Plastic, or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) gutters remain popular for removing rain water from the roof, and channelling it well away from building foundations. It’s a hard-wearing and easy-to-work-with product that makes for simpler maintenance and repairs too.
Unfortunately, as plastic ages through harsh weather extremes, leaks and cracks do develop. These are not uncommon around seams where gutters overlap or meet downpipes – fortunately, replacement plastic gaskets are easy to obtain and install. Don’t forget that cracks can be mended as well.
Before attempting any such repairs on your own, think safety first, and that’s not just for double-storey homes. Falling off ladders is quite a common occurrence, even among some professional tradesfolk!
Better still, why not find a gutter expert here on Mr-Skill and leave the repair to them.
Assessing the Damage
Check the extent of the damage by using a properly secured ladder, preferably with someone else on hand to stabilise it before you start climbing the rungs. Clear out all debris from the area around the leak or crack, using a hand brush and wet cloth to assist.
Likely as not, you can use roof cement, silicone or acrylic sealant to close off the damaged area. Apply the sealer on the inside of the gutter, and spread it around the leak area to ensure a watertight repair. You could also get a gutter replacement quote, if you feel the repair is too much to do yourself.
For larger holes and cracks, apply patches of duct tape inside the gutter around the leaking area, and then cover liberally with cement or sealant. If the repair area is extensive, you could also cut out the damaged area, and then make a vinyl patch to fit – making sure that you follow the gutter profile. Position the patch and seal it well.
More Serious Damage
Longer sections of gutter pipes should be replaced as required. Measure the run to be replaced from the gutter-end to the first join, and then trim your replacement section to fit. PVC guttering comes in 6-foot sections. Use a new gasket on joins if possible, unless you are happy with the seal from the old one.
One of our regular London gutter repairmen says that when it comes to downpipe leaks or cracks, it is probably best to replace the section completely. You can use vinyl even if the remaining gutters are metal-based. PVC pipes are available in the same diameters and profiles as these are.