How to Remove Rain Gutters

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A rain gutter protects a building from water, its worst enemy. A rain gutter is a trough that forms part of the roofing system to collect water that rolls off the roof, diverting it away from the building foundation. Gutters that are old, damaged or missing sections will not provide adequate drainage for rainwater, melting ice or snow. Rain gutters should be removed and replaced if they do not function efficiently.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • Tin snips
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Set up a ladder at the height to work safely at the level of gutters and downspouts. You should stand with your waist even with the top rung of the ladder and easily reach the rain gutter.

  • Cut the downspout support straps with tin snips. At the top of the downspout, where it connects to the gutter, unscrew the sheet metal screws that hold the downspout to the gutter. The downspout will fall to the ground.

  • Move the ladder to one end of the gutter and remove the sheet metal screws holding the gutter corner piece. Repeat this to remove all corner pieces.

  • Start at one end and locate the long nails that are driven through the gutter face into the facia board. Leave the end attachment nail in and move to the second nail. These are usually spaced about every 2 feet. Remove each long nail with a pry bar or claw hammer. Move down the gutter and remove each nail, one by one.

  • Move to the end where you started and remove the last nail. The gutter will fall to the ground. An assistant is helpful to hold the gutter so it does not damage the house or adjacent landscape when it falls.

Tips & Warnings

  • The nails that attach the gutter to the facia board are about 7 inches long; the nail goes through the gutter and about 2 inches of the nail goes into the wood. Dispose of the downspout and gutter pieces in compliance with construction debris removal ordinances.
  • It is safest to have an assistant present when working on a high ladder.

References

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