The screws attaching the gutters to the metal awning have rusted. They don't move when I turn them. There is also some white powder substance on the gutters and the metal awning. They are leaking in a few places and moldy. Pressure Washing does nothing so I guess I need a metal brush?

I want to clean them up and paint them with something (?) for protection. Will just caulking be enough to stop the leaks since I can't remove the screws?

Gutter and Awning

Where Gutter is attached to Awning

1 Answer 1


The white powder may be chalking paint (insignificant cosmetic change) or aluminum corrosion. Aluminum builds up a thin, transparent, oxide film that protects it, but when continually exposed to water, with that surface oxide broken by rusty screws, and with galvanic corrosion, it does corrode. (This is a greater problem near salt water, and the reason that aluminum and magnesium wheels require coatings to resist road salt.)

The screw heads can be removed with an abrasive wheel in a drill or high-speed rotary tool, and, as each is removed, a new stainless steel screw can be put in next to the old hole to prevent the gutter from sagging.

Clean up the rust stains and corrosion with a hand wire brush, such as this from Lowe's (rotary wire brushes shed bits of wire, which later rust). There are also chemicals (e.g., this from Amazon) for badly corroded areas, but be sure to thoroughly rinse to prevent further corrosion.

Apply aluminum primer (e.g., this from Home Depot) and paint as needed.

Note: Items mentioned above are just examples, not recommendations.

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