Gutter Leaks at Elbow: What Should You Do – Grand Haven Gutter Repair and Installation Experts Answer

by | Apr 30, 2024 | Gutters

Featured image of how to fix gutter leaks at elbows

Your gutters, while often overlooked, play a super important role in protecting your home from water damage. They carry rainwater away from your roof, ensuring it doesn’t seep into your walls, foundation, or basement. But what happens when your gutter system itself starts to leak?

 

Yes, gutter leaks can happen, and the elbows, where your gutters bend, are particularly common leak points due to the constant stress from water overflow, debris buildup, and weather exposure. If left unchecked, these leaks can cause significant damage over time.

So, when leaks do happen, it’s essential to address them promptly to keep your home safe and dry and avoid costly repairs down the line. Let’s explore the causes of gutter leaks at elbows and what you should do if you encounter them.

Troubleshooting: Identifying the Source of the Leak

Before you can fix your gutter leaks at elbows, you need to understand what’s causing them. Here are some of the most common culprits:

Infographic image of common causes of gutter leaks at elbows

Debris Buildup

If you haven’t been able to clean your gutters in spring, take a look. Leaves, twigs, and other debris buildup can create a blockage that prevents water from flowing freely. When water has nowhere to go, it puts a lot of extra pressure on the whole system, including those elbows, potentially leading to leaks. To avoid this problem, consider installing gutter guards.

Damage and Wear

Gutters take a beating from the elements. Dents from hail or falling branches, cracks due to freezing and thawing, or corrosion from exposure to moisture can all make the elbows fail. Even with careful maintenance, gutters simply age over time, and seals at joints can naturally weaken. These all create opportunities for water to leak out at the elbows.

Incorrect Installation

Sometimes, gutters aren’t installed quite right. Elbows might be connected at the wrong angle, causing them to leak where they meet. Loose connections or missing sealant create gaps for water to escape through. If you suspect incorrect installation might be the issue, it’s best to ask a Grand Haven gutter repair specialist to fix it for you.

DIY Fixes vs. Calling a Professional

Now that you know a bit more about what might be causing your gutter leaks at elbows, it’s time to decide whether you should fix it yourself or seek assistance from Grand Haven gutter installation and repair experts. Here’s how to assess the situation and make the right call:

 

    • Where is the leak? If the leaking elbow is easily reachable from a ladder or even the ground, it might be something you can repair yourself. But if it’s high up or in a tricky spot, safety should be your top priority.
    • How bad is the damage? A small hole or a loose joint might be fixable with some basic tools and materials. However, extensive damage, corrosion, or multiple leaks suggest a larger problem.
    • Do you feel up to the job? Be honest with yourself about your experience and comfort level. If working on gutters feels intimidating or outside your skillset, there’s no shame in reaching out for help.

When to DIY

For minor leaks that are easy to reach and fix, a DIY approach can be a cost-effective solution. Re-sealing the elbow joints with gutter sealant or tightening loose connections can often be done with readily available materials. Just make sure to follow safety precautions and thoroughly clean the area before applying any sealant.

When to Go Pro

There are times when calling a Grand Haven gutter repair and installation professional is the wiser and safer choice. Consider seeking help from experts if:

        • The damage is extensive, such as large cracks or significant corrosion.
        • The leak is located in a hard-to-reach area, requiring specialized equipment or expertise.
        • You’re unsure about the cause of the leak or how to properly repair it.
        • You simply don’t have the time, tools, or confidence to tackle the repair yourself.

Step-by-Step Guide for a DIY Fix

If you’ve decided to tackle gutter leaks at elbows yourself, follow this step-by-step guide to get the job done safely and effectively:

    1. Safety First. Before climbing up, choose a reliable, sturdy ladder. Set it up on a stable, level surface. Always make sure the ground is completely dry and your gutters have no standing water before starting work.
    2. Clean the Area. Clear out any leaves, twigs, or gunk clogging the gutter around the elbow. With a gloved hand or a scrub brush, remove old sealant residue, dirt, and grime. Rinse the gutter thoroughly and let it dry before proceeding.
    3. Inspect for Damage. Look closely for any signs of damage, such as cracks, holes, or corrosion, in the elbow itself or around the connecting area. If you find small cracks or holes, you might be able to patch them with a gutter sealant.
    4. Sealing the Leak. Apply the sealant generously to the inside of the elbow, making sure to cover any gaps or seams where water could potentially leak through. Use a caulking gun for precise application, and smooth out the sealant with a putty knife or your finger for a neat finish.

Leave the Repair to Professionals for Guaranteed Safety and Convenience

For guaranteed safety, convenience, and peace of mind, trust the experts at Shepherd Shoreline for all your Grand Haven gutter installation and repair needs. Our team of experienced technicians has the knowledge and skills to diagnose any gutter issue, recommend the best solutions, and give your home the protection it deserves. Contact us today at (231) 780-2847 or here to schedule an inspection and get your gutters flowing smoothly again.

 

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Address: 950 E. Broadway Ave, Norton Shores, MI 49444

Phone: (231) 780-2847

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