Waterlogged leaves can grow too heavy for gutter troughs, and they can make your gutters start to bend. Even the most well-cleaned gutters can start to sag because of extreme temperature changes, harsh winds, and other elements wreaking havoc. One of the best ways to prevent sagging gutters before they start to split or break is to make sure the fasteners are firmly in place and are well reinforced (even adding a few more fasteners can help). Most gutters have spikes holding them in place or brackets underneath them to support the weight. Here’s how to replace each type of fastener.
If you have gutter spikes:
- Examine both the loose spikes and the surrounding ones for signs of rust and worn threads. Replace the damaged spikes with new threaded hardware, so it maintains a better grip. The easiest way to find spikes with the right length and thread length is to take one with you to the hardware store and match them up.
- Check the holes for rust or damage. While you’re repairing your gutters, make sure the holes in the metal aren’t widening or suffering from water damage. Adding new spikes will temporarily solve the problem, but untreated rust will eventually eat through to the top of the gutter. Also, check the hole in the wood along the side of your house. If it’s larger than the spike, add a sliver of wood or some liquid wood so that the screw goes in tightly.
- Thread the spike through the gutter and into the wood, then screw it tightly into place.
If you have gutter brackets:
Replacing these fasteners follows the same principles as with gutter spikes. Once you remove the gutter over the area you’re repairing, you need to inspect the holes holding the bracket into the brick for damage. Because the weight of the gutter has widened the holes over time, you will want to fill them with a weatherproof caulk to prevent future wear and water damage; this also lets you drill a new, appropriately-sized hole into position. Once the material dries, simply drill new pilot holes into the caulk and reattach the gutter brackets.
Fixing sagging gutters is one of the best ways to prolong the life of the system, as it minimizes the risk of continued physical damage. It also presents the opportunity to inspect for signs of water damage. For more tips about repairing your gutters and roof, contact us.