Many homeowners take their gutter system for granted. When it is working we don’t give it a second thought. It works away in the background ensuring that rainwater is safely diverted away from the building and the foundations. When a gutter system becomes blocked or even damaged, it can be a whole different ballgame.
Gutter system replacement can be a challenging prospect for any homeowner. If the gutters are not installed correctly your home could become damaged over time. Any water that is allowed to pool on the roof or near the home can cause a significant amount of damage. Damage that will go undetected until it is too late.
The best advice for anyone looking to install a new rain gutter system is to hire a professional. Without proper installation and professional maintenance, the gutter system can be made useless. Here are some beginner tips if you want to learn how to install rain gutters:
1. Gutter sizing
You need to make sure that the gutters that you’re buying are the right size for your home. Also, you should think about how much you need so that you don’t buy too much or too little.
You should consider all of the variables. How much does it rain where you live and what are the measurements of your home? This might seem like it will be easy, but to accurately measure the size of your home can take skill and a few people all with their own ladder.
2. Downspout positioning
When you are going to install rain gutters, the positioning of the downspout takes some real thought. Your gutters will not be completely level. After all, they need to direct the flow of water from your roof towards a downspout.
The downspouts should be positioned in such a way that when the water reaches the base of your home. It flows away from your foundations. This can be done through placing weeping tile under the ground or ensuring that there is an extension to the downspout.
3. Plan the angle of the gutters
As discussed you need to make sure the gutters are angled down towards a downspout. When you are on a ladder holding the weight of the gutters you aren’t going to be able to fine-tune this.
It is advised that you mark out the positioning of the gutters with chalk beforehand. The best way to approach this is to mark a chalk X every 10 to 15 ft where you need the gutter line to be.
4. Cut first, install once
Make sure that before you even put up one piece of gutter that you have it all measured and cut. You don’t want to get halfway thought and realizes that you need to go back to the store to pick up more gutter, downspout holes, nails, screws and everything else that you need. Not only can this be frustrating, but it can also lead to disaster.
If you have half of your gutters up and then realize you need more, it would be a nightmare to discover that the store is out of that particular size and colour. This would mean that you would have to wait to order more while your home remains halfway completed.
5. You must test the seals
When you are installing the gutters you will need to make sure that they form a watertight seal on each of the connecting pieces. When using the sealant, make sure that you leave ample time to dry and then test out with a jug of water.
If water is sneaking through it might only seem like a few drops, but during a storm, this can add up to buckets of water being dumped against the side of your house.
6. Be careful
Even if you are very experienced at the top of a ladder you should always be very careful. You should also always have someone with you to hold the ladder and provide support. It’s even better if you have a few friends over to help out.
The extra sets of hands will make the job go from lasting a whole weekend to just a few hours. Just be sure to have plenty of cold drinks and snacks ready for your friends after you are done.
7. Hire a professional
As we hinted at earlier gutters are not easy to install correctly and there is a great deal of room for error. You could come back down from the ladder and your home looks perfect, only to discover to your surprise that when the first storm hits your gutters do not work as they are supposed to.
Saving a little bit of money by doing it yourself might seem like a good idea, but that can all change when you find out that moisture has gotten into the insulation of your attic.