How To Reinforce Your Aluminum Gutter
Aluminum gutters are very durable, but they need to be maintained over the years. Most gutter problems are a result of the mounting bracket screws getting loose. This usually happens when the wood on the fascia board becomes rotten. If the screws become loose and expose the wood grain, your fascia board can warp, swell and the paint can peel away. If your fascia board that ultimately holds the gutter is not strong, it will not be able to bear the weight from a moderate rain. This article explains how to remove your aluminum gutters, repair your fascia board and reattach the mounting brackets for a stronger gutter system.
Remove the Gutters
First, you need to remove your gutters safely, without damaging or bending them. This job usually takes a couple of people and two ladders. Since the gutter sections are usually over 10' long, you need one person at each end. And, if the gutter is full of leaves, dirt or water, you will need a third person in the middle. The gutter can be lifted up from the mounting brackets without using any tools.
Repairing the Mounting Brackets
Now, you should test the strength of each individual mounting bracket. Also, make sure that the wood around the screws is strong. If the paint is peeling, it could be a potential problem area. If the area around the bracket is compromised, you need to remove the screws and take the bracket down. At this point, you need to patch the wood with exterior wood filler. To do this you will need a putty knife, sandpaper and new screws. First, you need to sand the area around the brackets. Then spread the wood putty into the screw holes and in between any exposed wood grains. This helps to reinforce the wood and increase its load bearing capacity.
Once the putty dries completely, you need to sand it down so the patched area is smooth and flat. Then, you reattach the brackets with new screws. It is a good idea to use screws that are slightly longer than your existing screws. For instance, if the old screws were 1" long, use 1.5" screws when you reattach the brackets. If your old gutter is in tact and water tight, you can rehang it on the brackets with ease.
Aluminum gutters are durable, but they will only last as long as the fascia wood is strong, so contact a gutter professional, such as those at A - 1 Seamless Gutters Inc, if you are having any issues with the fascia or gutter.