair a Leaking Gutter Yourself - Step by Step Guide

If you are planning on repairing a leaking gutter yourself, follow the below guide. This step-by-step guide will take you through everything you need to do if you want to fix your leaking gutter.

Step 1

Once you have checked the area for any underlying cables or pipes, create a layout for your path using pegs and strings, so you know exactly where it is going.

clean gutter 1

Step 2

Wear heavy-duty gloves and clear out any visible dirt or debris from the gutter. A great tip here is to use an old milk carton and cut off the bottom. This then makes an ideal scoop for scooping out the larger pieces of debris. Place all of the dirt and debris into your bucket once it has been removed from the gutter.

clean gutter 2

Step 3

Move the ladder as you go along the gutter and continue to remove the dirt and debris across the entire length of the gutter. Avoid over-stretching as this could cause injury, or you may fall.

clean gutter 3

Step 4

As you go along, be sure to check the state of your gutter in each area to make sure there are no cracks that need sealing and to make sure none of the brackets need to be repaired if your guttering is sagging.

clean gutter 4

Step 5

When clearing out the downpipes, you will need to use a rod to push all of the leaves, dirt and debris out.

clean gutter 5

Step 6

Once all of the dirt has been removed from your guttering and downpipe, be sure to place it on your compost heap or in the garden waste bin.

clean gutter 6

Step 7

If you noticed during the job that some repairs needed to be done, you can do these now. You can seal cracks simply with a sealant repair kit. Broken or loose brackets will either need to be tightened or replaced on a like for like basis to ensure your guttering is level.

clean gutter 7

Step 8

To protect your downpipe, you can install a gutter guard or mesh covering to prevent leaves and large debris from entering the pipe and getting stuck.

clean gutter 8


Should I replace or repair guttering?

Whether you choose to have your gutter replaced or repaired is completely up to you. Repairing your gutters is a much more budget-friendly option as opposed to having them replaced.

However, gutter repairs might not be a long-term solution. A leaking gutter that is repaired with sealant may only last for around five years before it needs to be repaired again, so keep that in mind when making your decision.

How long do gutters last?

Most guttering in the UK is made from plastic. As a general rule of thumb, modern plastic guttering that has been installed correctly should see a lifespan of around 30 years. If your guttering was installed over 20 years ago, there’s a good chance that it may soon benefit from an upgrade.

What can cause a leaking gutter?

A leaking gutter can happen for several reasons. Gutters generally wear down over time, especially if they have not been adequately maintained. Weather damage such as high winds or heavy rain can also cause damage which may result in leaks.

If your guttering is built in sections, the seams may deteriorate over time, and this can be another cause of leaks. Plastic guttering can also become brittle over time and develop cracks that allow water to leak out.

Why is gutter maintenance important?

Keeping on top of maintaining your gutters will increase their lifespan. You should aim to periodically remove blockages, replace any broken brackets or clips, ensure that everything is secure, and inspect all of the joints.

We would recommend doing this at least once a year to increase the lifespan and durability of your gutters.

What will happen if I don’t repair my leaking gutter?

There are a number of things that can happen if you leave your leaking gutter without repairs. Below is a list of things that can come as a result of leaving your leaking gutter:

  • Damage to the roof and fascia
  • Water pooling near the foundations of your home
  • Water gathering along the edges of your home
  • Stains on brickwork and concrete
  • Cracked or water-damaged driveway
  • Damage to landscaping and garden
  • Rotted porch or decking areas
  • Soil erosion
  • Standing water
  • Gutter pieces may fall off
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