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Gutter Installation Basics

Do you have old, damaged gutters? Are you planning on installing new gutters this year? If you answered yes to either of the question above, it’s probably time to invest in new gutter installation. Like most home improvements, proper planning is key. You’ll need to work out how to overcome the biggest disadvantages to gutter installation, which are:

The biggest disadvantage of gutter installation is that it can increase the risk of flooding. Gutters are installed at the edge of the roof, directing rainwater away from the home. Unfortunately, without proper protection, gutters are often installed in areas where they are vulnerable to the damage caused by ice and snow melting, combined with rainwater leaking into them. Without careful planning, gutters installed too close together can cause walls and bricks to be cracked or even broken through, allowing unwanted water to flood the interior of the house.

Another disadvantage is that gutter installation requires a skilled and qualified gutter contractor. It’s not something you can DIY. Contractors will have the experience and skills to install new gutter systems correctly and efficiently, ensuring your home’s safety and value. You can use a variety of tools when constructing the system, such as gutter hangers, clips and gutter clips, leaf guards and downspouts. But a professional gutter installation company uses only high-quality materials and labor.

A third disadvantage to gutter installation is that you’ll need to add extra support to the foundation walls. Gutter protection systems are typically suspended above the soil level, so the foundation must be higher than the gutters. If you’ve already poured the base foundation, it’s probably unnecessary to add additional support. But if your gutters aren’t connected to the foundation, you need to ensure there’s a sufficient amount of soil between the gutter to the ground for the gutter installation to be successful.

An advantage of old gutter installation is that the water damage will usually be contained within the structure of the gutter, which limits the extent of damage to the foundation and the rest of the house. In most cases, this means your new gutter installation will be able to keep the water damage to the bare minimum, avoiding a whole range of expensive repairs. Old gutters were also less prone to water damage because they were more simple structures. The channels were designed to channel the water away from the foundation.

Old roofs had a single channel draining down the center of the roof. The rainwater fell inside and the water vapor went up into the attic. The attic would then be vented out through the gutter.

With today’s modern roofs, the drainage channels are often coupled with a second type of mechanism to discharge the water in an efficient manner outside the house. That second mechanism typically consists of a perforated pipe that directs the water flow into another drainage channel outside the house, or into a sewer or septic tank.

Today’s new styles of gutters have advanced tremendously over the years. One advancement is the use of polyethylene, which are lightweight, durable and attractive, and it allows the gutter to be easily installed and subsequently modified, should you choose to do so. Polyethylene and aluminum are very popular because they’re UV resistant and they won’t rust. Aluminum and vinyl are also used in the hardware around the home for the same reasons.

When selecting the material, make sure you’re selecting a high quality product. Low-quality materials can be subject to rotting and wearing after just a few years of use. The weight of the rainwater will cause undue stress on your gutter system, if it’s installed without adequate bracing. If you’re installing the system near your foundation, be sure to consider the location of the downspouts. Will the water flow away from your foundation on one side or the other? You don’t want your downspouts to be located too far away, because that will cause your gutters to become blocked and your foundation to develop leaks.

Ready for New Gutters?

Damaged gutters can cause many issues with your home. They can cause wood to rot, create foundation issues, erode your landcape and can cause mold and mildew.

Don’t wait until it’s too late.