Gutter repairs are a pretty big part of the gutter cleaning market. While you will mostly deal with gutter cleaning, you will definitely come across a lot of gutter repairs. Gutter repairs are a must for any gutter cleaning business if you want to prevent yourself from losing jobs. Most people will not want to hire someone to clean their gutters and someone else to repair their gutters. Most understand that if it’s done at once, it will come out cheaper than if two separate companies come out. Also, gutter repair work is very simple and creates an awesome opportunity for upsells, allowing you to double the profit from a typical gutter cleaning job for not much extra time and effort. Below I will go over the types of gutter repairs you will be faced with. Once you understand them, you can decide which ones you want to do, or which ones you don’t want to be bothered with. I personally hate to do gutter repitching jobs so instead of dropping potential clients, I instead charge a ton more for those types of repairs. This way, if the client agrees, at least it’s more than worth the hassle for me.
Types of Gutter Repairs
Here I will list out and describe each type of gutter repair and what kind of tools/supplies you will need to get them done. I would suggest that you bring up the gutter system diagram so that you can better understand each type of repair. At the end of this section I will also link you to instructional videos/tutorials that will go into greater details about how to do these repairs as the simple descriptions might not be enough. Especially for you visual learners.
- Gutter Resecuring – Overtime some gutters may begin to separate from the fascia board that they are attached to. The fascia board is the wooden or aluminum board that is attached to the side of the house under the roof where most gutters are screwed into. If the fascia begins to decay from moisture, the screws or nails holding the gutters to it will begin to come out, causing the gutters to start to lean out and get loose. Once this happens, water will start to leak behind the gutters, or the gutters might come off completely and fall to the ground. Gutters also come loose from the fascia during bad winters when large ice dams form which weigh down the gutters enough to start pulling it from the fascia. This is one of the simplest repairs because of how easy it is. What you need to complete this repair is to buy some new gutter hangers, which will already come with screws attached to them. These hangers easily snap on the front and back of the gutter and then you just screw them in. Here are some additional notes about completing this repair. For all the different types of supplies/tools that I mention, I will go over what and where to get them later on in this section.
- Remove the old hangers that will no longer be used. They should just pop off.
- Get some gutter sealant. Seal the old holes where the old hangers used to go into. I know many people that don’t bother doing this, but I personally do because it prevents further damage to the fascia board from water getting inside.
- Don’t screw in the new hangers into the old hanger holes. Make new ones for best strength.
- Dab some sealant over the top of the new screw that you just screwed in, to prevent any water from getting in the fascia. Again, I know of many that don’t bother doing this, but I like to go the extra step.
- Gutter Repitching – Repitching the gutter is the process of changing the angle of a gutter piece to correct water flow. Water flow is always supposed to go towards the nearest downspout so it can drain to the ground. If the pitch of the gutter is compromised, then water can begin to pool, or even flow the wrong way. This causes overflows which can cause damage to the home. These type of problems are usually caused by ice dams in the winter that throw off the pitch of the gutter due to the extra weight on the gutters. Also if a gutter wasn’t cleaned in years and there was a lot of debris in it, it could eventually cause the gutter to shift. Repitching a gutter is one of the more time consuming repairs because you have to unscrew the whole gutter from the fascia, fix the angle, and then screw it back in. This can also be a one man repair if you first unscrew half the gutter, angle it properly, screw it in, and then match up the other half. You can use the existing hangers, but I recommend that you get a few new ones to make sure the gutter is properly reinforced to the fascia. I also like to patch up all the old holes with a good sealant to prevent fascia damage caused over time by water getting in.
- Replacing or Reattaching Gutter Pieces – Sometimes people will call you to have missing gutter pieces replaced or put back up if they have fallen off. Here is a list of gutter system pieces that you might be requested to replace.
- Downspouts – This is the pipe going down the side of the home that connects to the top gutters and allows the water to drain to the ground. If it’s missing, you will have to replace it which means getting a piece or two of downspouts, a couple straps and some screws. Usually the elbow that connects the downspout to the top gutters will be there. If not, you will also need an elbow or two. If the downspout fell off the house but is still there, as long as it’s in relatively good condition you will be able to put it back up with a couple straps and some screws. We will talk about the best places to get these things later on in this section.
- Elbows – Sometimes the downspout will still be attached to the home, but will disconnect from the top of the gutter. This can be a simple pop in and screw in job, or it might require you replacing a top elbow that connects to the downspout to the gutters system. Either way, this is a simple repair job.
- Straps – Straps hold the downspouts to the house. If the downspout is still attached to the home, but is loose, this most likely means that you have to just get a couple new straps and screw the downspout to the home.
- Gutter Sections – If a section of the gutter comes off and is still in good shape, you can put it back up with some new hangers. If this gutter connects to other gutters, you will also have to properly seal the connecting points so that water doesn’t leak through. You can see how to do that in some of the videos below. Now if the gutter section that broke off is too damaged to place back up, I normally don’t take on these repairs and leave it for the gutter installation companies. The reason why is because prerolled gutters that you can buy at the hardware store are normally of a different shade, tint and quality. You don’t want to be doing a patch job that stands out like a sore thumb and is of lower quality. Let the gutter companies come out and roll out the pieces needed with their gutter machines using higher quality aluminum coils. There are gutter installation companies that do come out and roll out gutter for you if needed, but for a repair this is not worth it for you or for the gutter installation company.
