How to Repair Gutters and Downspouts

Ladder against the side of a house going up towards blue sky.
What You'll Need
Basic gutter and downspout parts
Star drill
Soldering iron or gun
Screws or pop rivets
Chalk line
Masonry fasteners
Nails (various sizes)
Mastic or caulk
Hand cleaner
Tin snips
Marking pencil
Masonry drill

Your gutters and downspouts are the core of the drainage system. This system directs water from your roof and away from the house. Without this system, water will flow directly from your roof to the foundation of your house, causing severe problems ranging from mold to foundation cracks. Read these tips and instructions for information on installing gutters and downspouts in order to protect your home.

Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are constructed from many separate parts and pieces. Metal gutters are usually fastened using sheet metal screws and/or pop rivets.

A slip connector fastens together pieces of guttering in a single run. Depending upon the design, your gutter may or may not require a sealant. You may also need a strap hanger to give the system better support and prevent failure.

The conductor pipe band, or clincher, is a strap which holds the downspout in place. It is fastened to the outside wall in order to hold the downspout securely. Conductor pipe bands are available in many styles and types. A sales associate at your local home improvement center can help you select the right one for your project.

Use square elbows when a turn is required to pull the downspout toward or away from the house. 2 of these elbows, when used together as illustrated, form an offset of several inches in the downspout. The crimp in downspouts and elbows usually makes mastic or caulk unnecessary at the joints.To form a turn in the downspout, either to the left or right, use the square elb

To form a turn in the downspout, either to the left or right, use the square elbows. You can divert the direction of the downspout to the left or right by several inches by mounting several of these pieces together.

A square shoe is applied at the bottom of the downspout. Square shoes are used to direct the flow of water onto a splash block, which is where the downspout ends.

Installing Gutters and Downspouts

Metal is the most common material for gutters and downspouts. The components described in Step 1 are needed to complete the job. Begin by measuring the area where the gutter is to be installed and determine exactly how much guttering and how many component parts you need.

Once you've purchased the materials, lay the pieces of gutter and fitting on the ground below the work area. Align them to correspond to the way they will fit when assembled under the eave of the roof.

Locate the center of each gutter span and mark that point on the fascia of the

Locate the center of each gutter span and mark that point on the fascia of the house.

Locate the center of each gutter span and mark that point on the fascia of he house. Snap a chalk line from the center position as marked to the end of each run of gutter. If the run is extremely long, you must provide a 1-inch fall for every 16-feet of gutter.

Once everything is well planned, begin attaching the gutter at the corner of the house. If that is the end of the run, attach the end cap at this point. If you must seal the gutter, do so before hanging any of the materials. Attach a miter to the first length of gutter before proceeding.

This illustration shows how to attach a gutter to the fascia.

For new home construction, mount the molding as illustrated. If the project is to replace an existing gutter and downspouts, then it might be necessary for you to remove the lower molding before you can put the gutter in place. The original molding can be remounted, and new molding can be installed once the gutter in place.

Refer to the illustration for information on attaching the gutter to the fascia with spikes, ferrules, strap hangers, and fascia brackets. Downspouts are usually located at the end of a building or in a corner; however, in extremely long runs, downspouts may be located in the center of a gutter run.

If you are using spikes and ferrules, you must space them every 2.5-feet in the run. For better support, attach strap hangers directly over roof rafters wherever possible. Always insert the strap hanger under the roofing material and attach it securely to the roofing deck.

After the first length of gutter is in place, continue assembling the component parts with slip connectors at each joint and inside or outside miters as required.

Insert 2 Style-A elbows to flush the downspouts against the wall. To keep leaves and other debris from, put strainer in each downspout opening. Debris from trees can clog underground drainage system and cause expensive damage. Use connector pipe bands, which are also called clincher bands, to connect the downspouts to the wall as required.

Place a shoe at the bottom of each downspout, if needed, to throw the water out onto a splash block.

Information in this article has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors.