For most homeowners, a quality set of gutters can last up to 20 years. The catch is this: you need to learn a little about gutter cleaning and DIY gutter repair in order to keep these all-important water repellents in top shape. That 20-year lifespan can shrink by a lot if you don’t spend at least a few hours each season attending to old, leaking gutters and gutters that are simply clogged with debris.

When you opt for the DIY (do-it-yourself) route, what you spend on gutter repair costs is up to you. If, for example, you do quarterly gutter leak repair and cleaning, costs will be minimal. 

DIY Gutter Cleaning and Repair Steps

You don’t have to be a repair pro or engineer to know how to fix gutters and clean them properly. In fact, if you own a ladder, a hose, a set of basic tools, and are willing to spend an hour or two of your time, it’s possible to clean and fix dirty, leaking gutters.

Steps for cleaning gutters:

  1. Equipment: This is dirty work. Wear safety goggles, a hat, rubber gloves, work shoes, and a long-sleeved shirt. 
  2. Ladder setup: Use a stabilizer or a human helper to ensure your ladder is secure. Come down and move it every so often as your work progresses.
  3. Scoop out the debris: Use a spatula, a plastic “sandbox” scoop/shovel, or a garden scoop to remove any clumps of gunk and debris you notice in the guttering.
  4. Hose out the gutters: Use a garden hose on a medium-to-high setting to rinse out debris you were not able to clear with your scoop.
  5. Note any problems: Before cleaning up, make a note of any leaks, disconnected downspouts, cracks in the guttering, broken or non-functioning seals on PVC gutters, rust, and sagging areas. You won’t be able to address these problems in the cleaning phase but can take care of them when you follow the gutter repair steps below.

Steps for repairing gutters when it comes to:

  1. Disconnected downspouts: The most common reason for downspout problems is a broken or loose connector bracket. Or, if your spouts have wall plugs, they will also sometimes become loose. Replace the brackets or plugs or simply tighten the screws that affix the spout to the house.
  2. Rust: Rust is the enemy of gutters. Put on your safety eyewear, use a wire brush or some sandpaper to remove the rust, apply some primer and let it dry, then apply two coats of bitumen paint. You can use gloss paint as a substitute.
  3. Excessive debris: If you do regular cleaning, you know how to remove excess debris. But if you have gutter covers and still have debris build-up, take a good look at the covers. Some cheaper models develop length-wise cracks and large holes. Replace old, broken gutter covers when necessary.
  4. UPVC/PVC Leaks: Check the seals. They are usually the culprits when leaks are present. Squeeze the guttering to remove old, worn, cracked seals and replace them with new ones.

You can save a serious amount of money if you learn the basics of DIY gutter repair and cleaning.

When to Replace Gutters

Even if you’re an advanced DIY expert on how to repair and fix leaking gutters, the day will come when all your know-how enough. That’s why it helps to know when it’s time to call in the experts. Those signs usually show up as:

  • Water near the foundation
  • Visible areas of mildew near the foundation
  • Rust on the gutters
  • Gutters that have pulled away from the house
  • Sagging gutters
  • Structural damage to your home near or under gutters
  • Splits, cracks, and peeled paint anywhere on gutters

Catch Gutter Issues Early

Taking on the job of gutter cleaning and repair will, of course, help maximize the life of your home’s gutter system. But once you notice things like rust, water damage to your home, or mildew near the foundation, it’s almost certainly time to replace your gutters.

The earlier you catch problems, the lower your gutter repair cost will be. That’s because spotting things like leaking or cracked gutters before they do structural damage can be a huge money saver. At AmeriPro Roofing, we replace gutter systems on homes of all kinds, helping owners prevent thousands of dollars worth of structural damage. What many consumers don’t realize is that high-quality gutters are one of the best investments you can make for a home’s long-term health.

So, even if you know the basics about how to repair gutters on your home, how to fix leaking gutters, and how to do regular gutter cleaning, eventually you’re going to need new gutters. DIY solutions are not wasted effort, however, because they help homeowners maximize the life of their gutters. So before the heavy rains arrive this year, take the time to learn how to clean and how to repair gutters on your home. It’s time well spent.


Gutters and downspouts funnel water off of the roof and away from the home. If your gutters are clogged and poorly maintained, it can lead to a host of problems that can affect your roof, walls, foundation, and landscape. Looking for a solution on high-quality aluminum gutters, gutter guards or just looking for installation services? We’ve got you covered. Contact us today for your free inspection!

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