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Quick & Easy Guide to Gutter Repair (2023)

There are plenty of things that can damage your home’s gutter system, including:

  • High winds
  • Heavy rains or snowfall
  • Ice dams
  • Shingle granule loss
  • Animal activity
  • Falling debris

Of course, the primary cause behind the need for the vast majority of gutter repair issues is neglect. Many homeowners forget about their gutters, leaving them on their own season after season until they become filled with debris or sustain minor damages that go unnoticed.

Once your gutter system becomes damaged or clogged, it’s only a matter of time before costly gutter repairs are needed. Consider this article a basic homeowners’ guide to gutter repair for the most common types of gutter damage.

How to Tell When You Have Gutter Damage

If this is your first time scoping out your home’s gutter system, you’ll need to know what you’re looking at and whether or not it means you need a gutter repair. 

To keep things simple, gutter repairs are usually necessary when they’re:

  • Clogged
  • Overflowing
  • Sagging
  • Leaking
  • Completely dislodged from the fascia or have fallen to the ground

The best way to tell if your gutters are in good shape is by cleaning them regularly — as in seasonally — so you’ll be able to notice if anything is off right away.

Gutter Repairs By Issue

Each type of issue will require a different gutter repair approach. Having said that, there are several different tools and materials you may (or may not) need. Once you know which type of gutter repair is needed, you can refer back to this list for the tools and materials:


  • A cordless drill
  • Garden hose
  • Hacksaw
  • Tin snips
  • Drill bits and drivers
  • A ladder
  • Protective gloves
  • Chalk snap line
  • Laser level (or a bubble level)
  • A marker and pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • A stiff bristle or wire brush
  • Tape measure
  • Putty knife


  • Gutters
  • Gutter slip joint connectors
  • Gutter end caps
  • Gutter sealant
  • A fascia hanger bracket
  • Extra fascia board
  • Downspouts
  • A 75-degree downspout elbow
  • Downspout U-brackets
  • Downspout drop outlets
  • A flexible downspout extension
  • Hex head gutter sheet metal screws

Gutter Section Replacement

Gutters are installed in sections, which means you can sometimes get away with a section gutter replacement if there’s significant damage. If the damage is minimal, you can simply patch the area.

To replace the section:

  • Prep your gutters by washing away dirt and debris 
  • Using your cordless drill or screwdriver, remove the gutter brackets and old screwed from the damaged section
  • Insert spacers into the sections you’ll be replacing to hold their shape (optional)
  • Mark the new gutters to the appropriate length with a marker or pencil, and then use the tin snips or saw to cut them. Make sure they’re long enough to overlap with the existing gutters
  • Apply sealant to each side of the existing gutter sections before joining the new gutter section. This will seal the new section to prevent leaks once it’s installed
  • Secure the new gutter section to the existing sections using stainless steel screws or rivets — only install this hardware at the sides, never the bottom!
  • Allow the sealant to dry, and then reattach the fascia hanger bracket

Gutter Hole Repair

Rust, debris, and storm damage can cause holes to appear in our gutter system over time. You can fix smaller holes with gutter sealant (or roofing cement in a pinch) by applying a thin and consistent layer over the hole.

Larger holes require flashing to patch up:

  • Cut the flashing using your tin snips  so that it overlaps the hole
  • Use sealant or cement to adhere the flashing to the gutter
  • Now, spread the sealant over the flashing patch in a thin layer
  • Allow the adhesive to dry as directed by the manufacturer’s instructions

Sagging Gutter Repair

Every 10 feet of gutter should drop an additional quarter of an inch to ensure proper water flow towards the downspout. However, your gutters can start sagging and become uneven from the weight of accumulated debris or pooling water. The brackets may also come loose as well.

Here’s how to handle a sagging gutter repair:

  • Start by measuring the gutter slope. This will help you to identify the exact place where the issue begins and ends
  • Figure out which gutter hangers need to be replaced so you know how many you need to get and the specific type
  • Using your cordless drill, start removing the screws and fasteners from your gutters and their hangers — it’s best to do this by section to ensure the gutter system remains supported
  • Install the new hangers starting at the fascia. If the original holes are stripped, you’ll want to seal those up and create new holes. Just make sure your new holes are no more than three feet apart from one another to ensure your gutters have adequate support

Gutter Leak Repair

When water is leaking from behind your gutters, it’s likely a flashing issue. This can lead to all sorts of issues, including mold growth, which is both hazardous and unsightly. 

This type of gutter repair calls for a gutter apron, which is a bent piece of flashing that gets tucked beneath your shingles and over your gutters.

  • Start by using your tin snips to cut the gutter apron to the appropriate length 
  • Remove the gutter hangers of the area you’re installing the apron
  • Using sheet metal screws, fasten the apron flashing into place, and reinstall the hangers as you go

If you have steel gutters, you’ll want to use steel roll flashing — and you’ll need to cut it to length and tuck it beneath the drip edge.

Gutter and Downspout Joint Repair

Water leaks are also often found at the joints, which include the area where the gutters meet the downspout. Poorly installed downspouts and downspouts that aren’t the right size can contribute to these leaks, which means you’ll have to do one or all of the following:

  • Seal the gutter seams. Over time, gutter seams can weaken, leading to leaks. For this gutter repair, you’ll need to clean the leaky section, remove the old sealant, and reapply the new sealant. You may also need to realign the joint slips as you go.
  • Clean the downspouts. Downspouts often become clogged and therefore require routine cleanings. If this is the case, all you have to do is unfasten the screws or brackets holding the downspouts in place and use your stiff wire brush to clean it up.
  • Reattach the downspouts. Whether your downspout came detached on its own or you had to clean it, you’ll need to reattach it correctly. Start by spreading a thin line of caulk around the area where your downspout is attached to the gutter normally, then start reinstalling it using the screws, brackets, and fasteners. Make sure that the downspout is firmly in place before packing up your tools.

DIY Vs. Professional Gutter Repair Service

Not every type of gutter repair is simple enough to do on your own. If your gutters are over 20 years old or have significant rusting, you’re better off calling professional gutter repair companies to fix the issue. 

Professional gutter repair services typically include an inspection and diagnosis of the problem, as well as an estimate for the work that needs to be done. Not to mention, the DIY route often comes with safety issues, whereas gutter repair service experts know what they’re doing and have the proper equipment to safely handle the job.

Gutters may not seem like a big deal, but a neglected gutter repair can lead to roof damage and more. If you’re experiencing issues with your gutters, it’s a good idea to call the experts at Tidds Roofing. We’ll get the job done quickly and correctly, and there are plenty of options to choose from!

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