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Skill Level & Time to Complete

  • Beginner - 2 to 3 hours 
  • Intermediate - 2 hours
  • Advanced - 1 hour
  - Be sure to take proper precautions when working in high areas.


Materials List
   Plastic Roofing Cement
   Gutter Liner
Tools List
   Putty Knife
   Wire brush
   Caulk gun
   Heavy-duty Scissors


1. Leaking and Damaged Downspout. You will sometimes find that the downspout joints loosen and lose their ability to be watertight. Start by removing the screws or the retaining hardware holding the joint together, depending on how yours is attached.
2. Pull apart the pieces in the joint and use the wire brush to remove any existing caulk on both the outside of the male piece and the inside of the female piece of the joint.
3. Inspect the hardware to be sure that the hardware is not in such condition that it is not reusable. Your downspout might be dented so that it cannot be used, or your retaining hardware may be damaged. Replace any pieces that cannot be reused with new material.
4. Apply caulk to the outside of the male piece of the joint, near the end, and reattach the female piece.
5. Secure the joint with screws or other retaining hardware suitable for your gutters.


6. Leaking gutter sections. If you find a leak at the joint, and there is no apparent damage such as rust or dents, your sealant is most likely the culprit. Try to scrape away as much of the old caulk sealant as is visible.
7. Then, simply apply a joint caulk, such as silicone, to waterproof the joint.
8. Leaking areas within straight gutter are usually due to rusting gutter sections. You can temporarily patch this problem, but the section will most likely need to be replaced within a couple years. To patch the rusted area, first clean the rust away using your wire brush and water. Be sure that you brush away all the rust so that you minimize the potential for the rust to spread.
9. Use your putty knife to spread roofing cement onto the clean area and the surrounding areas. Try to keep the patch as flat as possible so that water will run down your gutter properly. If your rusted area is very large or you want to make a more permanent fix, you should replace the entire gutter section, or cut out the damaged section and replace it.
10. Replacing a damaged gutter section. There are times when you will have to remove and replace sections of your gutter system that have been damaged by rust or falling debris such as tree branches or ice. Before replacing sections of gutter that are sagging, be sure that it is your gutter, and not the gutter support, which has failed. You should first remove any retaining hardware from the section of gutter that you need to replace. As shown, remove the retainers and connectors.


11. Use a 4x4 block of wood and place it inside the good section of gutter as you cut the bad section out with a hacksaw. This will keep your gutter in good shape while you are cutting and prevent the gutter from twisting as you cut it.
12. Cut out a section of gutter to replace the piece you have cut out of the existing gutter. Cut the replacement section about 2” longer than the section that is being replaced to allow for some overlap.
13. Using your caulk gun, apply roofing cement to the inside of the original gutter and place the new section into place so that it overlaps about an inch on each side.
14. Drill holes appropriate to your rivets into the overlapping sections of the gutter, and securely fasten the sections together with rivets.
15. Replace any retaining hardware that you originally removed, so that the gutter stays in place. Remember to check your gutters twice a year - in spring and in fall - and you should avoid any major issues! Good luck!

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