Repairing Your Downspouts and Gutters

Your gutters and downspouts are the core of a drainage system that channels water off your roof and away from your house. Without this system, water can flow from your roof to the foundation of your house, causing issues like mold, cracked walls, and foundation damage.

What You Will Need:

  • Basic Gutter and Downspout Parts
  • Ladder
  • Star Drill
  • Soldering Iron or Gun
  • Hammer
  • Screws or Pop Rivets
  • Chalk Line
  • Masonry Fasteners
  • Nails (various sizes)
  • Caulk
  • Hand Cleaner
  • Screwdriver
  • Tin Snips
  • Level
  • Marking Pencil
  • Masonry Drill

Gutters and downspouts are constructed of many separate parts and pieces. Metal guttering pieces are usually fastened together with sheet metal screws or pop rivets. The basic gutter pieces are commonly offered in standard 10-foot lengths and are usually made of aluminum, plastic, or galvanized metal. These are the basic gutter and downspout materials. Spikes and ferrules hold the gutter to the wall of the house. The ferrule is inserted inside the gutter and the spike is driven through the rim of the gutter and through the ferrule to hold the gutter in place.

The slip connector is used to connect two pieces of guttering in the run. The connecting joint is sealed with caulk to prevent leakage. Some brands of downspouts and gutters slip snugly together and need no mastic or caulk. The strap hanger is attached under the shingles or other roofing material and then to the outside edge of the gutter, providing support for the run. In some cases, strap hangers are the wraparound type. An inside miter is used when it becomes necessary to make an inside turn in a gutter. You can make outside turns in the guttering system by inserting an outside miter. Use caulk for sealing the joint where either inside or outside miters are jointed to the gutter.

The end piece is available with an outlet for the downspout or for simply ending a gutter run. The end cap ends the run of guttering. The downspout takes the water out of the gutter and down to the drainage pipe or splash block on the ground. It is attached to the gutter at the outlet in the end piece. Some downspouts and elbows are round instead of square. The conductor pipe band, or clincher, is a strap used to hold the downspout in place. This piece is available in various styles and types. Ball strainers can be inserted in the end piece to prevent leaves and other bulky material from clogging the downspout or drainage pipes. Several other types of gutter covers are available as well. While not absolutely necessary, strainers and gutter covers can be helpful. A square shoe is used at the bottom of the downspout. This turns the flow of water onto a splash block where the downspout ends.

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