There are a few reasons why your gutters might be sagging, and it’s essential to identify the root cause before attempting any repairs. Depending on the severity of the sagging gutters, you might be able to fix them yourself with a trip to the hardware store and a few tools. However, in many cases, it is best to hire a professional gutter installer or repairer.
Why Are My Gutters Sagging?
One of the most common reasons for sagging gutters is that they’re simply too full of debris. If your gutters get frequent clogs with leaves, twigs, and other organic matter, the weight can eventually cause them to sag or even pull away from your home entirely.
If a buildup of leaves is the cause of your gutters sagging, you should consider gutter guards after you repair the sagging sections. Gutter guards prevent clogged gutters and reduce how often you have to clean them and eliminate some gutter cleaning costs.
Another possible reason for sagging gutters is that they’re not correctly attached to your home. Over time, the nails or screws holding your gutters in place can loosen, causing the gutters to droop. This is often compounded by the additional weight of debris, which puts even more strain on the fasteners.
In some cases, sagging gutters may be caused by faulty installation. If your gutters weren’t properly sloped when they were installed, rainwater will pool in certain areas instead of draining properly. This can cause the gutters to sag or even pull away from your home altogether.
If you live in an area with cold climates, ice dams could also be to blame. Ice dams form when melting snow refreezes at the edge of your roof, creating a barrier that prevents additional water from draining properly. The weight of the ice dams on your gutters can make them sag or even pull away from your home entirely.
Finally, age and wear-and-tear can lead to sagging gutters. Over time, the materials used to construct your gutters may break down, making them less able to support the weight of debris. This is often compounded by the fact that older gutters are more likely to miss maintenance and cleaning, which can also lead to sagging.
Tools and Materials You May Need
Before you attempt to fix your sagging gutters, you will need a few items to repair them successfully. They include:
- Pry bar
- Nails or screws (depending on your gutters)
- Gutter sealant
- Caulking gun (optional)
- Working gloves (optional)
- Gutter spikes, hangers, or fasteners
5 Ways to Fix Sagging Gutters
Before fixing your sagging gutters, climb up a ladder and look closely at them. Try to determine what might be causing them to sag. If you can see that they’re filled with debris, go ahead and remove the debris before proceeding to the steps below.
If you’re not sure what’s causing your gutters to sag, take a close look at the fasteners holding them in place. Are they loose? Rusted? Damaged in any way? If so, you may need to replace them. Also, look over the gutters, shingles, soffits and fascia boards while you’re up there. If either has significant damage and leak, you may need to replace them entirely.
1. Replace Gutter Brackets
If the fasteners holding your gutters in place are loose or damaged, you will need to replace them. This is a relatively simple process that anyone can do with just a few tools.
Safely climb up a ladder and remove the old fasteners holding your gutters in place. Once you remove them, clean up any rust or debris from the area.
Next, measure the distance between the holes in your gutter and drill new holes in the correct spot. Be sure to use a drill bit slightly smaller than the screws you’ll be using. This will ensure a snug fit and prevent the fasteners from coming loose over time.
If you’re using nails, you don’t need to drill any holes.
Now, insert the new screws or nails and tighten them in place. Be sure not to overtighten, as this could strip the threads or damage the gutter itself. If your gutters are sagging in multiple areas, you will need to repeat this process until you replace all the fasteners. If you are redoing fasteners along long gutter sections, properly slope the gutters, so water drains correctly. Gutters should slope ¼ inch for every 10 feet of gutter length.
2. Replace Gutter Spikes
If gutter spikes hold your gutters in place, you will need to take them all out and replace them in the sagging section.
Remove the old spikes and replace them with new ones. This process is similar to replacing gutter brackets but requires a few additional tools.
Use a ladder to safely access your gutters and remove the old spikes. If the spikes are rusted or difficult to remove, you may need to use a pry bar or hammer to loosen them. Long spikes may require a lot of force to remove.
Once the old spikes are removed, clean up any debris or rust from the area. Next, insert the new spikes into the holes and gently tap them with a hammer to secure them.
If your gutters are sagging in multiple places, you will need to repeat this process until all of the spikes are replaced. Again, ensure you slope the gutter 1/4-inch towards the downspout for every 10 feet of gutter.
3. Install New Gutter Hangers
If your gutters are sagging because the hangers are loose or damaged, you may be able to simply install new hangers. This is a relatively easy process that anyone can do with just a few tools.
