When it comes to Spring, many homeowners are eager to get outside and do some work around the house. Spring is a great time for home improvement since the weather is getting nicer and you can finally shorten your to-do list. If gutters is on your DIY list, then consider these tips before attempting to install them yourself.
Spring is known for many things from green grass and leaves to rain. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “April showers bring May flowers” and every year spring is the wettest of all our seasons here in the Hudson Valley. If your gutters were damaged during winter, you definitely want to get them in top shape before the showers come. A functional gutter system properly installed will help you avoid costly damage during the spring rains. We have a few tips to help you make the best choices for your gutter installation and whether a DIY gutter install is the right course of action for spring.
- Choose The Right Materials
- Pitch The Gutter Correctly
- Choose The Gutter Location Wisely
- Be Prepared For Hidden Challenges
When it comes to choosing the right material, it is as important to consider the look of the gutter system as much as it is the performance and durability. Gutters from a “Big Box” store are typically a secondary aluminum or plastic/vinyl gutter system. These materials are not as sufficient for the extreme weather we experience as the primary aluminum used in the Brothers professional gutter job. Not only that but plastic/vinyl gutters are prone to cracking under extreme cold and the temperature changes we experience living in the Hudson Valley.
Another thing to consider is the size of gutter you need. Our gutters come in 5″ and 6″ options. Six inch is typically installed where heavy amounts of rain water shed off the roof or in heavy flow areas such as valleys. If a 5″ gutter system is installed where a 6″ gutter should be used, the water can overflow and go over the top or even behind the gutter, which can lead to costly damage to your home and property. The best way to determine roof size is to calculate the pitch and surface area. See this link for help to determine roof pitch.
After selecting the right material and size gutters for your home, the next step step is to consider using a seamless gutter. Seamless gutters have been an industry standard for the past 20 years because of their fit, finish and ability to perform in all weather conditions. Using seamless gutters allows for a stronger and more durable gutter system since a seamless gutter is one complete run of aluminum with no seams to caulk or seal off. With seamless gutters a bonding agent is only needed to seal the end caps and downspouts. Seamless gutters can be purchased from a contractor who has a gutter machine to run out the exact length of gutter needed for a home. Big box stores do not have gutter making machines and sell gutters in 20′ sections.
Looking at a gutter system on a home, you might think the gutters look level, but are actually installed at a slight pitch. If seamless gutters are chosen for installation, then getting the gutter at the correct pitch should be something every gutter contractor knows. If you have decided to go the DIY route, there are a couple things to keep in mind when pitching a gutter. Pitch is the angle that the gutter is hung at so that the water flows in the correct direction towards the downspout. If pitched incorrectly the water could flow in the wrong direction, or not even flow at all. The water may just collect in the gutter until it overflows. Our installers typically pitch a gutter 1/4 in every ten feet. There are unique situations where the gutter is installed using the pitch calculation, but the water is not flowing. In these situations, we use a level to ensure correct water flow. Typically the water will flow without the gutter looking like it’s falling off the house, but if pitched too much, may look really strange on the house.
Pitch is not the only installation priority. The first thing to consider in an installation is the location of the downspouts and gutters. We all know that the gutter goes underneath the roofline, but there’s more to that than just placing it under the roofline and pitching it. Choosing your downspout location will play a big role in gutter size as much as it will in properly shedding the water away from the home. Also consider how long the gutter should really be. If it is the size of the house, it will be too short to handle the water runoff properly. When we install gutters, we check to make sure the entire run of gutter is installed in the correct position and location.
The final check list item is to be prepared for hidden or unexpected fixes. When a gutter system is removed, some installations cannot be completed because of damaged fascia. Another important thing to make a note of is drip edge. Having a drip edge that is long enough to protect the fascia board is important. If you are in need of a new roof, we recommend completing the roof before the gutter installation as to avoid damaging your new system.
If you are in need of a gutter repairs or replacement, we can give you a free solution and quote. Meet our solutionists for even more product and repair solutions such as a fully enclosed gutter guard system or our complete solution of gutters, guards and heat cable. You can find more information on our website or by giving us a call at 866-550-3569.