A loose downspout is a common problem with a straightforward fix—even for brick houses
Difficulty: 4/5 Only DIY if you know what you’re doing
Time to Complete: 1 to 2 hours
Are your gutter downspouts blowing around in bad weather? They might be disconnected from your home’s brick siding. Many homeowners are all too familiar with this infamous rattle. Fortunately, it’s something that can—and should—be fixed.
This guide tells you how to attach a gutter downspout to brick—whether you have copper gutters, vinyl gutters, galvanized steel gutters, or the ever-popular aluminum gutters.
What You’ll Need
Downspout straps or clips
3/16-inch carbide tip drill bit (for 1/4 inch concrete screws)
5/32-inch carbide tip drill bit (for 3/16 inch masonry screws)
Sheet metal screws
Hex head nut driver bit or Phillips screwdriver bit (depending on the screw)
Decorative downspout strap or clips (optional)
Protective gloves and eyewear
How to Attach a Gutter Downspout to Brick
Not familiar with downspouts? They’re the drainage system that runs vertically between the rain gutters at the top of your house and the ground above your foundation. An essential part of your gutter system, downspouts actively prevent water damage by directing rainwater and snowmelt away from your home. Sometimes, downspouts can loosen from the brick, and water won’t drain properly.
Here’s how you can reattach them.
1. Choose the Right Downspout Straps or Clips
Downspout straps and clips, which hold the pipe in place against your brick, come in different shapes and materials. Straps are usually thin and malleable sheets of metal. Clips, which are similar to gutter hangers, are either made from plastic or metal. They typically have a specific shape that needs to match your style of gutter.
For example, half-round gutters usually have a downspout with a more rounded shape, so you’ll want to pick a rounded downspout clip. K-style gutters usually have a gutter with a square shape, so you’ll want to use a square clip. With downspout straps, you’ll just want to match your gutter color and material.
2. Secure the Downspout to the Gutter
Sometimes a loose downspout is a symptom of another problem. When a downspout separates from the gutter, it puts tension on the straps. This can cause your downspout to separate from the wall over time. You’ll need to secure the connection to fix the problem.
Take a look at where your downspout connects to the gutter. A proper installation will use a gutter outlet. Sometimes, though, a contractor will cut a gutter into flaps and attach the downspout to the flaps—which is prone to leaks and separation. Regardless, you may need to tighten or replace the downspout screws and seal the seams with gutter sealant. If you don’t have a gutter outlet, consider installing one to prevent future problems.
3. Drill Holes for Downspout Straps or Clips
Use your carbide-tip drill bit to drill holes in the brick for the downspout clips or straps. For clips, you’ll have to drill a pilot hole on either side of the downspout. For straps, you’ll drill one hole in the center, place the pipe over the strap, and wrap the strap around the pipe. Your holes should be 1/2 inch deeper than you expect your screw to penetrate and:
Six inches down from the top of your downspout
Six inches up from the bottom of your downspout
If you don’t have a seamless gutter, you may want to install additional straps for each section. Clean out each hole with a wire brush. Always wear safety gear when drilling into masonry.
4. Use Concrete Screws to Attach Downspout to Gutter
It’s time to screw your downspout straps or clips into the brick using concrete screws and a hex-head nut driver bit or Phillips screwdriver bit. Be careful not to over-torque the screws, or they won't be able to hold the strap securely. If you’re using clips that have holes on either side of the gutter:
Place the clip around your gutter
Align the holes in the clip with the pilot holes in the brick
Screw a concrete screw into each hole
Once the screws are secure and the clip is snug against the gutter and wall, your job is done.
If you’re using a downspout strap, it requires a little additional work:
Prescrew a hole into the middle of the strap
Align the strap’s hole with the pilot hole you made in step three
Screw the strap into the brick wall with a concrete screw
Proceed to step five
5. Fasten the Downspout Strap (If Not Using Clips)
Slide the downspout over the downspout strap. Wrap the downspout strap around the downspout. The strap should be tight against the pipe, and the pipe should be flush against the brick wall. Place one final sheet metal screw into the center of where the straps overlap. This will keep the strap secure.
Follow these steps until you’ve installed every downspout strap or clip. If you’re using downspout straps that are fairly bare-bones, you may want to install decorative straps on top using the steps.
DIY Gutter Attachment vs. Hiring a Pro
If you’ve ever had gutter problems, the importance of properly installing a gutter downspout on brick is clear. Anytime you’re drilling into the exterior of your house, you should probably hire a professional gutter repair contractor unless you really know what you’re doing. It seems simple, but if you drill into brick the wrong way, you can ruin your masonry. An improper installation can also lead to water damage or freeze damage.
FAQ About Attaching Gutter Downspout to Brick
What should I do if I have a sagging gutter?
Sagging gutters stress your downspout, so have it fixed before you secure your downspout.
My downspout isn’t draining properly, and I have overflowing gutters. What should I do?
You may have a clogged gutter. Downspouts can also clog if your gutter collects too much debris. Hire a professional gutter cleaner, and if you still have problems, install a gutter guard (which prevents debris from entering your gutter system) and a downspout extension (which helps drain water further away from your foundation, so it doesn't pool near your house). Follow these tips to keep your gutter downspouts clean.
Can I use a regular drill for making pilot holes in brick?
You can use a regular drill to make pilot holes for gutter brackets in the wooden fascia board around the top of your house, but it’s not the best tool for brick. You’ll need a heavy-duty power tool like a hammer drill with a carbide tip bit.