Rain gutters collect water during a rainstorm and allow it to run safely away from your roof and foundation. If your gutters are not properly installed, then rain water will weaken your foundation and could cause other damage as well. Rain water can also get under the eaves and begin leaking inside your home. Installing rain gutters is not difficult, but there are a few tips you should follow to make sure that the job gets done right.
According to rainguttertips.com, your gutters need approximately 1/4 inch of pitch for every 10 feet of gutter. The pitch is the angle at which the gutter is installed that allows the rain water to flow to the downspout. Using this information, a 30 feet stretch of rain gutter requires a 3/4 inch pitch. Your pitch always starts with the highest point being away from the downspout, and the lowest point being at the downspout. Snap a chalk line along your installation point to make sure that you are installing enough pitch to your rain gutters.
Sealing the Seams
Seamless gutters are convenient, but they are a little more expensive than gutter sections and long pieces of seamless gutters can be difficult to transport. If you are using gutter sections, then be sure to seal each seam with exterior grade caulk. Use white caulk for white gutters and clear caulk for other gutter colors. If your gutter sections overlap, then place some caulk at the overlap point and where the seam ends as well. The more protection you give your gutter seams, the better prepared they will be to move the rain water away from your home.
According to hometips.com, the most common ways to hang gutters are by brackets or spikes. A bracket system installs to the roof, and then snaps into place on your gutters. The advantage to a bracket system is that your gutters can easily be moved and adjusted if needed, and a bracket system can release a gutter if it becomes too congested with ice or snow, which could spare your home from damage. The disadvantage of the bracket system is that it cannot support the amount of weight the spike system can support. Using spikes to install your gutters means hammering large nails through the gutters and into your home. As previously mentioned, the advantage is the increase in weight that the spikes can support. The disadvantage is the damage that can result if the gutters do in fact become too weighted down with ice and snow and rip away from the house.
- Photo Credit gutter image by Wouter Tolenaars from Fotolia.com