Beware These Common Rain Gutter Installation Mistakes! What Not to Do to Have Long Lasting Rain Gutters

April 26, 2017

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Man cleaning up installed rain gutters in fall
Sometimes people find the cost of a professional rain gutter installation is too out of their budget and opt to do it themselves to save money, time, and to gain a little more experience. However, if you have little knowledge on gutter installation, you need to be extra careful and research the proper ways to complete this task. Rain gutter installation appears to be simple, but once you get into it, you could find yourself overwhelmed with all the things that are required for them to work properly.

Installing your gutters is a moderately complex endeavor, but the basic steps are the same:

First, you need to do an evaluation and inspect your soffit and fascia to make sure they are in good condition. Then you have to get all the proper measurements and draw a sketch to visualize the places where you will place the gutters. This blueprint will help estimate how many pieces you need to buy, including the main channels, hangers, elbows, downspouts, etc.

Once you have all the pieces, it is recommended to assemble them before climbing the ladder, for effectiveness and as a safety measure. When the pieces are ready, you then need to calculate the adequate pitch to keep water running to the downspout and prevent overflowing. Screw the gutter to the fascia, add the flashing and the hangers, attach the downspout to the elbows, attach the downspout to the wall using brackets, and, at last, test it out to make sure there are no leaks or other imperfections.

As you can imagine, given the many steps of this process, it is easy for something to go wrong, especially without the aid of an expert hand. Many homeowners think they can tackle this home improvement project with little more than their wits and a toolbox. They then find themselves spending even more time, energy, and money to get a barely adequate job done than if they had hired professionals.

Even though many kinds of oversights can happen during a rain gutter installation, there are some common mistakes that beginners tend to make each time:

  1. Inadequate gutter pitch. From ground level, a good rain gutter installation looks like straight lines. However, for water to correctly flow to the downspouts and not overflow the channels, gutters must be slightly pitched approximately ¼ inch per 10 feet. Forgetting this defeats the whole purpose of having a rain gutter system.

  2. Incorrect gutter type. Choosing the right gutter type for your home is extremely important, but many inexperienced homeowners can find the selection process to be particularly daunting considering the wide range of options there are in the market. Since the durability and effectiveness of rain gutters are almost entirely dependent on this decision, a wrong choice could render the installation and system useless.

  3. Wrong gutter placement. Most people think that gutters must hang right on the edge of the roof, because water spills from the edge right into the gutter, right? Wrong. Because of what is known as capillary action, water runs behind gutters that hang too high. To prevent this from happening, gutters should hang slightly lower than the roof, or else risk damaging the fascia board.

  4. Insufficient seam welding. If you want to keep the foundation of your home dry, you have to keep your gutters from leaking. As most professionals will tell you, the seams are the cause of most leaks. Improperly welded seams can cause water to escape, which is why you have pay close attention when you weld them together. If you have the option, choose seamless gutters over sectional gutters to avoid this issue altogether.

  5. Too many seams. If seams are the weakest parts of your gutter, and they seem likely to crack, leak, and clog, then it is in your best interest to craft gutters that are with as few seams as possible. Again, if you can afford it, it's worth it to choose seamless gutters to avoid this.

  6. Inadequate hanger spacing. Three feet or less: that is all the space you should leave between hangers. If you skimp on hangers to save money, your gutters won't have the support they need to stay upright and will eventually sag, compromising their structural integrity as well as your home's.

  7. Damages during installation. Some materials for rain gutters are sturdier than others, but you always must handle them with care. This is particularly important if you choose vinyl or aluminum gutters; they can dent easily from falling or if they're accidentally hit with ladders or other tools. A dented gutter is useless and would need to be replaced.

Rotten installed rain gutter in a house roof Gutters that aren't properly installed are no joke. They won't redirect the flow of rainwater away from your home—their main function. They won't stop rainwater from seeping into your foundation, which could cause flooding in your basement and costly structural damages. They won't prevent the erosion of your lawn or garden, nor will they protect your walls and windows from water damage. All they will do is make a dent in your bank account and waste your time with extensive repairs.

If your experience with home improvement projects is minimal, consider hiring a professional to avoid all the hassle and get the most out of your money. Professionals are better equipped, well-trained, and expertly informed. A reliable contractor will tell you which types of gutters are best suited for your home according to its structure, the weather conditions of your locality, and your own preferences and budget. Also, they won't make any of these mistakes we mentioned.

If you are looking for an experienced team of rain gutter installation experts in the Miami-Dade County, look no further than Rain Gutters Solution. Our clients praise us for our efficiency, swiftness, punctuality, and the care we put into each and every one of our projects. Contact us by calling Rain Gutters SolutionHtml or by filling out our contact form. Also, subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date, and follow us on Facebook at Rain Gutters Solution, Twitter @RainGuttersSolution and Instagram @GuttersSolution.

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