Gutter installation is an important part of home maintenance. Gutters provide a safe and effective way to keep rainwater away from your foundation, and if not done correctly, can lead to major damage over time.
Unfortunately, many homeowners make costly mistakes when it comes to gutter installation, leading to improper drainage and potentially costly repairs.
In this article, we’ll look at seven of the most common mistakes with gutter installations and how to avoid them in the first place. Read on for tips on how to ensure your gutters are installed correctly and you won’t have any unpleasant surprises down the line.
1. Incorrect Pitch
When properly installed, rain gutters should have a slight pitch. It should typically be around one-quarter inch per 10 feet of gutter length, to help rainwater flow away from the foundation.
If the gutters are installed flat or with insufficient pitch, it results in standing water which can overflow or cause leaks. To avoid this mistake, use a level to measure the pitch of the gutter. Run and ensure that it meets the 1/4 inch per 10-foot requirement.
If it doesn’t, adjust the hanger brackets until it does before permanently attaching them to the fascia board. If you are unable to achieve the proper pitch with the hangers supplied with the gutter, you may need to purchase additional hangers with different mounting points.
2. Poor Positioning of Downspouts
The downspouts must be placed in such a way that rainwater is safely carried away from the home’s foundation. Downspouts should not be placed in direct contact with the foundation or near any:
Ideally, downspouts should be installed on the corner of the house and placed at a minimum distance of three to five meters away from the foundation. Placing downspouts further away ensures that the rainwater is diverted from the foundation.
Always check the pitch in the gutter system and ensure that it flows away from the structure to avoid any long-term water damage to your home or property. To ensure that downspouts are correctly positioned, always consult a professional installer and ensure that gutters are sloped properly and that downspouts are placed in the correct position.
3. Using the Wrong Size Gutters
If you’re installing gutters on your home, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right size. Gutters come in a range of sizes, and using the wrong size can lead to several problems.
Using gutters that are too small for your home can cause them to overflow during heavy rainstorms. This can lead to water damage to your home’s foundation or landscaping.
Gutters that are too large for your home can be more difficult to install and maintain. They can also take up valuable space on your roof, which could reduce the lifespan of your roofing materials.
When choosing gutters for your home, it’s important to consult with a professional to ensure you’re choosing the right size. With the help of a professional, you can avoid common mistakes and ensure your gutters are installed correctly.
4. Incorrect Fastening
Incorrect fastening involves the attachment of the gutter’s straps or brackets to the roof’s fascia board instead of the roof rafters. This will cause the gutter to pull away from the roof.
To avoid this mistake, ensure that the straps are securely fastened to the roof rafters, not the fascia boards. Also, keep in mind that the fascia board may not be as durable as the rafter, and if it is not properly supported, it could cause the gutter to sag or pull away from the roof.
To further ensure that the gutter is properly secured, use stronger fasteners such as stainless steel screws instead of traditional nails. Finally, check the fasteners periodically to ensure that they are securely attached and remain in place.
5. Not Using Enough Hangers
Not using enough hangers could lead to significant issues that can end up costing a lot of money. Hangers should be placed in such a way that the gutters are supported every two to three feet. You should also consider installing a hanger at both the end of each gutter and the corner of each joint.
The added support provided by these many hangers can help keep the gutters attached to the home and ensure rainwater is directed away from the foundation and away from your home. If you are worried about the appearance of the hangers, use a hanger model that is designed to blend into the gutters and offer a smoother look. Doing a little extra work to install more hangers can help you avoid costly repairs down the line.
6. Not Sealing the Joints
When installing gutters, not properly sealing the joints is one of the common mistakes. This could lead to leaks, which will eventually cause water damage to your home. To prevent this, make sure that the gutters are properly sealed by caulking any seams or joints with a waterproof sealant such as silicone.
Furthermore, check to ensure that the gutters are firmly attached to the edge of your home and that the downspouts are dangling correctly. Depending on the type of gutters you have, you may also need to use hangers, brackets, or straps to fasten the gutters to the fascia board and roof.
Finally, for extra support, you can also use zip screws or rivets to secure the gutters in place. Taking the proper measures will help ensure that your gutters are properly sealed with no leaks.
7. Neglecting Maintenance Considerations
One of the most common mistakes when installing new gutters is neglecting convenient maintenance considerations in advance. Without proper maintenance, gutters can become a nightmare. To prevent this, it is important to take into consideration the environment and climate different types of gutters will be exposed to when choosing a gutter system.
Additionally, it is important to ensure your gutters will be consistently maintained and clear of debris, as this can lead to blockages that may cause water runoff, flooding, and potential damage to your home and landscape. If you want your gutter system installed professionally, contact an expert or visit Far West Roofing.
Avoid These Mistakes with Gutter Installations
Overall, mistakes with gutter installations can easily be avoided if you take the time to research and hire a reliable professional. Be sure to avoid these common gutter installation pitfalls to ensure your system will last for years to come. We recommend seeking the help of a reliable installation professional to ensure the job is done right the first time.
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