Gutters and Leaders (aka: downspouts) are designed to collect water running off the roof and direct it away from the house's foundation. In this regard, the ground should slope away from the foundation so water doesn't pool. Water should also be carried as far as possible from the house by splash blocks, downspout extensions, flexible drains, or even underground drains.
Gutters, which are hung from the edge of the roof or attached to the fascia board, are made from vinyl, galvanized tin, aluminum, copper, and wood. Some come with baked-on enamel coatings, others are bare and must be painted. Among the many choices are seamless aluminum gutters that are custom formed at your house before they are mounted.
Standard sized residential gutters come in 10-foot lengths and are 5 inches and 6 inches wide. For roofs over 1,500 square feet, select the wider gutter. Most sections are connected with slip joints and end caps, and downspout connections are constructed in a similar fashion.
Standard slope for gutters is 1 inch for every 20 feet toward a downspout. Some installers, however, prefer to install gutters level with the roof edge because it looks better. Downspouts are placed at no more than 30-foot intervals, and sometimes at each end of a single 30-foot run. By using elbow connections, downspouts curve from the gutter back to the side of the house, where they are attached with straps.
Types of Gutters
SEAMLESS GUTTERS:These are among the best because they require no painting, as galvanized gutters do, and do not crack or bend, as vinyl gutters do. After the installer measures your roof perimeter, aluminum is fed from a spool into a special machine that extrudes the gutters on the spot. Despite the name, these gutters are not entirely seamless, but only have them at inside and outside corners.
GAVANIZED TIN: Among the most widely used of all gutters, galvanized tin has been around for years. Its only drawback is that it must be painted periodically to prevent rust from penetrating the galvanized coating. The gutters are stiff and strong and hold up well in areas with heavy snowfall.
VINYL: These gutters are the easiest for the do-it-yourselfers. They are sold at all large home centers, are light and easy to put up. They usually come in just brown wood: Although still found on old houses, wood gutters today are a custom design. They can be beautiful and long-lasting with proper care. That means regular cleaning and painting.
COPPER: These are also custom gutters and very handsome and long lasting.
Over the years, gutter supports become loose, rusted, and broken. You should:
Check them periodically and replace or repair them as necessary. Be sure to clean leaves and debris from the gutters each fall before the harsh winter season.
Check that the downspouts are clear. If not, blast the debris out with a hose stream or use a plumbing snake. Check during a rain for any leaks at the gutter joints. A bead of caulk will often be enough to seal the leak.
Use leaf guards on the gutters to prevent accumulation. Use strainers over the downspout holes. These can be made from a short strip of rolled chicken wire that is inserted into the downspout hole.
COMPONENT PARTS OF GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS
Gutters and downspouts are constructed of many separate parts and pieces. Fig. 1 illustrates the basic parts used in a typical installation. Metal guttering pieces are usually fastened together with sheet metal screws or pop rivets.
The basic gutter pieces are commonly offered in standard 10' lengths and are usually made of aluminum, plastic or galvanized metal. These are the basic gutter materials used for most gutter and downspout installations.
Spikes and ferrules hold the gutter to the wall of the house. The ferrule is inserted inside the gutter and the spike is driven through the rim of the gutter and through the ferrule to hold the gutter in place.
The slip connector is used to connect two pieces of guttering in the run. The connecting joint is sealed with mastic or caulk to prevent leakage. Some brands of downspouts and gutters slip snugly together and need no mastic or caulk.
The strap hanger is attached under the shingles or other roofing material and then to the outside edge of the gutter, providing support for the run.
The end piece is available with an outlet for the downspout or for simply ending a gutter run.
The end cap ends the run of guttering and is available for left- or right-hand use. Some styles must be sealed with either caulk or mastic.
The downspout takes the water out of the gutter and down to the drainage pipe or splash block on the ground. It is attached to the gutter at the outlet in the end piece.
The conductor pipe band, or clincher, is a strap used to hold the downspout in place. It is nailed or screwed to the outside wall to hold the downspout securely wherever necessary. This piece is available in various styles and types. Ball strainers can be inserted in the end piece to prevent leaves and other bulky material from clogging the downspout or drainage pipes. Several other types of gutter covers are available as well (Fig. 2). While not absolutely necessary, strainers and gutter covers can be helpful.
In some cases, strap hangers are the wraparound type. The style of strap hanger you use is more a matter of choice or manufacturer's design than of function. The strap hangers shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 both serve the same purpose–to hold the gutter in place.
An inside miter is used when it becomes necessary to make an inside turn in a gutter.
You can make outside turns in the guttering system by inserting an outside miter as illustrated in Fig. 2. Use mastic or caulk for sealing the joint where either inside or outside miters are jointed to the gutter.
