Gutters are exposed to many elements like water which cause rust, but a rusted gutter repair can lengthen its lifespan. The disadvantage of rust is that it spreads to the rest of the gutters, weakening the entire system.
Rust happens due to the oxidation of materials like steel and aluminum and reduces the aesthetics and function of the entire system. However, don’t worry much about rusted gutters because you can repair them.
Before understanding how to repair these gutters, let us first look at how the rust develops and the different ways to fix it.
How Rust Happens
Rust results from the reaction between oxygen, water, and specific metals like steel and iron. Untreated rust eats at the metal, creating holes and weakening the entire structure. With time, the rusted material disintegrates and can fall apart.
Rusted metals have brown patches, which reduce aesthetics. People associate rusting with aging, so the steel gutters will look aged and reduce the home’s value.
Today’s metals have a special rust-resistant paint which lengthens their longevity and increases their durability. However, certain buildings, such as those along the coast, are very vulnerable to rusting because of the atmosphere’s high humidity and salt concentration.
Effects of Rusted Gutters
Gutters are the primary drainage system of the home, and they perform a vital role in keeping the roof dry. Some adverse effects homeowners get from rusted gutters are:
- Roof Leaks
An ineffective gutter system leads to other roofing problems like leaks and expedited wear and tear. Furthermore, the failure of the water to drain from the shingles keeps them wet, and the dampness seeps slowly into the inner parts.
Wetness on wooden rafters and seams cause swelling, which could lead to rot. The swelling spreads to other roof parts, weakening the entire system. Also, water on the insulation and underlayment causes fast disintegration, reducing the roof’s effectiveness.
- Reduce Aesthetics
Rust is associated with aging, and it reduces the home’s aesthetics by making it look older. The rust on the gutters can also spread to the metal sheets, fascia, and soffits, causing more damage.
When purchasing gutter materials, ensure the steel materials are treated with anti-rust paint to ensure they don’t react with oxygen and water.
How to Repair Rusted Gutter
The steps regarding how to repair rusted gutters depend on the extent of the damage. If the rust is minor, you can do away with it by cleaning the gutters. Start by removing the debris because it will clog the gutters forcing water to overflow on the gutter’s surface.
When climbing up to the gutters, use a sturdy ladder and the proper safety gear like shoes with good grip to avoid falls.
Minor rust can be removed by scrubbing. Use a wire brush to remove the brown patches. However, avoid applying a lot of pressure to prevent further damage.
Once the gutter is clean, apply a rust-resistant coat on the entire system to avoid future rust. You can also paint the drain to create a barrier between the material, water, and oxygen.
Dealing With Severe Rust On Gutters
Homes along the coast commonly suffer from rust because of the high salt concentration and humidity in the atmosphere. Steel and metal gutters suffer more serious rust because the rust quickly spreads to other parts.
If the rust has spread to the entire gutter system, consider replacing the gutters with more rust-resistant materials. Leaving them on the roof could lead to more severe problems.
As well, entirely rusted gutters lower the home’s value and are aesthetically unappealing. Replacing the gutters with another material will give the house a new look and increase the value.
However, if the rusting is not widespread, there is a remedy. Check if the gutters suffer rust corrosion. It happens when the rust is more severe and eats through the gutter material, leaving holes.
The holes cause gutter leaks which can destroy the house’s foundation. You can use roofing cement or liquid rubber on the sides of the hole. Cut a small piece of metal flashing and stick it on the hole surrounded by the rubber. Hold the metal until it completely attaches.
Although the small metal patches will be visible, they will increase the gutter’s longevity. However, avoid using pieces of metal that are too big because they can prevent water from flowing.
Contact an Installer
Do not stop communicating with your gutter installer after they have finished their job. Keeping in touch with contractors is crucial because they will come in handy whenever you need a gutter inspection.
Besides, they have extensive knowledge about gutters and will advise if they notice signs of rusting.
Also, avoid doing gutter repairs by yourself if you have an installer. It will cost you a small fee to hire them again, but their services are worth the cost.
Before hiring a gutter specialist, ensure they have the proper qualification certificates. These include license and insurance. Insurance helps you get compensation if an accident happens as the installer works.
Ensure you also read your manufacturer’s warranty requirements before a repair.
Gutters rust over time, and rusted gutter repair is easy to do. Whether you decide to repair or replace the gutters will depend on the extent of the damage. Luckily, this guide will help you select the best solution for your rusted gutters.
Contact us for more guidance on rusted gutter repair and connect with installers.