Everybody be cool and calm. TODAY I'm going to teach you how to fix your loose or sagging gutters!! Stop it. I told you to calm down.
I know. It's hard to believe. You've waited so long for this exciting day and it has finally arrived. Some content creators think they can satisfy you with inconsequential information like "How to become a better person and save the world." or "How to make 40 million, bazillion, trillion dollars in just 10 minutes a day."
Thankfully I know what you really want, which is to be dragged into the gutter.
Without good gutters you risk a whole world of hurt; you know this. Rotting porches, leaking basements, crying family members surrounding your hospital bed doing their best not to fight over who gets your Beanie Baby collection as you recover from being hit on the head with an ice filled gutter in the middle of January. That sort of thing.
I am here for you. To improve your life beyond what being a better person or a krazillion dollars ever could.
Table of Contents
How to fix sagging gutters
There are 3 ways to tighten up gutters that have started to come loose from the side of your house. The method you use will depend on how far gone your gutters are.
METHOD 1 - Re-hammer existing spikes into existing holes.
METHOD 2 - Use gutter brackets
METHOD 3 - Re-hammering existing spikes into NEW holes.
What do gutters do exactly?
Older style gutters (I actually call them eavestroughs, but I think I might be the only one who says that) are held onto your house with just a long spike that's driven into the fascia of the home. BANG BANG BANG. And that's it, they're on your house.
The gutter then connects to a downspout which drives rainwater from the gutters either straight into the ground or away from your home's foundation.
If you can see large nail heads on the outside of your gutter, you have an older type of gutter system.
Over time the spikes can come loose which lets the gutter slump away from the roof. A big reason for loose spikes in colder climates is ice and leaves. If you don't clean your gutters in the fall the leaves are going to pile up and block the downspout.
That means no water will drain down the downspouts and your gutters will essentially become very narrow long swimming pools filled with rain.
Once the weather turns cold, this water freezes into a big hunk of ice, which is heavy enough to pull the gutter away from the house through the winter. The water thaws in spring, pours out of the gutter and you get a leaking basement, water pouring down the side of your house or a rotting porch or deck from it.
Moral of this story? Gutters are pretty important.
This is the easiest way to fix your gutters but Method 1 won't work if your gutters have gone full-on Beverly Hillbillies on you.
If more than one or two spikes have loosened you should use Method 2 or 3.
- Get up on a ladder and take a look to see if any spikes have come out of their original holes. If they have, just align the spike with its original hole, and hammer it in.
- If there's resistance when you hammer it in all the way you're good. If not, you'll have to move on to Method 2 or 3.
The second way to fix sagging gutters is to use a hidden gutter bracket. There is TOO such a thing.
See? I told you. Gutter brackets are a thing. You hook them into your gutters and then screw the bracket into your fascia.
- Insert the bracket into your gutter hooking one edge under the lip and setting the flat end of the bracket against the side of the gutter that's nailed into the fascia.
2. Once it's in place, screw the self driving screw that comes with the bracket through the aluminum gutter and into the fascia. It'll take a bit of strength but don't be deterred.
*To make screwing into the gutter easier makes sure you hold the gutter tight against the fascia. This is the only way you'll get the screw to go through by adding the resistance of the fascia behind it.
The bracket will hold the gutter tight to the house now.
Gutter brackets come in 2 sizes - 4" and 5". The 5" are the most common and usually the easiest to find. I got mine at my local hardware store but you can also get gutter brackets on Amazon.
If you've having trouble getting the screw into the aluminum, hammer it a bit so the tip will grip into metal and not slip around making it easier for you to get that leverage you need to screw it in.
The final way to secure loose gutters is to hammer the existing gutter spikes into new holes.
This is my favourite method. It doesn't cost any money, you don't have to make a trip to the hardware store and most of the time when you realize you need to fix your gutters you need to do it quickly.
Like when you know a huge thunderstorm is coming and remember for the 153rd time that your gutters are loose and need to be fixed to prevent a waterfall.
- Get back up on that ladder with a hammer. Push the gutter TIGHT against the fascia and line the spike up just to the left or right of the original hole. While holding the spike WHACK it hard. Getting it to go through the gutter isn't going to be easy but I have faith you can do it because you're mad that your stupid gutter needs fixing so you have the power of anger behind you.
