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How Do You Install Gutters?January 20th, 2023 by
Seamless rain gutters are essential. Without gutters, rainwater and snowmelt can damage your foundation or even cause water damage. While installing gutters may seem like a daunting task, it’s a project that homeowners can tackle with some basic DIY skills. However, for best results, it’s recommended to hire a professional gutter installer. In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to properly measure, purchase materials, and install gutters on your home. We’ll also provide tips on how to troubleshoot common installation issues and ensure proper drainage. With the right knowledge and tools, you can ensure that your gutters will effectively protect your home for years to come. If you’re ready to learn how to install gutters, let’s get started.
How To Install Gutters
1. Measure For New Gutters
Before you can install gutters, you need to measure the length of the eaves. This way, you know how much material you need to buy.
It is important to get extremely accurate measurements. Even a small mistake can cause problems later on.
Here’s a general guide on how to measure the length of the eaves:
- Measure the length of the eaves on one side of the house from the outer edge of the gable end to the outer edge of the other gable end.
- Measure the length of the eaves on the other side of the house in the same way.
- Add the two measurements together to get the total length of the eaves on your house.
- If your house has a porch or overhang, measure the length of the eaves on those areas separately and add it to the total length.
- Record the measurements in feet or meters.
It is important to note that the actual process of measuring may vary. The process will depend on the design of your house, the type of gutter system, and other factors.
2. Gather Your Gutter Supplies
Once you have your measurements, you need to gather the necessary materials, supplies, and tools to install rain gutters.
Aluminum gutters are the most common because they are durable and inexpensive. However, vinyl gutters are becoming increasingly popular and offer similar benefits. Copper gutters offer a unique look, but they are usually more expensive.
- Gutter material, such as aluminum, vinyl, or copper
- Hangers to attach the gutter to the eaves
- End caps to connect gutter sections together
- Downspout material to channel water from the gutter to the ground
- Gutter sealant to seal joints and connections
- Screws to attach hangers and end caps
- Gutter and downspout brackets to support the gutter and downspout
- Pipe hangers to support downspouts
- Measuring tape
- Ladder to reach the eaves
- Saw to cut gutter material to the appropriate length
- Drill to attach hangers and brackets
- Tin snips or saw to cut metal gutter material
- Level to ensure the gutters are properly aligned
- Gutter hanger spacing tool to ensure proper spacing of hangers
It’s important to note that this is a general guide. The specific materials, supplies, and tools needed will vary based on your gutter installation.
3. Install the Hangers
Next, you need to install the gutter hangers. The recommended distance between each hanger is 2 to 3 feet. Divide the length of each eave evenly to determine how many hangers you need.
Climb up to the eaves and align the first hanger with the outer edge of the gable end. Use a level to ensure that the hanger is plumb (vertically aligned), and attach it to the eaves using screws.
Then evenly space the hangers along the eave. Repeat this process for every eave along your roof.
4. Measure and Cut Gutter Materials
Double-check your original measurements and create a list of gutter sections you need. Then mark the gutter material based on the measurements with a marker.
Cut the gutters using tin snips for metal materials or a saw for vinyl or PVC. Once you cut each run, check that it fits perfectly.
Ideally, you should always install seamless gutters. This means that each run of gutter material is a single piece with no cuts or joints.
While you can connect sections of gutter using sealant, it increases the changes of leaks, clogs, and other issues.
5. Install, Connect, and Seal Gutters
Attach each section of the gutters to the hangers. Depending on the gutters, some snap into brackets, while others attach with screws or nails.
Check the gutters with a level to make sure water flows smoothly to the downspouts.
Next, install the end caps to connect corners or end straight runs. Again, each gutter system is different. Some caps snap on, while others need nails or screws.
Finally, apply gutter sealant to the joint where the two sections connect. This will help to seal the joint and prevent leaks.
Optionally, you can also add gutter guards. There are many styles available, but they cover the gutters to block out leaves and other debris.
6. Cut and Install Downspouts
Similar to cutting and installing the gutter materials, you need to cut, install, and seal the downspouts.
Check your vertical measurements, then mark and cut the downspouts. Align them to the gutters and cut out a drain hole.
Connect a downspout elbow to the gutter, then install the downspouts. Fasten the downspouts to your home with brackets, then seal the connections with gutter sealant.
Then connect the downspouts to either the storm sewers or use an elbow to channel water away from your foundation.
If you are using a downspout outlet, consider adding a slash block. Usually made of concrete or stone, they keep water from creating a trench or channel in your yard.
7. Test Gutters and Downspouts for Proper Drainage
With the gutters and downspouts installed, you need to test them to ensure they flow properly. Run a garden hose up to the roof and put it in the gutters.
Turn on the water, then watch for leaks and wait for the water to come out of the downspouts. Leave the water running for at least 15 minutes and visually inspect every section of the gutters.
What Are the Main Reasons for Installing New Gutters?
Since seamless rain gutters are so important, it’s important to know when to replace them. Obviously, leaky or damaged gutters should be replaced, but there are several other reasons for installing gutters. Here are the main reasons why you would want to install new gutters:
- Old or damaged gutters: Over time, gutters can become worn or damaged due to exposure to the elements and may need to be replaced. Signs that gutters may need to be replaced include rust, holes, cracks, or leaks.
- Improperly functioning gutters: If gutters are not properly directing water away from the foundation, they may need to be replaced in order to protect the house from water.
- Improving curb appeal: New gutters can improve the overall aesthetic of a home and enhance its curb appeal.
- Upgrading to a more durable material: Some homeowners may choose to replace their gutters with a more durable material, such as copper or aluminum, which are more resistant to rust and corrosion.
- Changing the style of gutters: Some homeowners may choose to install new gutters in order to change the style of their current gutters.
- Increase home value: By updating the gutters, you can increase the value of your home by improving its functionality and appearance.
- Preparing for a home sale: If you are planning to sell your home, new gutters can be an attractive feature for potential buyers.
It’s important to note that installing new gutters can be a complex project and it’s always recommended to hire a professional gutter installer.