Gutters protect your home by collecting water from the roof and channeling it away through downspouts. However, a clog in the gutters can lead to improper drainage and cause costly water damage. That’s one reason why cleaning them out, especially in the fall, is so crucial.
At some point, you may want to upgrade your existing gutters or replace them entirely so they can continue doing their job. When the time comes, make sure you avoid these common gutter installation errors.
1. The Wrong Downspout Placement
The downspout is a critical part of your gutter system and determines how well your gutters work. The wrong placement can result in standing water, erosion, basement flooding, and foundation or siding damage.
Downspouts lead rainwater away from your house, preventing these issues. You want to ensure they’re long enough to do their job.
Some rules to follow include the following:
- Don’t position the downspout discharge near the foundation
- Don’t block the flow of water with hardscaping or obstacles
- Install extensions if the downspout is too short
- Include one downspout for every 40 linear ft. of gutter
- Clean your gutters and downspouts at least once a year
2. Not Considering Pitch
You’ll also have to consider the roofline and gutter pitch, as more peaks and valleys affect how water drains off the roof. An overly steep pitch means water moves more quickly, and it can cause overflow. The opposite problem is when water sits in the system and doesn’t drain.
Improperly installed gutters can cause the water runoff to overflow, potentially damaging your soffit, fascia, and siding. Pooling water is also quite heavy, and it can cause the gutters to strain, crack, or pull away.
A rule of thumb concerning pitch is to use a 1/4″ slope, angling toward the downspout, every ten feet. A contractor can make sure that your gutter system has the proper pitch for the type of roof that you have.
3. Choosing the Wrong Gutter Size
There are different gutter sizes on the market, and it’s important to select the right size for your house. You need a system that can handle the volume of rainwater downfalls.
According to a USA TODAY analysis, climate change and rising temperatures have caused more erratic weather patterns, such as more frequent rainfall and heavier downpours.
If you live in an older house, your current system might not be able to handle heavier rain. You may need to start replacing the old gutters with new ones that can protect your home better.
How much your gutter system can handle depends on the breadth at the top. If you live in an area with a lot of rainfall, you may need to install larger gutters than average.
The average size is between 5-6″ wide. The average downspout is 3-4″ in diameter. You might need a larger size if you live in an area with a lot of rain or if you have a complicated roof pitch.
Consulting with a professional installation company is the best option so you don’t make this common mistake and choose the wrong size.
4. Going With the Wrong Gutter System
Although gutters have been around for ages, there have been many advancements in the way they work. If you’re tired of your old gutter cleaning routine, you might want to install a system designed to prevent blockages.
One popular option is to go with gutter guards that reduce the amount of maintenance needed. It’s a good option for older adults and those concerned about getting on a ladder to clean their gutters.
If you’re looking for a customized solution designed with your home in mind, you can’t go wrong with a K-Guard gutter system installation. They cover everything from the free estimate through the gutter installation process.
5. Placing Gutter Hangers Too Far Apart
The gutter hangers mount the entire system to the house. Proper placement of the hangers is key to avoiding damage.
Many homeowners make the mistake of placing the hangers too far apart, which can cause gutters to sag. When the gutters sag, rainwater accumulates and pools in these areas. The weight of the water may also result in the gutters breaking and separating.
The exact distance to place the hangers depends on the climate where you live. It’s generally three feet apart. However, it should be two feet apart in areas that see a lot of snow and ice, as that adds additional weight.
Selecting the wrong placement for the hangers will undo all your hard work. It’s a costly mistake you want to avoid.
6. Using Too Many Seams
The seams are the part of your system most susceptible to damage. You want to limit the number of seams as much as possible.
Professional gutter installation companies now have seamless options which reduce leakage and water damage that can occur.
However, you want to avoid the mistake of attempting to install seamless gutters yourself. They must be tailored to the size of your home and installed by a professional to work properly.
7. Waiting Too Long to Install
If your current gutter system is leaking or damaged, ignoring the problem can cause significant damage to your home.
Leaky gutters may result in foundation erosion, hardware failure, corrosion, water damage, and more. Sagging gutters can damage the structure of your home, such as rotting eaves and foundation issues.
Over time, gutters will erode, which can happen faster if you fail to perform regular maintenance. If you’re experiencing leaks and problems every time it rains, it’s time to contact a gutter installation professional to evaluate your home.
Avoid These Common Gutter Installation Errors
It’s important to replace your old gutter system if it’s no longer enough to protect your house. When you do, be sure to avoid these common gutter installation errors.
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