The importance of gutters is indescribable, they are vital to conducting rainwater away from the foundations. They require constant maintenance due to the accumulation of leaves, and dirt and also due to wear and tear so that they do not present leaks or separation at the joints. Removing old gutter sealant is not a difficult task but requires care due to the imminent risk of falling due to the height.

How do you remove old sealant from gutters?

gutter inspection

Before starting, you should make an inspection of the condition of the gutters to know what you will need. Both in interiors and exteriors, from sinks, and showers, to windows and siding, caulk and sealants prevent water from seeping into the structure. That caulk from use and disuse comes off or expires and needs to be replaced. If you’ve ever tried to remove old gutter sealant, you know it’s not always easy. Here is how to finish the job with a couple of key tools and techniques, and some patience.


  • Flexible putty knife or scraper
  • Utility knife
  • Putty removal tool
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Bleach
  • Small bucket
  • Sponge
  • Non-scratch plastic scouring pad- Gloves

Remove expired or lose putty

Using a flexible putty knife, remove the putty, trying to loosen one edge and pulling it gently until it is completely loose.

Work carefully to avoid scratching or marring nearby surfaces.

Mark the putty

Carefully mark one edge of the remaining putty with a putty knife or box cutter. This breaks the bond of the putty to the surface.

Soften the putty for removal

Use putty softeners to remove putty easily. They make them stay wet longer. Putty removers make it easy to remove almost all types of putty, including silicone, polyurethane, and acrylic latex putty.

After application, allow the putty remover to stand for 5 to 20 minutes. Depending on the type and amount of putty or sealant to be removed, it may be necessary to soak longer.

Scrape off the softened putty

Scrape off the softened putty with a putty knife or special putty removal tool. If you cannot scrape off all of the caulk or sealant, reapply the stripper and let it sit until the caulk softens.

Remove residue

Even after the old caulk or sealant has been removed, residue may remain. Scrape off any residue thoroughly with a non-scratch plastic scouring pad. Then wipe the surface with isopropyl alcohol.

Remove mold and mildew

If mildew appears after removing the caulk, remove it by washing the area with a solution of bleach and water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water). Rinse the area thoroughly and allow it to dry before applying the new sealer.

How do you recaulk gutters?

gutter seal

Repairing and reapplying the putty is simple, you must be patient and inspect the joints, gutters, and pipe in detail.

  • The first thing to do is to clean debris, grease, and dirt in and around the gutter with a damp cloth to see where the damage is.
  • Rough the area and remove any burrs left by the wire brush using fine grit sandpaper. Apply gentle pressure and rub the sandpaper in all directions.
  • Apply a piece of masking tape on the opposite side of the patch area over the hole or crack to prevent the sealant from coming out.
  • Spread a bead of special gutter sealant over the damaged section using a putty knife. Be sure to apply the sealant slightly beyond the damaged area on all sides to reinforce.
  • Allow the patched area to dry completely. The drying time for gutter sealant can vary depending on the manufacturer and the material of the gutter, Try to do it on a sunny or at least mild day. Water is usually the enemy of this type of adhesive.

Do gutters joints need sealants?

If there is a leak, it is easy to identify it, you can do it with water, filling the gutter, or observing humidity stains around the gutters. It is not so obvious, check for debris in the gutter. There’s a pile of leaves congregated near a particular joint, you’ve probably found the leak. Once you know where the leaking joint is, you can start repairing it:

Apply the same first 3 steps above and then:

  1. Apply a generous amount of special gutter sealant, using a caulking gun, around the male end joint and around all the rivets, then attach it to the female end of the joint. Use masking tape on the side opposite to where the sealant was applied to hold the sections together while the sealant dries.

2. Allow the joint to dry and remove the tape. Check the label to make sure you have enough time before sanding.

How do you reseal gutter corners?

When you see water leaking from the corner of your gutter, the culprit is almost certainly the joint between the gutter and downspout.

To reseal just follow the same procedure as above. It changes absolutely nothing.

Cleaning the gutters of dirt and removing old gutter sealant is permanent maintenance to keep the structure of the house clean, away from moisture, and without the risk of the foundations suffering from moisture consequences.

How to remove old gutter sealant? was last modified: April 2nd, 2023 by Vanessa Gallanti
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