Roof not only plays an important role in protecting the house from sunlight and rain but also improves the aesthetics of the home. But if the roof is left as such without any gutters installed on the roof edge then it may cause the water to flow through the sides of the wall and splash dirt to the siding.
The accumulated water around the basement may also leads to leakage to the basement, damage to siding and soil erosion. It may also leads to the development of mold and fungi on the walls and spoils the entire look of the house.
Hence it is vital to protect the home from leakage and damages and for this rain gutters are necessary. Gutters drain the water from the roof and channel it towards the drainage ditch which is away from the foundation of the house and thus help to protect the walls, basement and even foundation of the house.
There are two types of gutters called seamless gutters and traditional sectional gutters. Seamless gutters can be installed with the help of a professional as it requires a machine to assemble the gutter that is custom made for the home design but traditional sectional gutter can be installed anyone who is handy in doing such works.
Traditional sectional gutters are available in prefabricated form and is often available on a range of 10-22 feet length. Both types of gutters can be made with zinc, lead, steel, copper, aluminum, concrete, cast iron, vinyl etc. Among the different types of gutters vinyl gutters offer the lowest price range but has less durability while copper and stainless steel gutters provides maximum durability but comes with high price tag.
Steel gutters often rust but aluminum won’t rust. Both steel and aluminum comes with medium price range. Hence most of the people use aluminum gutters to protect their home and paint them accordingly to match the design of their home.
Installing gutters around the edges of the roof is an effortful job but once finished properly is a highly rewarding one.
- Check the outside of the home and determine how the gutters should be installed to channel the water that comes from the roof to an area where it can be drained to a faraway place from the foundation of the house.
- Calculate the length of the roof edges and estimate the slope of the eaves with the help of a line level attached to the string and for a level roof draw a reference line that is leveled and then draw a second line at about quarter inch below the first to indicate the required slope. A good gutter should have ¼ inch slope for every 10 feet and the work should start from the end of the roof that is away from the downspout and the inclination should be towards the downspout area to channel all the water that falls in the gutter to the downspout.
- Mark the portions of gutter that requires elbows, corners, drop outlets, end cap and calculate the number of elbows and corners required to fix the gutter. Also mark the positions for the mounting brackets which are necessary to reinforce the gutters. Then calculate the straight portions between each turns and reduce quarter inch from that which will be required for providing rooms for seams. Now determine the number of gutters required to cover the edges of the roof and add ten percentages more to this measurement to cope with the wastage that may happen while installing.
- Get the gutter and match the measurement of the roof with the gutter. Mark the sections around the gutter with the help of a combination square to cut the pieces as per the measurement and cut the pieces with the help of snips.
- Snap the brackets in to the eaves at distance of six inches from both the edges and thereafter in between every 18 to 24 inches. Then attach the brackets to the face board on the eaves using screws. Then fix the corners and drop outlet at appropriate positions. While fixing the brackets, corners and drop outlets care should be taken to use rust resistant screws.
- With the help of a ladder install the gutter sections one after another. Use gutter connector and silicon sealant to cover the seam between the two gutters. By keeping the gutter in place mark the downspout hole’s location and cut out the marked area from the gutter and file the edges to make it smooth.
- Get a downspout connector and keep it in the cut out area after applying silicone sealant to its lips. Press the connector in place and secure it with metal screws. Then in the last gutter section put in an end cap by slipping it onto the end and curling tightly at the edges.
- Connect an elbow to the end of the drop outlet and use a runner to connect the drop outlet to the downspout on the wall. A runner should have two elbows on its ends and one should be connected to the drop outlet while the other should be fixed to the downspout.
- Thereafter fit the downspout pieces together by keeping the tapered end down. Use aluminum mounting straps around the end of downspout pieces and secure both the straps and downspout pieces with screws.
- Use seamer to overlap the joint in between the straight gutters and make the joints watertight with the help of heavy bead sealant. The sealant should be applied beneath the gutter so that it clasps the seamer tightly to the gutter and makes the gutter water tight. Allow the sealants to dry for the entire night and then test the gutter and downspout with water from a garden hose to ensure that the water is flowing properly without any leakage.
- Some people prefer to use leaf separator within the elbow that connects the drop outlet. Leaf separator is an angled screen that separates the leaves from flowing through the down spout and this area should be opened at frequent intervals to remove the accumulated leaves. This helps to avoid the blockage with in the downspout.
Photo Credit: Thisoldhouse.com