DIY Rain Gutter Installation
Here's some pro-tips on rain gutter installation and give us a call if you still need help. We offer quick and free estimates!
- Gutter is ALWAYS placed behind the drip edge. This is a VERY important part of installation on any home that has existing drip edge metal. If not properly installed, water could suck back (capillary action) on the roofing material and run down the fascia board and behind the gutter, causing rot damage to the fascia board over time. Steeper sloped roofs do not always have this problem and in some cases the shingles may overhang the drip edge and drop down into the gutter thus eliminating the problem completely. However when there is existing drip edge metal the gutter ALWAYS' goes behind the metal. Strip Flashing must be used to bridge the gap between the drip edge and the back of the gutter if the gutter does run below the drip edge at the lower end of the gutter. Good luck in getting a shoddy gutter company to come back and fix this problem, because it will require re installing the complete gutter system or installing flashing. So beware and ALWAYS insist that it be done!
- Tree debris & leaf problems. If you live around trees, consider some kind of gutter guard. These will help keep your gutters from becoming a cleaning nightmare and are easy to install. Stay away from rolled metal or plastic screens, they concave over the gutter and create a debris trap.
- Do not install products that fit down into the gutter. Install only product that fit and install on top of the gutter This is Important because products that fit down in the gutter tend to clog and stop the flow of water.
- Metal products will last longer than a plastic products. some metal covers are even powder coated. These are the ones I recommend. Try to avoid installing plastic rain gutters. These are notorious for leaking, as the joints expand/contract with heat and cold and will almost always break the coupling seal.
- If additional run off is expected( as in very large roof or heavy rain area ) Consider the use of 3"x 4" downspout.
The Big Question - Slope or no slope your rain gutter?
There are two schools of thought when installing rain gutters, but the bottom line is,no water should be left to collect in the gutters. One thought is that water seeks to level itself and will eventually drain. Another question is how will it affect the appearance of your home? Does it drain properly & still look very nice. We strive to do both. I use water to level our gutters as water does not lie and we put minimum slope needed to create proper drainage in any situation.
If a gutter has too much slope it could flood the downspouts and there's a very good chance that the gutter will overflow at the low end. Over flowing can erode the foundation near the downspout and the dramatic slope can also diminish the architectural beauty of the roofl line. And contrary, a level gutter also collects more debris, which will settle and is not easily washed away by a steady flow of water.
So... what is the correct pitch? After 20 years in doing gutters in Southern Oregon I believe every house is different but typically a 3/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch slope in 40 feet is recommended. (that equates to 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch per 10 feet). along with one downspout for every 40 -50 ft.
A gutter installed level will drain because water levels itself, however it will not have any water flow to self clean the gutter. To much slope does not look good and also loose some of the gutters holding capacity.
Downspout capacity: 2x3 Downspout will drain 600 sq. ft of Roof area. 3x4 Downspout will drain 1200 sq. ft. of Roof area.
Gutter Capacity: One foot of 5" K-Style Gutter holds 1.2 gallons of water.
DIY Rain Gutter Repair
Here's some pro-tips on rain gutter repair. Give us a call if you still need help. We offer quick and free estimates!
When it comes to repairing existing rain gutters it is always best to hire a professional, but if you choose to do it your self, there are a few things you should know.
- There is no repair for rusted out rain gutters, they must be replaced.
- If your spikes (gutter nails) are falling out and the rain gutter is coming loose - Position a sturdy ladder in the center of the sag on flat level ground and lift the gutter back into place. It's best to get help to hold the gutter in place if possible but it can be done by one person. Just zip a screw through the back of the gutter into the wood to hold it in place. Be sure to reposition the spike at least 1/2 inch from the original hole before driving them back in, DO NOT GO BACK INTO THE SAME HOLE. Be sure there is good wood behind your spot of choice and drive them back in hammering the head of the spike as flat and evenly as possible while gripping the ferrel ( spacer) with the other hand as tight as possible. Keep in mind not to pound the spike in so far as to dip the face. REMEMBER, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, when you change the angle of the spacer it is easy to dip the face if you pound the spik in tight. For this reason it is best to keep the spike as straight as possible. Be sure to fill in the old holes with caulking.
- If your corners or end caps are leaking - Fist clean the area well with a rag and soapy water, rinse well and let dry thoroughly. Then use a RUBBERIZED wet patch such as "Old Henry's". It is the only product that will stick to an older serfice. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO BE SURE THE PRODUCT IS RUBBERIZED. If not and it cures hard IT WILL CRACK during expansion and contraction caused by temp variance and will leak.
- Use about a third of a tube to seal corners by applying the wet patch directly over the existing sealant being sure to use enough to cover the existing sealant. Using a small putty knife.smooth in the wet patch from the center out covering all existing sealant or any seams that might be exposed.. This should re-seal the corners and give you many more years of service.
- Re-sealing end caps or downspout outlets is done using the same procedure as re-sealing corners. Clean the area and let it dry. Apply the rubberized wet patch all the way around the end cap or outlet smoothing in all the way around to be sure the wet patch covering all existing sealant.
- If the gutters or down-spouts are smashed or bent just a little, try to reshape them as best as you can using your hands or perhaps a rubber mallet. Tap from the inside of the damaged area. If the bottom of the gutter is bent use the rubber Mallet and pound it back into shape. The idea here is not to make them look new again as much as it is to insure they flow properly. Any rips or leaks can be repaired with the wet patch.
Hopefully this information will help you to repair damaged or leaking problems and extend the life of your existing rain gutters. If you still need help, call us for a free quote. We are the best in the business at gutter repair!
DIY Rain Gutter Cleaning
Here's some pro-tips on rain gutter cleaning. Give us a call if you still need help. We offer quick and free estimates!
Our home is probably our largest investment so it is well worth the time to take care of it. Gutter cleaning, roof cleaning and inspection can also increase our home's curb appeal, which certainly reflects well on us.
The easiest and fastest way to clean your gutters is to get on the roof with a leaf blower. Begin by blowing all the leaves off the roof from the top down.Then just walk around the roof about three feet from the edge and blow them all out, remembering to blow down each downspout as you pass. In most cases this should be done twice a year. Once at the end of fall and once after the end of winter. This should keep your gutters flowing free 365 days a year.
There are a few mechanical devices that clean your gutters from underneth. The Water Blasters are poor at best. We all know its very difficult to clean any thing when you can't see what your doing. The next time you take your car to the car wash try closing your eyes when you wash it and see what it looks like when your finish! And don't forget the rain coat when you use the Water Blaster on your gutters, you will get wet! Mother Nature's gravity is going to bring everything straight down on your head and pick a calm, dry day or the windows and siding may have to be re-cleaned as well.
So basically, we strongly recommend using a blower over any Water Blasters.
Don't neglect gutter and roof cleaning. If you want to bring in the experts, inhabitants of San Diego County have relied on Century Raingutters for the best in affordable gutter & roof cleaning services for years!