One cannot overstate the importance of having gutters in the home. Gutters funnel water away from your roof and home so that your structures and foundation are prevented from getting damaged. So, you can just imagine the negative effects of not installing rain gutters.
If you’re planning a gutter installation, the best persons to do the job are professional contractors. Licensed roofers have the skill and experience to ensure that proper gutter installation techniques are followed. There are plenty of mistakes that you can make especially if you don’t have the slightest idea of how it’s done.
We have prepared this article to guide you on how to install gutters. Under the topic, we will cover the signs you need to replace your gutters, the best times to install them, the different types of gutters you should consider for your home, and installation steps. Lastly, we discuss common installation errors.
Signs you need a gutter replacement
Homeowners who don’t pay much attention to their gutters are less likely to identify when they need to be replaced. Surely, you wouldn’t want a gutter system that’s dysfunctional. Neither would you want to remove a gutter that has a small blemish but works perfectly fine. So, what are some indicators that prompt a replacement?
- Multiple cracks and holes – Take note that cracks and holes, in general, can be repaired. But if you see many of them, especially ones that have been ignored for a long time, it would be best to get new gutters. Cracks and holes, when left alone, can damage the fascia boards.
- Gutters that have sagged – Sagging gutters are visible to the naked eye. If they’re filled with water and have started to pull away from your home, this is not a good sign. According to Angie’s List, sagging gutters are quite costly. This is why it’s important to check them regularly.
- Water marks on your home’s exterior – Do you see water stains around your home’s foundation? If you do, this indicates water damage. Remember that gutters are supposed to keep water away from your foundation.
- Peeling paint and rust – These aesthetic problems are indicative of frequent exposure to moisture. Make sure to replace your gutters before they break apart. Exterior appearance is something you need to pay more attention to. Along with these bad gutter signs, you might want to check for the presence of nails or screws that have fallen off.
When is the best time to perform gutter installation?
You should know that every season presents challenges for homeowners to install gutters. Here are the reasons why:
- Winter – During winter, snow and ice can add weight to your gutters. This leads to clogging and the inability for water to flow freely. Winter is a dangerous time as gutters can potentially break with stagnant, freezing water.
- Spring – What about spring showers? Expect that in spring, there will be a lot of water around your property. If you choose to install gutters in spring, make sure that water drains properly. If not, it’ll cause soil erosion and damage to your foundation.
- Summer – The same risks apply as to when you install gutter in spring. Water that pools in your gutters can be a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Fall – Falling leaves are things that will clog your gutters and cause water to stagnate. If you choose to perform gutter installation during this time, you should incorporate gutter guards as well.
The ideal time for you to install gutters (with as minimal risks involved) is around late August to early September. But if you choose another time of the year due to emergency purposes, keep these risks in mind.
How to Install Gutters: Proper Installation Tips and Techniques
Now we finally discuss the process of installing your rain gutters. Pay attention to the following steps below.
1. Measure your house and buy the materials you need.
The first and most essential step of proper gutter installation is to be sure of the measurements. Take note of the length of your entire gutter system. Record the number of downspouts and their locations as well. When measuring the height of the downspouts, add 4 feet as this represents the downspout extension. If you have a huge roof area, choose larger downspouts.
2. Cut the gutters according to their measurement and rejoin them.
You need tin snips or a hacksaw in order to cut the entire gutter length to its ideal measurement. To cut at the bottom part, bend the gutter. Make sure to join the cut systems on the ground. Doing this while on the ladder will put you at risk for accidents. When overlapping gutter sections, the inner portion should point downwards. This prevents water from going out of the seam.
3. Install the downspouts and outlets.
Create an opening on the gutter where you want the downspout placed. Use a jigsaw to create the hole. An alternative would be to use an old chisel (for the starting hole) to be followed by tin snips. Next, slip the downspout connector and end cap to the gutter. You can attach them using a silicone sealant as well as short metal screws.
4. Mount the gutter sections and downspouts.
Mount fascia brackets to the face board. Make sure to use ¼ inch stainless steel lag screws that are able to penetrate the face boards at two inches. Next, to attach the downspouts, screw the downspout elbow to the outlet tube.
Take out another downspout elbow and position it against the wall. Cut a piece of downspout to allow it to fit between the 2 elbows. Use screws or pop rivets to secure the parts together.
5. Seal gutter seams.
The last step of learning how to install gutters is sealing your gutter seams. Seams are areas where your gutter pieces connect. When not held or sealed closely together, these can easily leak and cause problems in your foundation. Seal gutter seams properly by applying sealant using a caulking gun. Your gutters should be dry before you apply the sealant in order for it to work.
Avoid These Gutter Installation Mistakes
If this is your first time to learn how to install gutters, it’s easy to commit mistakes. Gutter installation is not simple. It may appear simple from the outside but it does involve a lot of rules. Here are four common mistakes that beginner homeowners commit during planning and installation.
Wrong gutter material
With the different gutter types available in the market, you might base your choice on price alone. It’s wise to save money but do not sacrifice performance and quality. Aluminum gutters have the perfect balance in terms of aesthetics, price, and durability. They are also easy to maintain.
In some cases, homeowners opt for seamless gutters to eliminate the risk of leaks. However, seamless gutters tend to cost more. If you want the best gutters, you won’t go wrong with copper.
Too many seams.
As we have just mentioned, seams are more likely to have leaks. Unless you choose seamless gutters, as much as possible, keep the number of seams to a minimum.
Wrong calculation of gutter pitch.
Proper gutter installation requires that gutters be installed with a slight pitch. This ensures that water flows downwards to the downspouts. If not, water will pool and tend to overflow. Over time, this will add weight to your gutters and cause them to detach from your house. Every 40 feet, gutters should have a pitch of 1 to 2 inches.
Improper hanger spacing.
In addition to installing your gutters with a slight pitch, have an allowance of up to 3 feet in between hangers. This adequate spacing is important so as to prevent gutters from sagging and getting ripped off. Proper support is a must if you want your gutters to last for many years to come.
It’s best to hire a roofing company to install gutters for your home.
At the end of the day, the ultimate solution to have beautifully installed and problem-free gutters is to hire a professional roofing contractor. A do-it-yourself roofing job may seem attractive and cost-effective but it presents a lot of risks.
Professionals have the skill set and level of experience that regular homeowners like you don’t have. With professionals, you can avoid the hassles of figuring out the best gutters to going up your roof during a warm sunny day or winter.
Looking for a reputable roofing company to do gutter installation? Silver Leaf Contracting LLC services all of Massillon Ohio. Being a local company, Ohio homeowners continue to value us because of our outstanding workmanship, attention to detail, work ethics, and swiftness.
Aside from our regular gutter services, we also provide a gutter safeguard system. This protective material helps maintain the health of your gutters in such a way that it prevents debris from entering them and causing clogs later on.
Get in touch with one of our professionals today by calling us at 330-680-5987.