- Once you're through the aluminum, keep hammering until you've made it through the wood fascia underneath and the spike is hammered all the way in.
- Repeat for all the loose spikes.
Just like that you know THREE different ways to fix a sagging gutter which makes you a better person than you were just 35 paragraphs ago.
You don't have a gigabazillion dollars, true, but you're still a better person.
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Now on to the dreaded leaf cleaning - even with guards! HATE that job - I don't do it, but I hate it for my SIL who does. Gravel from the shingles builds up and chokes the drain pipes so the water still does runs off everywhere. You would think someone, somewhere would find a simpler solution. Down in south Florida we used tile roofs - pretty and no gravel runoff.
Hi Mary, up in Canada we generallly go with steel roofs as the low maintenance alternative to shingles. Not as pretty as tile, but they definitely do the job.
I'm going to start calling them that, preferably while sipping Earl Grey tea.
I'm awful for not cleaning out my gutters and many of my downspouts are fully clogged. I knew it's contributing to a leaky basement but I hadn't thought about how the standing water might wreck the gutters too. This year's the year! Mission Clean everything out!!
One thought to add your post. It might make it way easier to drive in the screw or nail if you pre-drilled a hole (a very small one). That'd require getting up on a ladder with a drill but it'd make wrestling with the fastener way easier.
I just had my roof guys fix the one place the gutter came loose - right over my front door, of course! When they re-coated the roof, they had to replace a section of aluminum overhang attached to the roof, then the gutter slides up underneath that, and is attached. Mine is attached with your fancy gutter brackets, and those suckers come loose as well.
I know I don’t clean them out as often as I should, but my back doesn’t like bending over while standing on the roof. The ex-AH took all the ladders, so my only recourse is to climb the spiral staircase (he would have taken that if he could have!) to the roof, and clean them out from the top.
We have flat roofs here in Arizona (they aren’t actually completely flat - maybe a 25-30° slope?) because no snow and very sporadic (and usually very heavy) rainfall. So, because there isn’t a shingle overhang, they have an exposed drip edge flashing which the gutter fits under and then is nailed to the fascia. This flashing came loose from the roof and had to be replaced before they could do the new elastomeric coating. Pain in the butt - roofs!
I tried once to drag the hose up there to wash out the gutters. Nah, nope. Another pain in the butt. Thanks for the how-to once again, Karen. You have such a wealth of knowledge to share with all your devoted fans! ❤️
Thanks Patty! I'd like to make a suggestion though. I think you should buy a ladder. Everyone needs a ladder. ~ karen!
A ladder and a good electric leaf blower are a great combination for gutter-cleaning if you have a one-story house. Should work for a two-story as well, I suppose, if you don't have a poor head for heights
Instead of hammering in the same nail I replace it with a long hex head screw which can be put in using a socket and ratchet or a drill with a hex driver.
Huh! My family and everyone I know call them eavestroughs. It’s a trough. Hanging off the eaves. Lol. Must be a Canadian/British term? I always think of a ditch if someone mentions a gutter.
I know, I have a hard time referring to them at gutters but apparently, it's how most North Americans do. ~ karen!
And Brits call them gutters!
You forgot method #4 - install new fascia. Now completed by my sons and I until my old garage disintegrates.
Gutters are in the street.
Did the 'new boyfriend' wood-chopper show you....???
LOL, um, no. No he did not.😂 ~ karen!
I've actually done this task. Took the entire section of eavestrough down and replaced the fascia board. Then I re-installed the perfectly-good eavestrough with new brackets. So I understand how hard it is to screw them in. Seems like it's going to be easy but it's not! The solution is an impact driver. I had never used mine, didn't even know what it was for until this little(!) task came into my life.
This sounds pretty doable; thank you. I'm here this morning because we had high winds last night which made a huge banging sound over our bedroom wall. Upon inspection (in the cold, dark of a Saturday morning I discovered the wind was lifting the gutters up and then when it subsided, they would drop back down and slam into the fascia boards.
Would this repair solve that? If not, what would you suggest?
Hi John! Without seeing it I couldn't say, but if the gutters are loose, then this would probably fix that high wind issue. :) ~ karen!