Gutter replacement seems like a simple job, but beginners might run into a few unforeseen issues, especially if they don’t research the installation first. Once adequately prepared, gutter replacement can be a great way to save money, and for some, it can even be a fun household maintenance job. Here are six common mistakes that people make when they try to replace their own gutters.
1. Miscalculating Roof Pitch
Without a doubt, calculating roof pitch is the most important step in installing new gutters. The slightest adjustment the wrong way can cause water to not drain properly, and even worse, it can cause water to drain too fast, flooding an area of your foundation or even overflowing off the gutters. The proper pitch for gutters is generally one to two inches of decline for every forty feet of gutter. It’s a subtle slant that you can’t afford to miscalculate.
2. Insufficient Support
Brackets, hangers, and more complex mounting systems are used to hold gutters in place and provide support. If you want it done professionally, you need to provide gutters with sufficient support. Spacing out your hangers too far will result in gutters coming loose, slumping, or even breaking completely.
3. Incorrectly Install Downspouts
A lot of people incorrectly place downspouts right by the corner of the home. This will keep the water from pouring off your roof, but it also makes it pile up right beside the foundation. It’s important to guide the water at least eight feet away from the base of the home to ensure your foundation stays in good working order.
4. Buying the Wrong Gutters
Not all types of gutters are appropriate for all types of roofs. Roof type, pitch, design, and materials will all determine the best type of gutter for your home. It’s important to research what type of gutter you need for your specific type of roof. Don’t deviate too much here. It’s easy to get a set of fashionable gutters only to realize later on that there’s no way for them to work with your roof type.
5. Too Many Pieces
Ideally, you’ll want each side of your gutter system to be seamless, but this isn’t realistic. You’ll have to connect several pieces of gutter to completely line your roof. You should always try to do this in as few pieces as possible. This might mean buying two separate lengths of gutter and pairing them up on each side. Try not to have more than one seam on each side. Seams are the weakest point of the gutter system, and they will inevitably sag, break, or simply come loose.
6. Forgoing Maintenance
One of the biggest issues people have after installing new gutters is poor maintenance. Just because you have a new set of gutters, it doesn’t mean they’ll function properly without cleaning. You’ll still have to remove the leaves, clean the gutters, and maintain your downspouts integrity. Failure to properly maintain gutters means you’ll just be replacing them again very soon.