It seems like it shouldn’t take more than a steady ladder and a few tools to install new gutters around your home, so why not make it a weekend project? Before you unleash your DIY warrior and head for the home improvement center, consider these five common gutter mistakes.
1. Missing the mark. It makes sense to hang the gutters right under your roof line, but positioning them too close turns them into spillways. Rain water running off the roof needs room to hit the mark, so gutters need to be installed a few inches below the roof’s edge.
2. The wrong pitch and tilt. You want everything to look neat and even, but water has to run downhill. Gutters work best with a pitch of 2 inches per 40 linear feet. They also have to be level from back to front, so resist the urge to give them a forward tilt.
3. Badly spaced hangers. These supports work hard during a downpour, and they have to hold up to heavy winds too. Secure them at 3-foot intervals so that the gutters’ weight is evenly distributed. This also helps maintain that important pitch for efficient runoff.
4. Working with cheap materials. Bargain gutters don’t save money when they come apart at the seams. Inexpensive materials buckle easily, making them hard to work with and a liability in severe weather. Not opting for covered gutters can also be a mistake, as uncovered gutters are more prone to pesky clogs. A cheap, leaky gutter system becomes an expensive replacement project.
5. Underestimating the job. Before you get started, you’ll need to inspect your home’s fascia and soffit to make sure they’re in good shape for the installation. Sizing, cutting, hanging and leveling gutters require precision work. Don’t be surprised if that weekend job grows into a big project.
If you’re ready to climb the ladder and hang your own gutters, be aware of the pitfalls. There’s nothing wrong with second thoughts especially when you consider all the other things you can get done around the house. Consider a professional gutter installer like LeafGuard. In addition to our exceptional experience, we offer an outstanding range of gutter systems and products. Whether you do it yourself or let our pros handle the heavy work, we’re always happy to help.