Fixing gutters: It’s harder than it looks

Trent Ernst, Editor


This past week, on one of the token nice summer days we’ve been having this year, I finally got around to repairing my loose gutters.

The gutters, if you recall, have pulled away from the roof. A few weeks ago my daughter and I headed up onto the roof to clean out the gutters so that any rain wouldn’t further damage the gutters.

This worked, and the gutters stayed in place during last week’s torrential deluge, but come winter, the pressure of snow and ice might damage them further, so they need to be re-attached before then.

I am not the handiest of handymen, but the internet is my friend, so armed with enough knowledge to be dangerous, I headed out and up once more.

Gutter hangers are fairly simple devices, and have mostly replaced the old fashioned spikes. They are pieces of plastic that both hold up the gutter and reinforce it.

The plan is to simply remove the screw, slide the hanger over a few inches and reattach it. Even I should be able to manage this.

The problem is the screws. I don’t know if this is normal for gutters, but the ones at my place have no tip. This means that instead of being able to just punch them through the metal of the gutter and into the wood beyond, I have to break out the drill and drill a guide hole for the screws.

The other issue is that the side of the house the gutter has pulled away from is the side nearest to the neighbours fence. We have wood stacked along this fence, meaning that the ladder is standing nearly vertical and if I’m not leaning forward, it starts falling backwards.

So, what should have only taken a few hours has turned into a multi-day project. Which means that I haven’t even got around to caulking the corner joint, which has also become separated. We’ll get onto that sometime this week. Stay tuned to find out how that goes….