How to replace a gutter corner
Gutters are a vital component of any home. They help protect your exterior from water damage, and they also provide aesthetic beauty. Over time gutters can age or become damaged from weather conditions such as hail storms, heavy winds, or even being struck by falling branches or tree limbs. A common problem that occurs with gutters is when the corner becomes detached and falls off during a storm event because it wasn’t properly secured in place, to begin with. This article will go over how you can easily replace your own gutter corners at an affordable price!
Clean the gutter and remove any debris
To replace a gutter corner, you will first need to remove the old clip. Before replacing your gutter corner, you will want to make sure that there is no debris or other buildup attached to it. Look out for any rotten wood, mold and fungus growth, tree roots, nails or screws from trim work, straps of weather stripping, etc. If you notice any of these issues, it is best to clean the area out and cut out the rotten wood before proceeding with replacing your corner. If you cut out the rotten wood, and there isn’t any damage to the rest of your gutter, reusing the old piece might be possible.
To remove mold or fungus growth, you will need a mild cleaning solution followed by freshwater rinsing. Mold does not like to grow in oxygen-rich environments, so if you simply rinse or lightly wipe out all of the water, and leave the area dry you should be able to prevent future mold growth. If you have a cleaning solution that is harmful to plants (bleach), make sure that you do not use it on your gutter because it could damage any trees or vegetation growing near it!
To clean the rest of the area, you can use a solution that is 50% white vinegar and water. White vinegar helps to break down mildew buildup while leaving your gutters smelling fresh!
Separate the corner from the old gutter by cutting it apart with a saw
You will now need to disconnect the old corner from the gutter itself. Look at your gutter and see where it is fastened together. You should notice that there are a couple of nails or screws holding each side of the metal down. Once you locate these, be sure to remove them!
Once you have removed all of the pieces holding your gutter corner in place, you will need to separate the old piece from the new one. You will want to cut through the metal on either side at an angle (you can use a handsaw or reciprocating saw). Make sure that you don’t just hit it with a hammer because doing so could cause the metal shavings to enter the gutter, and this could clog your system. Once you have separated the two pieces, you will be able to remove your old corner.
Measure and cut a new piece of metal to fit in the space where you want to install your new corner
If you are only replacing one corner, then you will want to measure the side of your gutter that is damaged. You can measure the length and width, and figure out how much metal you need for both sides of the replacement. If you’re having difficulty figuring it out using measurements alone, mark the area with painter’s tape and actually draw out what the replacement will be.
The reason you would want to do this is that it allows you to visualize just how big your new gutter corner needs to be, and not accidentally purchase one that doesn’t fit correctly. It also ensures that if something does happen in the future (the piece becomes damaged again), you will be able to find a replacement that is the exact same size (if you write down or take pictures of your measurements).
If you are replacing multiple pieces, measure each one individually and then add them together. To do this, use a yardstick and mark off several areas from the end of one measurement so that you have different lengths to write down. You can then average out the measurements to figure out how long your replacement pieces need to be.
If you are having trouble getting a straight line or measuring correctly, you can use a measuring tape that has 1/16th of inch lines on it (a professional one would have 1/32nd). This will allow you to be more accurate with your measurements, and get them done faster!
Purchasing a new gutter corner is fairly simple. You will need to visit a local hardware store or home improvement center with the measurements for what you need. If you’re unsure of how long the replacement needs to be, it is best to ask an employee before you buy anything.
When you get to the store, you will need to look for a replacement piece that is sold in either square or rectangular shapes (most are sold this way). You can then choose what material you want it to be made out of (galvanized steel, aluminum, etc.). If at all possible try not to chose aluminum, as it might not hold up well over time, and it is more expensive than the other options. Most stores will have a display or model of what they carry which you can use to compare sizes with your measurements. Buy the piece that best fits your needs!
Drill holes into both ends of your new metal piece
Once you have your new square or rectangular-shaped piece of metal, you will need to drill holes on each side. You will want to measure out how far apart the old corners were in relation to each other (regularly spaced). This should give you a good idea about how far apart you want your replacement corners to be.
Make sure that the holes you drill are on the outside edge of where your gutter is located, so you have enough space to slide the piece in between them. If you drill them too far in, there will not be enough room for it and the old piece will scrape against both pieces when it rains! Once you figure out how wide your gutter is, add 1/16th of an inch to the measurement. This should give you a good idea about where the holes on each side should be drilled for a snug fit.
If you are unsure how far in you want them, just place one end into the old hole first, and move it around until it fits snugly into place. Once it’s in, place your tape measure over the end of the metal and try to mark where that edge is on the inside of the gutter. Remove a cutaway at least that much metal from both sides, so you will have room for some extra length if needed.
If you are taking measurements from an old piece, make sure to add some extra room to allow for any wear or tear that might have happened over time.
You can use a drill press if you have one available for these holes, as it will give you much more accurate than using a regular hand-held drill. If you are unsure where to drill your holes, put an old gutter corner on the end of a stick or broom handle and try to mark out where everything is so you get it right. When drilling metal, be sure to use something thick (like wood or plastic) that will support it well enough so it doesn’t bend and your holes come out even.
Use screws, nails, or staples
Once you have the holes drilled out, place your replacement piece of metal over the end and start to hammer a few screws or nails into both sides. Make sure that they are going in at an angle so it has more surface area to hold on to. Don’t go too crazy with them, as you don’t want to overdo it or crack/break the metal. Just get them in there good enough so they will hold on their own when used. The same goes for using staples!
Once all of your screws, nails, and staples are in place, go back around and make sure that everything is secure. Sometimes it’s hard to know when you have them in there good enough, so one extra person helping can be very useful. Grab your tape measure and make sure that the gutter corners are able to slide underneath them at least 1/16th of an inch on each side. If they slide under easily, then you need to go back and add some more nails or screws. If they don’t slide under, then you should remove them a bit until they will.
The whole idea is to make sure that the new gutter corners have enough support and will be able to hold up well when it rains. If they do not have room underneath, they won’t catch all of the water from your roof, which could be a problem!