Peeling And Painting Metal Gutters

The house painting problem that has plagued many homeowners through the years is peeling gutters and downspouts. It can be very aggravating after you have made many attempts at alleviating the problem. The other areas of your home to be weathering normally, but your gutters and downspouts shed paint like a river birch sheds its bark on a bad day.

Gutter peeling is typically common to galvanized metal gutters. The problem exists with the first coat that was applied to the gutters and downspouts. The most common mistake I have seen, is applying oil base paint directly to the bare galvanized metal. It simply will not holdup more than a few years.

The test I have run over the last 26 years points to oil base paint being applied to bare metal as the primary culprit. Ninety percent of the time this mistake was made by the painters working for the builder.

I have found that most oil base primers will also fail to bond to galvanized metal. The most effective primer I have found for galvanized gutters is a cement based oil primer.

There is good news and bad news for those trying to correct this problem.

OK, here is the bad news. Be prepared to either strip all your gutters back down to the bare metal and start over, or be prepared to service your gutters on a fairly regular basis. Scraping and priming the peeling spots will do nothing for the areas that haven’t peeled yet. Putting primer and top coat on all your gutters at this point will not re-establish a bond. It cannot penetrate trough the existing paint and cause the defective paint underneath to re-bond to the galvanized metal. You will continue to develop peeling on these metal surfaces over time. There is a third option of course and that is to replace all your gutters and get this painting procedure right from the start.

The good news is you can eliminate what is peeling now and prime the bare metal with the primer I mentioned above. It will stop the peeling in those areas.

Take these important steps to service the paint on your gutters.

First you will need to remove any peeling paint from the downspouts and gutters with a wire brush, or scraper. A wire wheel on a drill also works well.

Clean the sanded area with a good grade of solvent to remove any oil on the surface. Apply a heavy coat of solvent and allow it to evaporate.

Once the solvent has evaporated, paint the cement based metal primer directly to the bare galvanized metal spots. Allow the primer to dry according to manufacturers recommendations and then apply either latex paint or oil base paint as a top coat.
Latex paint can be used directly to the bare metal if you remove all of the oils from surface of the metal. I have found through the years that if the surface has been properly clean, just plain latex paint will bond to bare galvanized metal much better than oil base paint.

Finish the job with at least one coat of good-quality house paint. Use two coats in extreme cases.

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