All gutter systems, including vinyl gutters, can leak from time to time. While it can be uncomfortable to stand under a gutter that is leaking, it can also cause structural damage if not corrected. Correcting the situation is relatively easy, and can be done with minimal materials and just a little time.
Step 1- Locate the Leak
It's most common to find leaks in joints, but you may have a small hole somewhere else in the gutter system. If you are working on a clear day, it's pretty easy to find a leak. You will need to start by cleaning all the debris out of the gutters. This is where the gloves come in handy. You may need to get on the roof and use a scrub brush for areas of the gutter system that have built up silt and mud. Once the gutters are cleared, you can use a garden hose to rinse the excess gunk out of the gutters. Allow this to dry, and then use the hose again to allow a small stream of water to flow through the gutter sections. Have your friend watch for the stream of water to identify where the leak is coming from. In some cases the gutter itself won't be the problem, but rather the fascia, where it attaches to the house. This will be covered in a later step.
Step 2- Change the Gaskets
Faulty gaskets are the most common reason for leaks in vinyl gutter systems. You can simply purchase new gaskets at any hardware store. You will need to remove the section of gutter where the gasket is, take off the old gasket, and replace it with the new one in accordance with the manufacturer's directions.
Step 3- Seal or Patch Holes
It's uncommon to find vinyl gutter systems spring holes, but it isn't impossible. A high quality silicone caulk can fix small holes. If the offending hole is larger than a pinhole, it's best to replace the section of gutter all together. To use the silicone you will need to clean the area around the hole thoroughly. You can use sandpaper to roughen up the area before you use the caulk. This will help the caulk to adhere. If you are not removing the gutter section prior to this application, make sure you do this on a day that is clear. It will need to be allowed to cure for a day before it can get wet again.
Step 3- Check Hardware
Once the hole is patched and the gasket has been replaced, you can go around and spot potential problem areas. Fixing a gutter before it becomes a problem is the ideal situation. Check the connections from the gutter to the fascia. If you need to tighten any connections, do so. If you see signs of rust with the hardware, replace this. Gutters that are left with loose connections will eventually sag and cause more leaks.