Gutters and downspouts are an important part of moving roof water away from your home and protecting it against costly damage. They must be properly installed to prevent a variety of issues such as water damage, mold growth, foundation rot and more.
Fortunately, installing gutters and downspouts isn’t difficult if you have a good ladder and a partner to help you.
1. Lay Out the Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters are one of the most important components of a home, and they need to be installed properly. Without gutters, water runoff can damage a roof or foundation and lead to serious issues down the road.
When you’re installing gutters and downspouts, there are a few steps that need to be followed. These steps will help you make sure that your gutters are a success.
Laying Out Your Gutters
Before you start to install your gutters, it’s important to have a clear idea of where they’ll be mounted. To do this, you’ll need to mark the low points on your roof using a chalk line. Then, you’ll need to slope your gutters down toward the downspouts, so that water is able to drain out of them efficiently.
For every ten feet of run, you’ll need to slope the gutters downwards by about a quarter inch. This helps gravity pull the rainwater down to the downspout, which then carries it away from your home.
Now that you’ve laid out your gutters, it’s time to start the actual installation. Thankfully, this process is pretty straightforward.
To begin the project, you’ll need a ladder and a partner to help you get up and down the roof safely. You’ll also need to position your ladder stabilizer firmly against the roof deck.
Once you’ve positioned your ladder, you’ll need to hook the end of a chalk line at the point where you want the top edge of your gutter to terminate. You’ll need to level the chalk line and then drop it about 1 inch per 40 feet of run, and snap it off to create a slope that will force water into your downspout locations.
Depending on the type of gutter you choose, you’ll need to cut downspout holes for each length. The hole should be about four inches wide and slightly larger than the outlet on the downspout. To cut the downspout holes, you’ll need a 4-inch hole saw bit or tin snips.
Then, you’ll need to mount each downspout in the appropriate hole. You can use a downspout bracket, which you’ll lag screw to the fascia of your home. Or, you can install a downspout directly into the main gutter section.
2. Install the Gutters
Gutters help keep your home dry during heavy rains, preventing soil erosion and foundation damage. They also protect your yard from runoff and preserve your neighborhood by directing storm water away from your house.
A properly installed gutter system can make the difference between a well-maintained roof and an expensive repair job. Whether you’re installing gutters yourself or hiring a contractor, there are several steps to follow.
First, you need to determine the right gutter size for your roof. This is based on your roof pitch and the amount of rain you get in your area.
Next, you need to attach the gutter sections together. You can use a do-it-yourself gutter kit that comes with seaming brackets and sealant. Then, you install a hanger bracket at every 2 to 3 feet along the length of the gutter.
Once you’ve secured the gutter section to the hanger bracket, it’s time to add the downspout. These downspouts are designed to drain the excess water from the gutters. They’re typically built to end a few inches from your house, but some homeowners choose to install gutter extensions, which push water further away from the property.
After the downspouts are attached, you can hang the whole gutter assembly onto the fascia brackets and secure it with screws. However, make sure you’re hanging it on a firm, level surface.
You’ll need to attach your gutters to the fascia board of your roof with long screws that are at least 1/8 inch in diameter. If your gutters aren’t supported, they could sag or break from the weight of the snow and ice on your roof.
Before you hang your gutters, you need to mark the slope of your fascia board using a chalk line. Then, subtract a fourth of an inch from the slope of the board every ten feet across your fascia to ensure that you’re installing your gutters at the proper angle.
Once you’ve determined the proper height of your gutters and drilled pilot holes for each one, it’s time to actually install them. Then, you can screw them into the fascia board of your roof with the long screws that are included with the gutter kit.
3. Install the Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are an important part of a home’s drainage system. They divert rain and snow runoff away from the house, preventing water damage to the foundation and siding.
Installing gutters and downspouts is a do-it-yourself project that pays off in the long run. It’s also a great way to save money on the labor costs of gutter and downspout installation. If you feel like leaving it to the experts, however, you can find a good roofing contractor Corpus Christi Texas area on The Pinnacle List website.
Before you can begin to mount a gutter system on your roof, you need to install its downspouts. If you don’t, the gutters may overflow and damage your foundation, causing soil erosion and possibly flooding into your basement.
You should be able to find downspouts in all home centers and full-service hardware stores. They are available in a variety of styles and materials, so it’s a good idea to shop around for the right one.
In many cases, downspouts are made from metal or plastic. These materials are durable and can withstand frequent use. However, they are not as attractive as other materials like wood or wrought iron.
If you want your downspout to look more attractive, consider adding a trellis or a vine to cover it. You can even paint the downspouts to match your yard’s landscaping.
To install the downspouts, first cut off a piece of gutter that is about two inches shorter than the downspout you’re installing. This will allow you to create a fold-up extension that allows you to tip the downspout up when mowing your lawn.
Next, you need to cut a hole in the bottom of the gutter at the downspout outlet location. Using a marker, trace the opening on the downspout gutter section you just cut.
Then, chisel a V-shaped hole into the metal large enough to permit you to use the tin snips to cut out the rest of the downspout outlet. Once the notch is cut, seal the opening with gutter sealer to keep it from leaking.
Once you have the downspout outlet cut out, you can attach it to your gutter with a hanger bracket. Usually, you need to install at least one hanger bracket for every 2 to 3 ft.
4. Seal the Gutters
Gutters are a necessary part of every roof, but they are also subject to wear and tear from the weather. The abrasive forces of rain, hail, and snow can cause gutters to become leaky over time. This can lead to water damage to the roof, sidings, and foundations of the home.
The first step in repairing leaking gutters is to clean them thoroughly, removing any debris or grease. This can be done with a garden hose or pressure washer. Once the area is cleaned, it’s a good idea to dry it thoroughly before using any sealant.
You can apply a variety of different products to seal your gutters and downspouts. The best product will depend on your type of gutter, its material and the specific conditions at your home.
For metal gutters, use a sealer that’s specifically formulated to seal gutter seams. This will help your gutter withstand submersion and resist decay from sunlight.
A sealant is a flexible rubber compound that creates a protective barrier on your gutter to prevent moisture from getting into it. It’s often applied with a caulking gun, and it’s available in water-based and solvent-based versions.
Using a rubber sealant is a great way to make your gutters and downspouts last longer. It’s also a great way to fix small holes, cracks and loose joints in your gutters.
One of the most common causes of leaks in gutters is a cracked or weakened seal. This can be caused by rust, puncture from branches or loosening of the gutter joints.
Once you’ve found the leak, it’s a simple matter of cleaning and applying the right sealant. The best sealant will be able to withstand changes in temperature without cracking, and it will stick and remain flexible.
Some sealants are made of acrylic, which is a type of silicone-based polymer. This type of sealant is commonly used for aluminum gutters and can be applied with a caulking gun.
Another type of sealant is butyl rubber. This is a great choice for sealing joints in aluminum gutters because it sticks quickly and remains flexible after it cures.