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Maintaining gutters and downspouts is one of the most often overlooked jobs around the house. While it might be tempting to do away with your gutters all together, they serve an important function in areas that receive more than 15” to 20” of rain a year. Though gutter guards allow you to go longer between cleanings, they’re far from foolproof and need to be checked periodically.
To clean gutters, you’ll need a ladder, a garden trowel (or scoop made from an antifreeze container), bucket lined with a trash bag, a hose, and a rag. After you have removed any gutter guards, use the trowel to scoop leaves and debris from the gutter into the bucket. Once the gutters have been cleaned, check the downspouts for clogs by inserting a hose with a rag wrapped around it so that water will be directed through them. Measuring from the chalk line, lift the gutter up and reposition the hangers to hold it in place. Now that your gutters are secure and have the correct slope, check them for leaks by running water through them with a hose.
If sealing a joint in the gutter or downspout doesn’t stop the leak, disassemble the joint if possible, clean the two parts, and put them back together using sealant. Now that your gutters are in tip top shape, check them from time to time while it is raining. Hi, I recently had vinyl gutters installed and there is a space between the facia and the back of the gutter and now water is coming down the facia and not going into the gutter. Gutters are usually installed flush against the fascia with enough roof overhang so that the water drains into them.
Traditional mesh type gutters guards work much better for leaves than pine needles, which tend to fall point down and get stuck in them.
I just climb up onto the roof with an electric leafblower…start at one end and blast those leaves out. An example of just what clogged gutters can do into a home is that of a man that had a leak in his car port. It is very important that homeowners keep in mind potential problems that faulty rain gutters can cause. One way to make sure your gutter doesn't fall off the house is to install fascia hanger brackets. If water is dripping behind your gutter, it's probably because it was installed without any flashing over the back of the gutter. Gutter apron is a bent piece of flashing that tucks up under the shingles and over the gutter. Adding a rope does restrict water flow, so this may not be the best option if your gutter is prone to overflowing or if your downspout is easily clogged with twigs and leaves.


If your gutters are a custom color, a home center can special-order your color but not the slip joint to match. When you buy your new gutter section, make sure you order either an inside or outside box miter at the same time. Every connection on a metal gutter needs to be sealed: end caps, splices, drop outlets and miters. Try to remove as much of the old sealer as you can, and make sure the area you're sealing is completely dry.
If you have trouble keeping small leaves and other debris from clogging your gutters, consider installing solid gutter guards. Screened gutter guards, which are much less expensive and available at home centers, don't work as well. Your plumber's snake is a great tool for pulling clumps of wet leaves out of clogged downspouts.
Gutter leaks usually start at rusty spots or seams that have opened up because of expansion and contraction. It is also one of the most important, since clogged or leaking gutters can quickly lead to rotten fascia boards, peeling paint, or worse. Gutters direct water away from the house to protect your siding, foundation, and landscaping. Pine straw and leaves can become lodged in them, and smaller debris can still filter through to cause big problems. Once the downspout is running freely, start at the far end of the run and rinse the gutter thoroughly with the hose. Make sure all hangers are securely fastened, and use a carpenter’s level to check that the gutters have the proper slope and are not holding water. Water is heavy, and gutters should have a hanger every 2’ as well as within 1’ of any seams. Mark any leaks and allow the gutter to dry out thoroughly before patching them with gutter sealant.
If the gutters can’t be moved back, perhaps the roof could be extended outward by sliding a sheet metal drip strip under the roofing. There are some solid types of gutter guard you might look into, that work better with pine needles.
I installed Gutter Helmet a while back and haven’t had any trouble with leaves or pine needles. Once leaves, pine needles, along with other debris get inside the rain gutters and clog them, they should physically be removed. Installation is simple: Just hook the bracket under the front lip of the gutter, and then screw the other side of the bracket to the fascia.


Most home centers sell white and brown sections of gutters as well as slip joints to tie them together. Fasten a diverter with a couple of sheet metal screws to the top of the outside edge of the gutter.
Solid guards, which cover all of the gutter except for a narrow crack to let the water through, do work well.
Since the guards fit over the gutter rather than inside, they'll cover most standard-size gutters. They'll keep out most leaves, but you can expect smaller debris, such as seeds and pine needles, to get through. If your gutter is still basically sound, the easiest way to stop the leak is by covering the damaged area with roof and gutter repair tape (available at home centers and hardware stores).
Tear the paper backing off the tape and lightly adhere one edge of the tape to the top of the gutter. While he had new siding place on his house, and new gutters installed, the outflow stopped. Products like these do leak when the water flow is too light to extend the plastic downspout, but they should keep your landscaping from washing away during moderate to heavy rains. The lip on the guards relies on surface tension to draw the water down into the gutter, while the solid covering deflects leaves and other debris that would otherwise drop in.
They're typically attached to the gutter with brackets, with the upper edge slid under the lower shingles. Screens also make gutter cleaning more difficult, because you have to move them aside to get at the debris.
If the gutter is badly rusted or has been heavily coated with tar that you can't scrape out, spray on a special adhesive primer before applying the tape (Protecto-Tek is one brand, but you may need to special-order it).
Roll the tape down the wall of the gutter, pushing it firmly into curves and corners (Photo 3).
All that time choose to go by and he didn’t even know the situation was his gutters as well as downspouts! Their purpose is always to stop leaves and other particles from building up inside your gutters.
At Gutters of Sacramento we sell several different types of gutter guards, therefore we can be sure to find a system that matches your needs and budget. If your gutters are steel, buy steel roll flashing, because galvanized steel corrodes aluminum.



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