How to Fix Leaky Gutters
LESLIE: Ray in North Carolina is dealing with some leaky gutters. Tell us what’s going on.
RAY: Very quick question for you. I’ve got some leaky gutters. I had my gutters replaced and, to make a long story short, everything has been fine except until now that we’ve gotten some heavy rain, in between I believe the fascia and the gutter, it is leaking. And the paint on the HardiePlank has now bubbled up. So, obviously, there is water coming in between.
There is no flashing there, if I’m using the right term. I just would assume that either the gutter is not put up there correctly or the actual shingles are not coming over far enough. Can you give me an idea of what to do?
TOM: What you’re describing, Ray, is a very, very typical situation and generally, it happens when the gutters get overwhelmed and then the water backs up behind it. You don’t really flash gutters; you simply attach them securely. Very often, the gutter spikes, though, will loosen up and let the gutter sort of pull away. And so the secret there is to use gutter screws, which are about 7-inch-long screws, usually on a hex head, that once you attach them, they never, ever come out again.
And of course, you need to make sure that your gutter is not obstructed in any way, allowing that water to back up. Pretty typical, though, for you to see some moisture in that space. Frankly, almost impossible to stop it from happening. It really becomes a maintenance issue but you did add – you did mention the shingle length in terms of the overlap. If the shingles are not dropped far enough into the gutters themselves, you can actually add another shingle sort of underneath what you have on the edge there, to extend it just a little bit more.
RAY: And that would help? And the only thing is that – the only other question I have for you, when you mentioned the screws – I don’t know that much about these gutters that I have replaced. But they are seamless gutters and they seem to be up there by hangers; they’re not – I don’t know if I’m correct but they’re not …
TOM: Yeah. So they’re – right, I know what you mean; there’s two ways to attach these. Typically, the nails go through the front of the seamless, through a thin, aluminum pipe and into the fascia. But if they’re up by hangers, then those hangers are actually underneath the shingles and sort of supporting it as it hangs off the roof.
I would look very carefully at the overlap of the shingles because if it’s missing the gutters or if there are holes in the shingles near the edge or something like that, that could be the reason you’re getting most of that water that comes back in there.
And remember, a lot of this also happens in the wintertime where you get ice that forms in those gutters. And then the water backs up and you could just be seeing the effects now but it could actually be happening in the colder weather.
RAY: Exactly. Well, very good. I appreciate your help and I thank you very much. And again, I enjoy your show.
TOM: Thanks, Ray. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.