Next, climb up your ladder and measure the distance between the holes in your gutter and drill new holes for the new hangers right next to them. As always, use a drill bit slightly smaller than the screws you’ll be using. This will ensure a snug fit and prevent the gutter hangers from coming loose over time.
Now, insert the new hangers into the holes and screw them in place, and don’t overtighten them. If your gutters are sagging in multiple places, you will need to repeat this process until you replace all of the failing gutter hangers.
Lastly, remove the old hangers from your gutters. Once you take them out, clean up any rust or debris from the area and fill any holes with caulk.
4. New Gutter Installation
If your gutters are beyond repair and you need replacements, you can install new gutters yourself or hire a professional. This is a more involved process requiring knowledge of home improvement and a few specialized tools.
Read our in-depth look at the cost of gutter installation.
Remove the old gutters by unscrewing them from the brackets, hangers, or spikes holding them in place. As you remove them, wear protective gloves to avoid cutting yourself on any sharp edges.
Once you remove all the gutters, remove all screws, debris, and rust from the area and fill holes along your roofline with caulk. Next, measure the length of your roofline and cut the new gutters to size.
To install the new gutters, start by attaching them to the new brackets, hangers, or spikes. You can use the same type of fastener that was used to hold up the old gutters or a different one altogether. Remember to slope them slightly towards the downspouts – about ¼-inch for every 10 feet for proper drainage.
After the gutters are attached, connect them to the downspouts using either gutter screws or rivets.
Test your new gutters by running water from a hose along their length. If you installed them right, the water should run smoothly into the downspouts without any leaks.
5. Replace a Section of Your Gutters
Perhaps only a single section of your rain gutters is sagging, and the rest are still in good condition. If this is the case, you can replace or repair that gutter section rather than the entire system. Just follow the steps above for new gutter installation, but only replace the section that needs it. However, if you have seamless gutters, you will have to replace the entire gutter since it is one continuous piece.
Are Gutters Supposed to be Level?
No, gutters are not supposed to be level. In fact, they should have a slight slope – about ¼-inch to ½-inch for every 10 feet – so that water can drain properly. If your gutters are sagging, this slope may be more pronounced than it should be or slope in the wrong direction, which can lead to water pooling in the gutters or spilling over the edge.
DIY vs. Professional Gutter Repair Help
Depending on the severity of the problem, you may be able to fix sagging gutters yourself, or you may need to hire a professional. If your gutters just need new hangers or brackets, this is a relatively straightforward process that many homeowners can do themselves with just a few tools. However, if your gutters are severely damaged or beyond repair, you may need to replace them entirely.
Read our breakdown of the typical gutter repair cost.
Replacing gutters and installing them properly is a more involved process that requires knowledge, experience, and specialized tools. You may be able to do it yourself if you’re handy, but it is best to hire a professional for the job in most cases.
When to Call a Professional
There are several instances where it is best to call a professional for gutter repair help, including:
- Your gutters are severely damaged or beyond repair
- You need to replace your gutters
- You’re afraid of heights or not comfortable climbing up ladders and working
- You’re not handy and don’t feel comfortable attempting the repairs yourself
- You don’t have the time or patience to do the repairs yourself
- You want to be sure the job is done right
Hiring a professional to fix y
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a gutter wedge?
A gutter wedge is a small, usually plastic or metal component that attaches to the back of your gutter and angled fascia boards. It allows gutter installers to get your gutters level with the ground
How do you repair a leaking gutter?
The easiest way to repair leaking gutters is to use a sealant or gutter patching kit. You can find those at most hardware stores and home improvement centers. Or, you can hire a gutter contractor to repair the leak for you.
Should I repair or replace my sagging gutters?
In most cases, you can repair your sagging gutters by adding new hangers or brackets. However, if the gutters are severely damaged or beyond repair, you may need to replace them entirely. If your gutters are old, you may want to consider replacing them anyway as part of your home maintenance.
How much does it cost to repair gutters?
The cost to repair gutters will depend on the severity of the damage and whether you do it yourself or hire a professional. In most cases, you can simply add new hangers or brackets for around $100. However, if you need to replace your gutters, the cost will be significantly more. Hiring a professional to install new gutters will cost around $1,000 on average but varies based on the size of your home and total gutter length.
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