Gutters are an important part of home damage prevention. They keep water from damaging your walls, fascia, soffits and foundation, as well as prevent soil erosion around your home's perimeter. If a gutter system isn't working because of leaking seams or holes, it's best to replace it. You may also opt to replace gutters with seamless gutters, slightly larger gutters or a different style like copper or vinyl for better drainage and a new look.
Step 1 – Plan Your Gutters
When replacing old gutters with new ones, the hardest work is done for you provided your old gutters were adequate before any problems began like leaking or holes. Measure the old gutters and downspouts, note how many hangers and downspouts were used and use those measurements and numbers to plan your purchases
Step 2 – Make Mounting the New Gutters Easy
Having a helper is crucial for this step, which can make replacing gutters much easier. Use a level to make sure that the old gutters were angled down toward the downspout, just in case. If not, you'll need to use a level when installing the new gutter to be sure this happens. If they do angle, then use them as a guide.
If your gutter is less than 35' long, the gutter should slope from one end down to the corner and the downspout. If it's longer than that, the high point could be in the middle, with both sides sloping down to a gutter at each corner. If your gutter is more than 35', hold the string at the high point in the middle and have your helper hold it at one end. Snap a chalk line along the edge of the gutter against the fascia. Repeat on the other side.
If your gutter is shorter than 35', then you can snap just one chalk line the length of the gutter. This gives you and handy guide so you'll know exactly where to hang the new gutters.
Step 3 – Remove Downspouts
Look at the point where the downspout connects to the gutter. If it's connected with rivets you'll need to drill them out. Otherwise, remove the screws. Remove the downspout from the gutter. Remove the downspout attachment strap(s).
Step 4 – Remove the Gutter
Put your ladder beneath each of the points where the gutter is attached. Use a drill to remove screws or a hammer or pry bar if the gutter is attached with hangers.
Step 5 – Cut New Gutters to Fit
Take the pieces of sectional gutters and cut them to run the length of the fascia from the downspout to the opposite corner of the house. Allow for a few inches of overlap where each piece is joined. Cap the end and assemble the gutters, making sure each piece that goes on the inside of another is on the higher end to avoid water getting caught in seams. Keep factory cut edges on the outside where possible. Seal the inner seams.
Step 6 – Hang Gutters
Hang the gutters using the chalk line you snapped. Attach the downspout, making sure that the crimped parts of the elbow face downward for less chance of your gutters leaking.