DIY Guttering Repairs
DIY guttering repairs may seem straight forward and a good idea but there are several reasons why you should consider hiring a professional.
According to Work Safe UK 20% of fatal accidents are caused are caused by falling from height!
Common causes of injuries occurring when working at height include:
- Falling from an unstable ladder.
- A leaning ladder slipping or falling backwards.
- Overstretching or leaning too far from the ladder.
- Lack of a secure handhold when carrying tools.
- Faulty equipment such as worn anti-slip feet.
- Careless use – slipping or losing footing.
Above anything else, your safety is the most important thing to consider. DIY guttering repairs will require you to work at height from a ladder so it is important to know your limitations. If you don’t like heights you should be cautious as some people can become disorientated or dizzy when climbing or standing on ladders. Furthermore, you should ensure you are using the correct equipment and check your ladders are suitable, in good condition, and able to reach the guttering that needs repairing. Ladder training can dramatically improve your ladder safety. If you learn how to use a ladder safely and are aware of the risks, you will reduce the risk of injuring or killing yourself. Guttering repairs can be tricky and can sometimes require both hands to fix them properly, you must know how to keep 3 points of contact on the ladder at all times.
Before you start you should ask yourself the following 10 questions.
- Do heights make you feel uncomfortably or uneasy?
- Have you ever used a ladder before?
- Do you have any ladder training?
- In the past, have you ever worked from a ladder?
- Are your ladders suitable, and in good condition?
- Does your ladder have a stabiliser bar to prevent sideways tipping?
- Do you have a ladder standoff to allow better access to the gutter?
- Can your ladders reach the gutter you need to access?
- Do you know how to tie a ladder off properly?
- Are you generally fit and well?
Different Types of Gutter Problems
Gutter problems can arise for a number of reasons. Brackets can snap, seals can perish, gutters can move. These can happen at any time and they could even be a result of poor installation.
Common gutter problems are usually caused by:
- contraction and expansion
- adverse weather conditions
- incorrect gutter installation
- not be enough supporting brackets
- Gutter brackets not positioned correctly
- Insecure gutter joints
Common DIY Guttering Repair Mistakes
From gaffer tape to super glue, we have seen a lot of different DIY guttering repair attempts. Many DIY guttering repairs fail because the DIY’er has not thought about why it has happened in the first place. Completing successful guttering repairs that last, frequently require more attention than just covering them in tape, glue or silicone.
Guttering Repair Preparation
Most of the work is in the preparation. Firstly, you should check your gutters are clean. Check that all of the guttering and joints are aligned and positioned properly before you do anything else. Check the joint seals and clips are in tact, clean and not perished. Next check the gutter brackets and gutter joints are fixed firmly to the fascia board and positioned according to the manufacturers specification. Before you consider applying a secondary seal ensure that the gutter is clean, dry and free from dirt and dust.
How to seal a leaking gutter joint
There are lots of different ways to seal a gutter joint, and there is a variety of different products on the market that claim they will do the job, but only a few will actually work and last and a lot depends on how the gutter is prepared first.
You should use a low modulus gutter sealant that remains flexible when fully cured. Always seal the joint from the inside of the gutter and apply a 2-4mm thick bead of sealant which overlaps the gutter seam by 1/2 inch or more. Never seal the joint from the outside, this will not last.