Why gutter installation is important

white gutters along a brick home

Quality gutter installation

Rain gutters are the invisible workhorse that performs an important function for your home. Gutters redirect rainwater out and away from your home’s foundation and flowerbeds. Does your home have gutters? If not, does it need a gutter installation job? It may be time for you to go look around your home and look for water damage.

What will that damage look like? You’ll notice deep, huge divots around the foundation of your home or in the landscaping. Rain causes these by constantly pouring off the roof and onto the ground. Other indications that you should give gutter installation some consideration is basement flooding and moldy or rotted siding. 

Can I install gutters myself? 

The avid do-it-yourself homeowner is often tempted to install their own gutter system, and yes, it can be done. There are plenty of gutter installation instructions on the internet that will take you step by step, but is it the best option? Yes, all the materials, supplies, and tools are readily available at the local home improvement stores for gutter installation. Most homes, a gutter installation can be completed within one day, maybe a whole weekend. 

The upside to doing your own gutter installation, it will be less expensive by not having any labor costs. You can do the gutter installation on your schedule and not wait for a contractor to fit you in their schedule. Last, but not least, you’ll have a wider choice of colors by doing your own gutter installation. 

The downside to doing your own gutter installation, you’ll be the one climbing the ladder while carrying materials, supplies, and tools with you. You’ll be the one working at a height that an average homeowner isn’t accustomed to being. Don’t worry though, you won’t be the first or the only homeowner at the emergency room for falling off the ladder or roof. 

Another factor of doing your own gutter installation is to know the proper placement of hangers and the proper tilt for the rainwater to run off into the downspouts. It’s challenging to install a gutter system without having sagging spots, particularly around corners. If a gutter section is tilted too far back or forward, it loses its effectiveness during heavy rain. 

How do you attach gutters? 

When doing a gutter installation, the proper slope is an absolute must. This can be achieved by driving a nail half an inch below the shingles on the upper gutter run. Next, measure the distance fascia board bottom to the nail then subtract one-fourth inch for every ten feet of gutter run starting at this measurement. At the gutter run end, mark this distance, and drive a nail there. Pull a chalk line between the nails and line up a level with the string to examine the slope. You want the bubble off-center to the high side. Now, snap the chalk line to the fascia board.

Slide gutter flashing beneath the shingles and every two feet, fasten with one-inch roofing nails and lap the section two inches. Attach the gutters to the fascia and install the gutter hangers every two feet so the gutters support and strengthen on the front edge. Hold the gutter hangers’ level and screw them through the flashing gutter back and into the fascia.

Do you install gutters under drip edge?

A gutter installation with drip edge is a must, the gutter runs should be two or three inches under the roof edge. The drip edge is installed under the first row of shingles to encourage water to run into the gutters. Without it, rainwater could run behind the gutter, down the fascia board and siding, possibly damaging the fascia board and siding.

How do you seal a gutter joint?

Before starting to apply sealant, the inside of the gutters needs to be dry. Brush the seams clean and then apply gutter chalking compound or silicone along the seams, inside and outside. Use roofing cement to patch holes, generously spreading with a putty knife around the hole all around.

Do roofers install gutters?

Some roofing contractor does offer gutter installation in addition to their roofing service. However, their specialty is roofing, not gutters. Because this isn’t their specialty, the workmanship may not be the same quality as a company that provides gutters installation and repair only.

gutter system and drainage installed

Why does water leak behind my gutters?

If you notice rainwater is leaking behind the gutters, check the inside of the gutters and see if they are clogged. If they are, the rainwater will either back up under the shingles or overflow the gutters instead of running toward the downspouts. You can clean them yourself with a water hose and gloved hand or hire a gutter cleaning service. The company that did your gutter installation job will probably offer gutter cleaning services too.

If there aren’t any clogs in the gutters, then the rainwater is pouring over the shingles and down the trim. You must install a gutter apron, which is something like a drip edge. Instead of fitting under the first row of shingles, a gutter apron hangs over the gutters and then slants back toward the house. The gutter apron keeps the water from the soffit and redirects the water into the gutter system.

Other reasons why your gutters may be leaking are:

  • Getting Old: Even recently installed gutters can leak, it is more common for leaks to being with sectional gutters as they get old. Sectional gutters are sealed or screwed together, over time, the sealant begins to deteriorate, or the screws loosen and fall out. This creates a hole for the water to flow through instead of flowing to the downspouts. This is an easy fix by applying a silicone waterproof sealant.
  • Sloped Improperly: If the gutters don’t get the proper slope during gutter installation, the water can’t run toward the downspout. As we mentioned earlier, a slope will cause the gutters to begin sagging because of the debris and water build up over time. The gutters will rust where the water is sitting, and eventually, a hole breaks through allowing water to leak through.
  • Loosened Gutters: If gutters begin to pull away or fall off, they will begin leaking.  This happens when during the gutter installation, they weren’t fastened to the fascia tightly. It can also be caused by the fascia rotting and the gutter fasteners can’t hold to rotten fascia.

Gutter installation isn’t necessary in every home. Homes that is located in an arid climate where there isn’t a lot of rain, then a gutter system isn’t needed. If you’ve decided your home needs gutters, interview several gutter installation companies for quotes before deciding to do the job yourself. The money you save may not be worth the possible danger. Dial (303) 647-3883 today for your gutter installation needs in Erie and Denver, CO.