How to Repair Sagging Gutters in 7 Simple Steps

It may be time for your gutters to shed some excess weight

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated July 5, 2022
Modern home with new black gutters
Photo: TheCreativeBrigade / Adobe Stock
Difficulty

Intermediate

Perfect for handy homeowners.

Time to complete

2 hours

It depends on the length of the sagging gutters.

Cost

$25

Keep it wallet-friendly.

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What you'll need:

TOOLS

  • Ladder
  • Hammer
  • Power drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Gutter tool or small trowel to remove debris
  • Gloves

SUPPLIES

  • Waterproof or outdoor caulk
  • Gutter screws
  • Gutter spikes

Properly functioning gutters are essential to your home's drainage system. If yours are sagging, the best thing to do is address the situation sooner rather than later. Waiting may result in more damage that eventually compromises your gutters completely, leading to undesirable outcomes such as basement floods or rainwater getting in through your roof.

In this how-to guide, learn how to repair sagging gutters using different techniques depending on the issue you're experiencing.

  1. Identify the Cause of Your Sagging Gutters

    Different circumstances can cause your rain gutters to sag. Some of the more common causes for sagging gutters include:

    • Placing a ladder against them (such as when you're hanging holiday lights or working on the roof)

    • Leaves or debris build-up in your gutters

    • Heavy rain or snowfall

    • Ice freezing in your gutters

    The problem with sagging gutters is they can eventually become totally blocked or broken, which prevents rainwater or melted snow/ice from going through your downspouts into specified channels in (or near) your yard. 

    When water builds up near your home, it can seep through the foundation. If it's collecting in pools on your roof, it could also damage your home's roof or siding. You can hire someone to clean your gutters, or tackle it yourself if you’re DIY savvy and comfortable being on a ladder.

  2. Practice Good Ladder Safety

    If you're diagnosing or repairing your sagging aluminum gutters DIY, you'll need to climb up on a ladder to check out what's going on. (If not, a local gutter repair specialist can check it out for you.)

    Make sure you're feeling up to this task, that you check your ladder to make sure it's functioning before climbing, and that you set the ladder in a secure, sturdy position (preferably away from the gutter).

    It's always recommended that you climb with someone at the base of the ladder to hold it. Be very careful if there's ice or snow on the ground when climbing on your ladder.

  3. Inspect Your Fascia Board

    Gutters attach to the fascia board, which is the long piece of wood that closes off your attic and attaches to the side of your home. 

    Loose nails or screws hanging from your fascia board may be the issue causing your gutters to sag. But if the entire length of your gutters is sagging or falling off, you may need to replace the entire gutter and the fascia board. Long-term water damage can cause it to rot or fall apart.

  4. Clean Out All Debris

    Person cleaning leaves out of the gutter
    Photo: Photographee.eu / Adobe Stock

    This should be at least an annual project already (if not two or three times per year). Either way, remove all debris, such as leaves, pine needles, branches, snow, and dirt from your gutters before proceeding.

    The weight of this build-up could be what's causing your gutters to sag in the first place. Even if it isn't, you'll need clear space to work in your gutters for the next few steps to fix the issue.

    If your gutters are so packed with debris that you're afraid of damaging them further, ask a local gutter cleaner for help.

  5. Fix or Replace Your Gutter Spikes

    Some gutters use long spikes that run through the front of the gutter, and out the backside and attach into the fascia board. Also known as gutter nails, they're known to be quite durable and strong. But even the best types of gutter spikes eventually can wear down or come loose, causing your gutters to sag.

    Gutter spikes are most likely to sag when heavy rain or snow builds up in your gutters, putting excess force on them and pulling them loose. There are two methods for fixing or replacing gutter spikes.

    Replace (or Install Extra) Gutter Spikes

    This is probably the easiest technique for repairing sagging gutters. A box of gutter spikes costs around $12 at most home improvement stores.

    In the area where you see sagging from ground level, position a ladder on the side of your home. Clear all debris from your gutters first. Then, diagnose the state of your gutter spikes.

    • If they're just a little loose, you may be able to nail them back into the wall.

    • If they're rusted, broken, or bent, you may need to pull them away from the wall and install new spikes.

    If you decide to replace all your gutter screws, one should be installed every 2 to 3 feet along your gutters. (2  feet for northern climates where snow is imminent.)

    Install Gutter Screws 

    Gutter screws come in sizes such as 5, 7, and 8 inches, so you may need to measure your gutters first to see which is the right fit. They cost between $5 and $12 for a box.

    Repeat the same steps as above. Only this time, remove broken gutter spikes and replace with a gutter screw. You'll need a power drill for this.

  6. Repair or Replace Gutter Brackets

    Gutter brackets are the mounts that hook into the fascia board and hold the gutters up. Upon inspection, you may find some of these in the sagging areas are damaged or broken.

    To replace broken gutter brackets:

    • Use a screwdriver or power drill to remove screws holding the brackets to your fascia board.

    • Fill the holes with waterproof caulk and let dry for at least 4 hours.

    • Use a power drill to drill new holes directly above the old ones (this is important for sloping, which impacts drainage).

    • Install new brackets into these holes, then replace your gutter.

    A box of gutter brackets costs between $40 and $60. They typically come in packs of 30 or 50, but if you have a long section of gutter to repair, you may need more.

  7. Consider Installing New Gutters

    Cleaned black gutter on modern home
    Photo: Alex White / Adobe Stock

    Again, it's hard to overstate the importance of a well-functioning gutter system. Neglecting them could lead to costly damage to your home later on.

    If it's clear that your entire gutter system is damaged beyond simple repair, installing new gutters may be the best option for your situation. New gutters cost between $4 and $30 per linear foot, depending on materials being installed.

    Newer options, such as installing seamless gutters, which don't ever get clogged with debris, could be a good option if you aren't able to climb a ladder and de-leaf your drainage system a couple times a year.

Need professional help with your project?
Get quotes from top-rated pros.