Do gutters have holes in them?

Gutters develop holes in a variety of ways. Rust corrodes steel gutters, and copper and aluminum versions are easily pierced with falling branches or sharp tools.

Do gutters have holes in them?

Gutters develop holes in a variety of ways. Rust corrodes steel gutters, and copper and aluminum versions are easily pierced with falling branches or sharp tools. Sometimes rust corrosion can corrode galvanized steel gutters. Aluminum gutters can also develop holes; although they probably don't rust, aluminum can be drilled more easily than steel gutters.

Apply a generous amount of plastic roofing cement to the bottom of the cut metal strip, and then press it onto the hole inside the gutter. Use more roofing cement to seal the perimeter of the patch, blurring the edges to create a smooth transition between the patched area and the rest of the gutter. Place a ladder against the wall so that you can access the damaged section of the gutter. Make sure that the base of the ladder is on a solid, non-slip surface and that it tilts at the correct angle: 1 foot off the wall for every 4 feet of height.

If possible, increase your safety by tying the top of the ladder to a secure point, such as a strong gutter section. If left untreated, these gutter problems could damage windows, the outside of the house, or the foundation. A properly installed gutter will drop approximately one quarter of an inch for every 10 feet of gutter to direct water to the downspout. Patch holes smaller than the head of a nail with a small amount of plastic roofing cement applied with a spatula.

The use of zinc-coated steel gutters, a process known as galvanizing, minimizes rust and corrosion in gutters to reduce maintenance and wear. Over time, rain gutters often begin to separate from the roof, allowing water to drip down the sides of the gutters or between gutters and walls. When finished, the patch should lie flat on the surface of the gutter with little or no space underneath it. Using a small trowel, a gutter spoon, or gloved hands, wipe off as much dirt as possible and place it in a bucket for disposal.

As gutters age, it is common for small cracks and holes to form where sections of the gutters are screwed together, due to rust and general wear and tear at the weakest point of the gutters. While it's not a permanent solution, you can usually get one or two more seasons out of the gutters (as long as the damage isn't extensive) by applying silicone or rubber putty or sealer for gutters. Start by separating the compromised section from the gutter so that you can have full access to the leaking joint; this may require removing screws or rivets, depending on how the gutters are attached, but in any case it should be easy to release the section you need to work on. Most of the time, a leaking gutter is the result of a faulty joint between the sections or of a hole in the gutter itself.

To repair the leak, you'll need to apply a new drop of gutter sealant, another essential product for gutter repair that can be found in most hardware stores. This is especially important after the fall months, when leaves tend to accumulate in the gutter system. Just remember to thoroughly clean and dry any area where you are going to apply roofing cement or gutter sealant, and these repairs should be a piece of cake. Downspouts, which tend to suffer less abuse than canals, can last even longer for up to 30 years.

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