Some downspouts and elbows are round instead of square.
It sometimes becomes necessary to make turns in downspouts. When a turn is required to pull the downspout toward or away from the house, use square elbows (A, Fig. 3). Two of these elbows used together, as illustrated, make an offset of several inches in the downspout. The crimp in downspouts and elbows usually makes mastic or caulk unnecessary at the joints. To make a turn in the downspout either to the left or right, use the square elbows shown in B, Fig. 3. Two of these elbows mounted together divert the direction of the downspout to the left or right by several inches. A square shoe is used at the bottom of the downspout. This turns the flow of water onto a splash block where the downspout ends.
OUR Expert Gutter Crews Can Install Aluminum And Yes, Copper Gutter & Leaders. (Click On The Pictures Below To Get An Enhanced View Of Just How We Do It!)
Sick Of Gutter Maintainence? Consider Installing Our High Quality Gutter Guards! Let Us Clarify A Few Things For You First!
Will water shoot off the side of the house in a really heavy rain?
Answer:No. When Properly Installed , Our Gutter Guard System will handle any amount of rain that falls. It has been tested in conditions that simulated over 10" of rain per hour (more than has ever been recorded, anywhere) and handled every drop. Next time it rains, watch how rain falls from your roof and into your gutter. Even in the heaviest rains, the water just drips off the end of the shingles. Seeing this helps you to understand how the system handles heavy rainfalls.
Does ice cause a problem?
Answer: While our system doesn't solve any ice problems, it doesn't create any new ones either. Snow will sit on top of the product. If the house is poorly insulated and the snow on the roof melts before the snow on the gutter guard, there may be some water that runs off the side. The system will, however, keep water from freezing inside the gutter and the downspouts, which can cause sever damage.
Will Our System Keep pine needles, Douglas firs, seeds, etc. out of the gutter?
Answer: Yes. Most debris enters gutters when it is dry out. Leaves fall and are blown by the wind into the gutters. Since one step of the system hangs over the next, debris will fall over the side of the house. It is important that a gutter system be thoroughly cleaned before installation. Any debris that manages to pass over the"step", through the small gap into the channel, and through the holes, will flush through the clean gutter underneath because there is not larger debris to hang it up and cause a clog.
Won't small debris like pine needles get caught in the channels and cause the water to shoot off the side?
Answer:No. When debris is able to navigate the "steps" two things will happen. 1. It will pass through the holes in the bottom of the channel and will flush through the clean gutter. 2. The debris will sit in the channel briefly, but will be blown out by wind. The reason wind is so effective in clearing these channels is because it creates a lift similar to that of an airplane wing when it passes over the steps, creating an upward draft in the channels and blowing away any debris.
What about roofs that are very steep?
Answer:The system has been tested on roofs all the way up to a 12" in 12" pitch (45 degrees). The upper limit for slope is even steeper, but we do not have a set limit. Anything over 12" in 12" should be tested first with one piece only to ensure effectiveness.
Do you have to nail the system into the roof deck?
Answer:No. One end of the system slides under the first course of shingles and the other end snaps onto the lip of the gutter. No nailing is required.
Will the wind blow the system off of the gutters?
Answer: No. The shingles hold the product in from the top and a "jaw" snaps onto the edge of standard "K" style gutters.
How do you deal with corners?
Answer: The system should be miter cut and butted together at both inside and outside corners. Also, it is good practice to install diverters at the bottom of long "valleys" created by two roof sections meeting at an inside corner. There is no rule of thumb for this, simply it is a solution if water flow at the valley is too much for the system to handle.
Should the end of the gutter runs be capped?
Answer: Depending on the geography, birds and critters may find the holes at the end of the gutter runs to be attractive hiding/living places. If you perceive this as a problem in your area, you may cap the ends with a piece of sheet metal or screen, or see the manufacturer's template for making end caps out of coil stock or scrap gutter guard.
Will the system work with cedar and/or tile roofs?
Answer: The system is effective with these types of roofs, but it is very difficult to install. The reason is that cedar and tile may break when they are lifted during installation. Installation of the system on these types of roofs should be limited to new installations only.
Can the system be installed over vinyl gutters?
Answer: The system can be installed only over those vinyl gutters that have the "K" style flange at the edge of the gutters. Some vinyl gutters are manufactured with this flange and some are not. To determine whether installation is possible, a small sample piece of gutter guard should be tried.
How are the pieces joined together?
Answer: The gutter guard should be installed with an approximate 1/2" space between pieces. This will allow for expansion and contraction of the material. The gap should be covered using the connector clips included in the box.
Water Diverters Installed At The Edge Of The Roof
Gutters Installed At The Tail End Of A Rafter
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