rec know your gutter

Know Your Gutter!

Gutter is a narrow trough or we can say it’s a duct which collects rainwater or dried leaves from the roof of house and diverts it away from the structure. It typically comes in several different sizes although people never notice this thing. You may have accustomed to see brown or white gutters on many residences but in fact many custom colors are also available today to camouflage it with your outer paint. Then there are vents, Louvers, fascias and soffit materials and downspouts which you can get of your choice and color.

Almost all residential applications use a 4inch x 4inch wide standard gutter and 3 inch of downpipe. Downpipe is a vertical pipe for carrying rainwater from the gutter to ground level. There are cases in which there is large expanse of area of the roof, so a larger gutter must be required for that. 5 inch gutters are available in the market that resembles the 4 inch standard size. Downpipes are increased to 4 inch from 3 inch to accommodate the extra flow of water. If they are undersized the water will wash over the outside lip of the gutter defeating the entire intent of the gutter and may be possibly damage the house from its roots below.

There are “Yankee Gutters”. Which are built into the roof itself and do not protrude from the edges of the roofs. These are often used in New England. It is said that it helps in preventing damage from sliding snow. These can be twelve inches wide to remove all the water from the roof. They must be maintained however to prevent any leaks. Leaks are easily penetrated directly into the house as the gutter is always fitted inside the exterior wall line. Properly installed and maintained gutters can last for a hundred years.

Downpipes is of approx ten foot straight lengths as well as elbows. These must be secured firmly to the house as falling water induces heavy load on the pipe and fittings and can actually pull your downpipe loose from the gutter or the house. Rivets are used to secure the straps to the leader pipes which eventually leaves a nice looking end product which will not pull apart and remain firm for years. It is also important that a good gutter system should provide a way for the water to get from the downpipes end, away from the foundation of your house. There are some products which are attached to the downpipes end which rolls out when water in the leader puts enough pressure on the inside of the roll.

Many different types of gutter accessories are available to prevent leaves and other debris from getting into the gutters and clogging them. Gutters must be cleaned at least once a year to prevent debris from clogging the down-pipes and causing gutter to overflow. There are many leaf guards that fit inside the top gutter lips to prevent leaves from entering into the gutter.

Given below are some useful points to install gutter at your roofs:

How to prepare:

1. Gutters should be attached to the fascia and run the entire length of the roof, ending with a down-pipe. If a gutter run will measure longer than 12 m, then the gutter should be positioned to pitch down from the middle, aimed toward a down-pipe at each end. A fascia bracket will be attached to every other rafter tail, or approximately every 81 cm.

  • Depending on the type of gutters you want, expect to pay anywhere from $2 to $6 per linear foot for aluminum gutters. Copper gutters could run as much as $20 per linear foot.
  • Expect to pay approximately $2 per linear foot for downspouts, and $6 to $10 each for the brackets that attach the gutters to the fascia

2. Before moving on to installation Inspect the fascia and soffit for any rot or decay. To inspect the fascia, poke where two ends of fascia boards meet or at the ends of fascia boards, if it feels spongy or compromised, you may want to consider replacing the fascia before you move on.

  • Think about replacing the fascia with more resistant material, or go with wood..
  • If the rot is caused by other factors, consider vinyl or aluminum that withstands the elements a bit better than wood.

Now it’s time to Plan for the Slope:

1. Measure and snap a layout line using chalk. If you want your gutters to work properly, you need to make a slight downward angle of your installed gutter to feed any running water toward the down pipe.

  • Longer gutters will slope from the center to each end. While they will start at the same height in the middle and tilt downward to the edges, ending at the same point.
  • Shorter gutters should tilt from one end to the other. Should always start at a high point and end at a lower point.

2. Locate the starting point of the gutter run. If your fascia board is longer than 10.6 m, your starting point will be in the center of the fascia board. If it’s shorter than 10.6 m, your gutter will run from one end to the other.

  • Mark the height point on the fascia, 1.25 inches (3.175 cm) below the roof flashing with a piece of chalk.

3. Then, just locate the end point, or the down-pipe location, of the gutter run. This will be at the corner of a fascia board, and it may include one down-pipe being fed by two different gutters.

4. Find the end point of the gutter run by using a .635 cm (1/2-inch) downward slope. Starting at your high point, move down 1/2-inch for every 3 m of gutter.

  • For example, if you’re working on a 7.6 m (25 foot) fascia board, your end point will be roughly 1-1/4 inch below your starting point.

5. Make a chalk line between the start and the end points. This will be a guidepost for your gutters, so it helps to be precise

Cutting, and Installing your Gutters

  1. Cut the gutters to your required size. Use a hacksaw, or heavy duty tin snips to cut the gutter at the appropriate measurement. You may need to cut your gutters at a 45 degree angle if two gutters meet at a corner.
  2. Attach the gutter brackets on every other rafter tail. Locate each rafter tail — usually spaced every 40.6 cm apart — by looking for their signature nail heads. After you’ve marked the location of each one, drill starting holes along every other rafter tail to make installation of the brackets easier.
  3. Mark the location for the downspout opening on the gutter. Use a jigsaw to cut a square opening at the appropriate place in the gutter.
  4. Attach the down-pipes connector and end cap to the gutter using silicone sealant and short metal screws. An end cap should be used on any open-ended run of gutter.
  5. Mount the gutters. Slip the gutter into place by tilting it upward until its back end fits into place at the top of the bracket. The gutter should either snap into place or be reasonably snug.
  6. Wrap a thin aluminum strip around the underside of each gutter corner, riveting it into place. To keep water from leaking through small cracks or openings at conjoined corners, insulate the aluminum strip further using waterproof caulk.
  7. Attach the downspout to the gutters via the downspout connector. Make sure that the tapered end of the downspout is facing down and aimed in the appropriate direction.

Seal any gutter connection seams with a heavy bead of sealant and allow to dry overnight.