How to Install and Replace Gutters
Owning a gutter system can make all the difference for your home. Not only does it increase its value, but also ensures proper maintenance. We’re compiling everything you need to install or replace gutters from start to finish.
Carefully Examine Existing Gutters
If you’re looking for a new gutter system to protect your home, it’s important to think about the style and fit that works best. You’ll also want to examine your current gutters closely – have they been affected by climate or poor installation? This will help determine what upgrades are needed with your gutter installation or replacement project. When you have an understanding of what’s working and where improvements can be made, investigate some of the options available for your gutter project.
Browse and Select New System
Once you’ve inspected your previous system, it’s time to start researching new options for your gutter needs. This step may seem simple but it’s crucial that you get it right. Get an estimate of the materials needed for your project by tracing out the perimeter of your home. This is a great starting point to help you determine what supplies are necessary to get started!
Evaluate and Plan
Measure the length of the area where you’re installing the gutters. Make sure to invest in all of the essential materials for your project such as gutters, downspouts, hangers, end caps, elbows and sealant. You will also need specific equipment for your gutter replacement or installation, including but not limited to the following:
- cordless drill
- duckbill tin snips
- extension ladder
- hex head ladder
- offset tin snips
- pop rivet gun
Cut the Gutter
Rather than work from the top of a ladder, it’s much easier to join sections on the ground. This step will require the most attention to detail. Using your saw, cut your lengths of gutter to the appropriate size.
A few tips to keep in mind:
- To achieve the crisp look of a perfect corner joint, be sure to cut every piece at precisely 45 degrees. The interior edge should fit flush with the fascia while allowing some flexibility in how much daylight appears beyond it.
- To ensure your gutter is securely connected, make sure to overlap each piece by eight inches and mark its joining point precisely. This will guarantee a snug fit between sections for optimal protection from the elements.
Assemble the Gutters
One of the most common complaints from homeowners is that gutter seams fall apart, making this installation step a crucial one. Before placing the gutters on your home, assemble the gutters by connecting pieces together with gutter seals or pop rivets. Make sure to overlap at least four inches when placing the pieces together. Next, use a caulk designed specifically for installation.
Attach End Caps
At the square-cut end of the gutter, attach the spherical end cap with aluminum pop rivets. End caps are crucial for effectively channeling water away from your roof and toward the downspout of your gutters.
Cut DownSpout Holes
Prior to placing the new gutters on your home, it’s critical to mark, cut and rivet the downspout holes. Be sure you have carefully considered the path that water will take from the roof to the ground to avoid any drainage problems down the road.
Double check your measurements and scan for any potential obstructions. Then walk through the following steps:
- On the bottom edge of the gutter, mark your downspout
- Place the downspout outlet on the gutter and trace the inside edge
- Use tin snaps to carefully create the downspout holes
Rather than ripping off, methodically remove your old gutters. Carefully navigating this step in the process will pay off. Next, mark your gutter line on your fascia boards and survey the fascia for any damage or rotting prior to installing the new gutter. Assuming everything looks good, hang your new gutters. Set a roughly ¼ inch slope towards the downspouts in order to prevent standing water in the gutters.
Once installation is complete, test the gutter by sending running water through it to ensure proper flow. The main goal of the testing phase is to check for leaks prior to running into any potential issues on a larger scale.
Common Mistakes to Avoid:
Choosing the Wrong Type of Gutter
Don’t get caught up in the “one size fits all” mindset when it comes to installing gutters. Your gutter choice should tailor solutions for your home’s needs. Consider factors such as rainfall intensity, roof pitch, and house area before making a purchase.
Choosing the Wrong Gutter Size
Basic gutter size is 5 inches long and 6 inches wide, with downspouts that are approximately 2 x 3 inches or 3 x 4 inches.
Not Accounting for Roof Pitch
Appropriate gutter slope is key to preventing a rainwater disaster. Too low of pitch won’t be enough for water run-off, resulting in unwanted pooling. On the other hand, too steep and downpours will likely overflow the spouts.
Downspout Installation Issues
Downspouts should typically be diverting water up to 10 feet away from your home’s foundation. If this isn’t achieved, rainwater could begin to seep into the foundation and cause a lot of damage.
Poorly spaced gutter hangers can lead to more than just an eyesore – if not placed at the right intervals, your gutters could begin to sag under the strain of heavier snow and ice in colder climates. Make sure you keep them no further apart than two feet so they are adequately supported.
Replacing your home’s gutters can be a source of huge savings, but can also turn into a huge hassle if the right approach isn’t taken. If you’re on the fence, decide whether or not a gutter replacement or repair is a DIY project in your realm.
What are some signs that your gutters need to be replaced?
While they can last for up to two decades in some cases, eventually you may need a gutter replacement. Unsure if yours are due for an upgrade? Keep watch out for these 11 telltale signs that could be warning of an upcoming installation project.
Are new gutters worth it?
Gutters are more crucial than most homeowners realize. Although they can be visually appealing, the primary purpose is to prevent mold, mildew and other water damage. Gutters also protect the foundation of your home from flooding.
If I decide against DIY gutter replacement, how much does gutter replacement typically cost?
According to sources, gutter replacement typically costs around $4 to $30 per linear foot to install. Material type and labor will also affect the cost of gutter replacement, so estimates can vary based on your specific scenario.