What Makes a Gutter Drip?

Leaking gutters can cause huge problems for your property even if the damage does not seem extensive at first. From destroying your fascia and soffit to causing flooding and running your home’s foundations, leaking gutters can lead to some pretty hefty repair costs. 

As a homeowner, it is important to understand what might cause your gutters to leak and how you can fix them if the worst does happen. 

Why Might My Gutters Leak? 

There are several both environmental and structural issues that can cause your gutters to leak, such as: 

Cracks and Holes 

Gutters are usually made from strong material, however even the sturdiest of materials can be prone to damage, causing cracks and holes to appear through the system due to weathering.  

Improperly Sealed Joints 

The joints connecting the sections of gutter can start to separate over time. 


As they’re situated outside, gutters are prone to clogging up with leaves, dirt and debris if not cleaned frequently. Find out how often to clean your gutter system here. 

Loose Fasteners 

The fasteners that attach your gutters to the fascia boards, such as nails, screws or hangers, can become loose over time, resulting in small leaks developing in these areas and water subsequently leaking from the rear of the gutter. 

Improper Slope 

Gutters are usually installed with a slight downward slope to help with the water flow. However, the gutter system can sag over time which reduces this downward slope and can cause a build up of water in the gutter system. 

Signs of a Leaking Gutter 

If you know what to look for, it can be easy to identify a leaking gutter and fix the problem before it becomes too big and costly. Signs of a leaking gutter can include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Peeling paint underneath the gutters 
  • Water marks and stains underneath the gutters 
  • Flooding in and around your home or garden 
  • Old timber fascia and soffits are deteriorating 
  • Damp or damaged interior walls 
  • Sagging and stains on your interior ceiling 
  • Patches of greenery and thriving plants underneath your gutters 

How Do You Fix a Leaking Gutter? 

The way in which you fix a leaking gutter will depend entirely on the cause. For the causes mentioned above, the easiest and most relevant fixes are as follows: 

Clogs – if you’re fairly certain your leakage is caused by clogging and debris rather than damage or wear and tear, the first step here is to clean your gutter. This will mean your gutter system is free of debris and water can flow through the system as it should, stopping the leaks. 

Cracks and Holes – if there are cracks and holes in your gutter system, you can repair these by using sealant or caulk to make them watertight. For a more long-lasting solution, you could use roofing cement to patch any cracks up, making sure to apply this on a warm day so it dries sooner. 

Improper Joints – the solution here is also to remove the old sealant and replace with new in order to make the joints watertight. 

Improper Slope - if the issue is due to an improper or sagged slope, the solution could be to rehang the gutter. Although this can be time consuming, it is worth it to prolong the life of your gutters further. 

Loose Fasteners – there are a few options if the leak is due to loose fasteners. You could with replace the fasteners completely, which we would recommend if you can spare the time and money. For a quick fix though, you can always use sealant or caulk around the fasteners to make them watertight, which will be a shorter-term solution but should still last a fair while. 

Keeping Your Gutters in Good Shape 

The best way to avoid a leaking gutter in the future is to keep your gutters in good condition long before this happens. There are several maintenance activities you can perform periodically to keep your gutters healthy. 

  • Clean your gutters twice per year, removing fallen leaves and dirt – you can find out more about how to clean your gutters here. 
  • Install leaf guards to prevent blockages 
  • Sweep leaves off your property roof to stop them falling into the gutters 
  • Inspect the gutters for cracks frequently 

Shop our range of gutter accessories here, or for more information, get in touch with our expert team.