Video Example – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXWyujQXb-s
- Leaking Endcaps – Sometimes you will get someone telling you that the gutter is dripping at the ends. If this is not due to a clogged downspout, then this is usually due to the seals being broken on the end caps causing the water to get through. This is a super simple fix that requires you to reseal the endcaps. Once you feel it’s fully sealed you can test it out by running some water through it. I usually like to bring a jug of water up with me to have some controlled water flow testing.
Doing repairs will make more sense and be much simpler if you watch a few videos on how gutters are installed from start to finish. Check these out and then try to find some more –
Let’s look at the different types of tools and supplies you will need to complete gutter repairs.
- A drill with a bit set. I personally prefer the Milwaukee brand. I recommend getting a drill with at least two batteries so that you could switch them out and not risk having a dead drill on a job site. Also, a driver bit set like this one will guarantee that you never have a problem with any screws that you’re working with – http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-SHOCKWAVE-Impact-Duty-Driver-Bit-Set-35-Piece-48-32-4001/205335463 and this is the drill set I got for myself once I made enough money from doing cleaning jobs – http://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M18-18-Volt-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Drill-Driver-Impact-Driver-Combo-Kit-2-Tool-2691-22/100650378
- Elbows, Endcaps, Downspouts and Hangers can all be purchased on demand as needed at your local Home Depot, Lowes or hardware store. Once you are doing a steady amount of repair jobs, I would recommend opening an account with a gutter supply store. This will allow you to get these same pieces but at a much better quality and a dramatically reduced price when purchasing in bulk. To open an account with a local gutter supply store you will just need to tell them that you have a gutter machine. They will also have the best sealant for gutters.
- Get a hammer for the old school gutters that have nailed in anchors instead of the screw in types. What I normally do with these gutters is walk the full gutter system and hit each nail with the hammer to put it fully back in. Then I insert a new screw in hanger every 8 ft to fully secure the gutter and keep it from popping back out in a short period of time.
How To Price Gutter Repairs
There’s no set pricing model that I have come up with for gutter repairs because of how much each job varies. I also like to take in account the severity of the damage that can be caused if the repair isn’t completed. The more scary the truth is, the more you can charge. Especially if you are already on-site doing the cleaning. It’s important to know the many reasons why a repair should be done as soon as possible so you can properly explain the consequences to the customer, which will lead to more sales. Yes, this can be seen as fear tactics and many might be uncomfortable with that. BUT it’s also the truth and a small repair job will prevent potentially thousands of dollars of damage to the home, so I look at it as doing them a favor. Before we get into pricing, let’s look at the different types of consequences that come with not fixing leaks and overflows.
- Eroding of your foundation
- Water leaking into your basement
- Mold and mildew growth
- Termites, bees and other pests & critter infestation
- Rotting wood
- Landscaping getting destroyed
- Roof leaking
- Walls leaking
- Larger ice dams building
You will get two different types of people that are looking for repairs. The ones that want only repair work done, and people who want both gutter cleaning and repair work done together. If they want to get gutter cleaning and repair done, I normally run them through the gutter cleaning quote pitch and let them know that gutter repairs require an on-site quote, but that because they are doing a cleaning with us, the repair will be cheaper than normal. This way, at least you can get the cleaning job if the repair job isn’t worth doing or something that you won’t be able to do once you assess it on-site. While I don’t usually give them a repair quote over the phone, I do usually give them a range that it might fall into so that they at least have an idea of the cost. If they want just a repair done, I will always quote them over the phone because I don’t think it’s worth going out to do on-site estimates for small paying jobs if there’s a risk I won’t get it.
If the repair job is in addition to the gutter cleaning, these are the typical ranges that I normal stick to depending on the size of the repair job and how much supplies I need to use –
- Resecuring gutters – $50 to $150.
- Gutter Repitching – $150 to $200. (I tend to charge more than most for this since I don’t like to do them due to the amount of time they take.)
- Gutter Reattachment (using existing gutter pieces) – $50 to $100
- Gutter Downspout Replacement – $100 to $150 per downspout.
- Resecuring Downspouts with new Straps or Sealing end caps – $50 per downspout or end cap.
Here are the ranges if they want me to come out just to do a repair and no gutter cleaning.
- Resecuring gutters – $150 to $250.
- Gutter Repitching – $225 to $325. (I tend to charge more than most for this since I don’t like to do them due to the amount of time they take.)
- Gutter Reattachment (using existing gutter pieces) – $150 to $200.
- Gutter Downspout Replacement – $150 to $200 per downspout.
- Resecuring Downspouts with new Straps or Sealing end caps – $125 per downspout or end cap.
Just because this is what I charge doesn’t mean that you should charge the same amounts. It might be worth it for you to come out for a lot less once you start doing repairs and see how the process works. Maybe you’ll want to and can get away with charging much more. As I mentioned previously, always test your pricing and make it worthwhile for you. Afterall, if you’re coming out for less than you want, your work will suffer. If you charge prices that are considered very high, at least you know that the customer is going to get 100% of your effort and time since you are happy to do the job at the right price for you.