Gutters are a vital system of any home so it’s important that gutter installation mistakes aren’t made when they’re put in. Gutters shield your property from water damage by collecting rainwater and redirecting it away from your home’s foundation. Since gutter installation isn’t a complicated construction project, homeowners may sometimes take the project themselves or hire an inexperienced gutter contractor. However, as with any home project, many mistakes are likely to occur during installation, some of which can make the whole gutter system useless. Here are some of the most common mistakes you should avoid during gutter installation.
1. Gutter installation mistakes: Choosing the wrong gutter type
When it comes to choosing the right gutter, one of the common gutter installation mistakes involves choosing the wrong one. Gutters come in many different sizes, shapes, and materials, such as steel guttering, plastic cutters and cast iron. However, most homeowners find it confusing and difficult to decide which type of gutter is best for their home. This poses the risk of choosing the wrong gutter type, which could render the installation and system futile. For instance, if your gutters are too small, the system can be overburdened when it rains heavily, leading to poor drainage.
Before making any purchase, carefully research the different types of gutters available and consider factors such as your roof pitch, home size, and the amount of rainfall your area generally receives. Use this Gutter Sizing Guide or consult your roof contractor or supplier to help determine your home’s most appropriate dimensions.
2. Using too many seams
Seams hold different gutter parts together, but they are the weakest point of any guttering system. Too many seam weldings can make your gutter prone to cracks or leakage, so installing gutters with as few seams possible is your best bet. It’s worth choosing seamless gutters to avoid this if you can afford it.
3. Gutter installation mistakes: Calculating the wrong roof pitch
Your gutters should have a fairly steep pitch to allow easy flow of rainwater to the downspouts. If your roof pitch is too steep, rainwater will travel too quickly into the downspouts and likely overflow, while water may pool in parts of the gutter if the angle is too low. Both of these gutter installation mistakes can cause damage to your gutter and other issues around your home’s exterior.
Generally, a quarter of an inch slope towards the downspouts is required for every 10 feet of your gutter. This way, no rainwater will spill to the side or collect within your gutters.
4. Installing gutters in the wrong location
There is a common misconception that gutters should be placed at the roof edge, which is wrong. Gutters generally need to be installed a few inches below the roof edge to collect water that flows down its backside due to capillary action.
5. Wrong installation of downspouts
Downspouts direct water away from your home. However, if they aren’t correctly installed or are placed in the wrong location, rainwater may leak into the foundation or even damage your façade. Ideally, install your downspouts such that they divert water 8 to 10 feet away from your house foundation.
Gutters are your roof’s first line of defence against rain, so any gutter installation mistake, including a DIY project, can leave your roof prone to moisture damage. If you are inexperienced with home improvements, consider hiring a professional to avoid all the hassle and get the most out of your money. A reliable gutter contractor will advise you on which type of gutter best suits your home and won’t make any of these mistakes.1