How to Repair Steel Gutters

What You'll Need
Steel wool
Tall ladder
Rubber work gloves
Wire cutters
Asphalt flashing cement
Metal flashing
Putty knife
Gutter patch
Caulking gun
Garbage bags

Steel gutters are great: they’re readily available, relatively cheap, and easy to install. Great, that is, until they start to rust away, resulting in holes and cracks that let the rain through, trickling down the façade of your home, and thus negating the entire purpose of having gutters, in the first place. Yes, convenience and low cost often comes at a price all its own: low durability. So, does this mean that you should just throw in the towel and spring for something more expensive, at the risk of breaking your budget? Absolutely not! Whether you moved into a home with steel gutters that you can’t be bothered to replace, or you’re buying new gutters and can’t afford anything more expensive, don’t worry too much about quality. You can learn to quickly and easily repair your steel gutters yourself, at minimal cost. Check out the handy how to guide below to find out how.

Step 1 – Clean the Gutter

Lean your ladder against the side of the house and climb up to take a look at what kind of repairs will need to be done. Remember to exercise caution; even if you have a one story house, taking a tumble from the ladder while you’re working can cause some damage! You may want to have another set of hands helping to keep it steady. Put on your rubber gloves and clean out any dead leaves, debris or any other foreign objects and toss them in your trash bag so that you can see what kind of damage has been done.

Step 2 – Assess the Damage

Take a look at the size and number of rusted holes that you see in the gutter to determine how much material you’ll need to repair them.

Step 3 – Prepare the Surface

Using a piece of steel wool, scrub at the perimeter of any holes in order to give the surface texture, so that the adhesive you’ll use to affix the metal flashing patch will be able to create a better bond.

Step 4 – Cut a Piece of Flashing

Using wire cutters or any other instrument sharp enough to cut metal, trim a piece of metal flashing that’s slightly larger than the hole itself.

Step 5 – Apply the Adhesive

Take your putty knife and scoop some asphalt flashing cement. Smooth it over the bottom of the trimmed piece of metal flashing. Affix the piece of flashing over the hole and press firmly. Wipe away any excess adhesive that leaks out the sides.

Step 6 – Double Check the Leaking Connector

The final step is to re-caulk the leaking connector that connects the gutter to the draining pipes. There’s no point patching up all those holes if the water will just leak out somewhere else! Take the connector apart and then re-caulk it with your caulk gun.