How to Fix a Leaking Gutter Joint
Here are some tips on how to fix a leaking gutter joint. First you will need to find out why it is leaking, and what must be done to fix it properly.
More often than not, it is not as simple as just squirting a bit of sealant in the gutter joint. It may need a bit more work and attention.
Gutters can leak for a variety of reasons…
If your gutters are plastic, they will contract and expand as the outside temperature changes. When it gets warmer your gutters will expand, and when it gets colder your gutters will contract. This contracting and expanding will cause your gutters to move along the brackets and between the gutter joints. This motion can push dirt into the gutter joint where the seal sits and can cause it to fail and leak.
Sometimes gutters can even disconnect from the gutter joint leaving what appears to be a gap in the gutter. If your gutters have been installed correctly, each length of gutter should have been cut perfectly to size to fit into the gutter joints to its allocated mark. If the gutter has been cut too short, it will fail quicker when goes on to contract and expand.
Another common reason gutter joints leak is because they haven’t been secured to the fascia board, and simply left to float creating a weak spot. Gutter joints should always be secured to the fascia board appropriately and pre sealed correctly. Other common causes of leaking gutters are from birds perching, adverse weather conditions such as wind, snow and ice. If your not careful, washing your gutters with water-fed brushes can also disturb guttering and cause leaks.
The best advice on how to fix a leaking gutter joint
If you are to successfully fix a leaking gutter joint, you must first make sure that the gutter is sat in the correct position to the nearest two joints. If the gutter is too short and does not reach the markings, there are 3 things you could do.
- Install a new piece of gutter (providing the exiting gutter is shorter than 4m).
- If the gutter is 4m and too short, you may need to use a wider joint.
- The last resort would be to split the gutter and add an additional joint to extend the gutter.
Once the gutter has been positioned correctly on both joints you can fix the leaking joint by doing one of the following;
- Clean the existing joint and seals by removing the joint and seals and clean throughly with a solvent gutter cleaning solution. Next, refit the joint and secure to the fascia board accordingly.
- Clean the joint as in option 1 and replace the internal gutter seals before refitting.
How to fix a leaking gutter joint with sealant
To guarantee a really good seal that will last, and to prevent the gutter from moving around too much, you should consider applying a secondary seal. The secondary seal should be applied inside of the gutter joint, and should bridge the seam by 1/2 inch with a 3-5mm thick seal. Only use a high performance low modulus silicone which is UV resistant and which remains flexible when fully cured. Don’t be tempted to use any old sealant that is not fit for purpose. Unsuitable sealant will likely end up in failure and will make any further repairs more difficult.
How to prevent leaking gutter joints
Installing good quality gutters, preventing a build up of debris and ensuring outlets, downpipes, and drain are free flowing will all help prevent gutter leaks.
Regular gutter cleaning to remove the built up debris in the gutter will reduce the weight in the gutter. Extra weight in the gutter could strain the joints. Gutter cleaning also helps rainwater drain away faster further reducing the weight in the gutter.
We would always recommend hiring a professional who offer gutter repairs, to fix a leaking gutter joint. They will have the tools and equipment to access and fix the problem quickly.
Sudell Gutter Cleaning are experts at fixing all types of gutter problems, we also offer a Free Gutter Inspection service in which one of our experts will check your gutters for problems free of charge. Contact us for more details.