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GUtter Joint Breakage On Your Michigan Home

Sense a leak in your gutters, but don't know the source? It could be gutter joint separation. See why that happens and how you can fix it here.

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When you notice your rain gutter joints disconnecting and falling apart on your beautiful Michigan home, it can be hard to figure out what your next steps are. This problem if left unrepaired can destroy curb appeal, and worst of all, fail to adequately drain water away from your home’s foundation. 

At FSM, we can help find the source for your gutter joint breakage and effectively repair it to avoid damage in the future. First, let’s walk through what gutter joints are, and how they can get damaged.

What Are Gutter Joints? 

When your gutters are installed, sections are joined together to create a whole gutter system that pans across the entire edge of your roof.  

Gutter joints, alternatively known as gutter “seams” connect these separate sections of gutter, that are connected using either a gutter joint connector or some form of gutter caulk or sealant. 

This part of your gutter is more vulnerable to damage or breakage because it’s not a whole piece, but two pieces of gutter being held together. 

Common Signs of Failing Michigan Gutter Joints  

This type of damage can appear even if you have new gutters. If your gutter joints have any of these characteristics or look like these examples, you may have a disconnected or leaking gutter joint.  When your gutter joint breaks, cracks, or separates, you may start noticing these problem signs below. 

  • Unevenness 
  • One end of your gutter is pointing downward, draining the water 
  • Your gutter appears crumbled 
  • Your gutter appears normal, but water is trickling around or down the side of your home 

Why Are My Gutter Seams or Gutter Joints Leaking? 


It’s common for many homeowners to accidentally break their gutters without knowing it by doing routine maintenance throughout the year. Whether it’s putting up holiday lights or decorations, or just autumn gutter cleaning, using too much force can break your gutter system. 

Ladders are the main culprit for this breakage. If your ladder is leaning on your gutter, be careful not to lean in too heavily or apply too much pressure . Ladders can break even seamless gutters; however, gutters with seams are more fragile. Step ladders tend to be the most effective at preventing gutter breakage; the a-frame structure allows it to support itself without leaning on your gutter and breaking the seam. 

Ice Formation 

During frigid Michigan winters, ice may begin to form in your gutter. This will cause splitting and cracking as ice expands, which eventually weighs down your gutter. To prevent this from happening, you can pre-salt your gutters before a big snow just like you would with your driveway or walkways. If ice has already started to form, you can use a warm saltwater mixture to apply to the ice which should speed up the melting process. 

Too Much Debris 

Too much debris collected in your gutter can clog  and weigh it down after a period of time. When leaves, branches, nuts from trees, and even animal nests take root in your gutters; it can cause your joints to deteriorate. Too much debris can cause blockages in your gutter, leading to water buildup . As rain pours and collects in one area , the weight of the water pressure can crack and break the gutter. 

Animals Or Bugs Nesting In Your Gutter System 

Birds, hornets, wasps, squirrels, and many other creatures can settle down in your gutter for shelter. When this occurs, your gutters are vulnerable to continued damage. Bugs and pests can aid in deteriorating the seam in your gutter, or even disconnect or move the joint connector as they build their nests. 

Rust On Metal Gutters 

Metal gutters, as opposed to vinyl gutters, are specifically susceptible to seam or joint damage because of rust. Since the metal gutter material is exposed to water on a frequent basis, it can get trapped around the joint and eventually rust. This is specifically common in aluminum gutters. Alternatively, specialty gutters made of copper or Galvalume® are rust-proof.  


Caulk is an important maintenance step for your gutters. Caulk can help prevent rust, debris, critters, and mold from further developing in the joint of your gutter. It also helps aid in preventing gutter leaks. 

Your gutter installers should have already caulked your gutter seams for you. However, this caulk can deteriorate over time, or just plain not work if the caulk was installed poorly. When certified field inspectors with FSM complete a free inspection of your home and gutters, they can help determine if caulk is part of your gutters’ issues.   

When fixing gutter joints, you can either replace the joint connector, or re-seal the break using polyurethane foam, caulk, or gutter sealant. While this may seem like an easy DIY fix, breaking out the caulk gun is simply a Band-Aid if more preventive measures aren’t taken in conjunction with repairing the gutter. To avoid any damage done to your gutters, it’s helpful to install GutterGuardsTM

GutterGuardsTM are a perforated cover for your gutters, which collect rainwater just as your gutter normally would. However, it stops debris from collecting inside of the gutter system altogether. This makes cleaning your gutters easier, as you may now only need a broom or stick to brush away debris, instead of needing to pull out a ladder and dig out leaves with your hands. This can also help you avoid pressing a ladder up against your gutter, which can cause gutter seam separation. 

If you feel comfortable enough to inspect your gutters, it’s important to look out for a few key indicators of damage. This includes clogged gutters, broken or separated joints, or cracks and holes. All can cause water to puddle around your home’s foundation and cause damage. If you notice these signs of damage, it’s important to call in one of our professionals to come out and recommend which repairs your gutter system may need.  

This could be anything from installing downspout extensions, gutter guards to prevent future clogging or out specially designed ProLoc Elite™ Gutter Protection System.

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    Permanent Gutter Repair and Protection With FSM 

    Gutter health is just one of our specialties, and we have the long-lasting, warrantied solutions you need to have peace of mind about your gutters.  

    We provide free inspections and no-obligation quotes so you can feel confident about your decision to join us in protecting your home, and your gutters. Set up your free inspection in Detroit, Troy, Bloomfield Hills, Sterling Heights, Royal Oak, Clinton Township, Madison Heights, Flint, Livonia and surrounding Southeast Michigan today! 

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