Why Are Gutters Important?
Winter has come and gone here in New Jersey, but no matter how hot the summer may be, you know it’ll be back before you know. There are plenty of things you may be able to put off a bit, like having firewood chopped, but if you need work such as having a new roof installed or gutter repairs done, you need to get to it! But maybe you aren’t sure why gutters are important or who fixes gutters?
Well, in regard to who does gutter repair work, an internet search will find you companies that specifically do gutter installations and gutter repairs. Or you can call your local neighborhood handyman, many of them are able to do small gutter repair jobs. And of course, call your local roofing contractor, although not all of the have gutter specialization. This means they will contract the work out to a third-party contractor.
And to the question of why gutters are important, let’s review what gutters do for a home:
Most foundation issues are due to excessive water around the foundation. This water runs of the roof and pools around the found, when it is there too long, the soil loosens and then the foundation weakens, jeopardizing the entire structure. A properly installed and maintained gutter system channels the rainwater away from the foundation.
Without gutters, as the rain flows to the ground and weakens the foundation, it is exposed to the exterior walls, staining the siding. With a proper gutter system with gutter repairs done as needed, this can be prevented.
A properly working gutter system will give your home a longer life from the foundation and siding to the doors and windows. Gutter repairs are essential to keeping the gutter system working correctly.
All this sounds good, but are gutters a good investment? They do not add value themselves, but gutters will give you a higher ROI for your entire home because they prevent the other maintenance and repair issues, like the foundation, doors, windows, siding, etc.
How gutters are installed?
Most homeowners will have their gutters installed by a professional. However, the accessories and materials are available at home improvement stores for the DIY homeowner. The instructions can be found on-line, but here, we’ll provide a general outline on how gutters are installed. Once you have completed your own gutter installation, you’ll find doing your own gutter repair easy too.
The layout snap lines
- On the fascia, you need to mark the highest point 1 and ¼” below the flashing drip-edge.
- At the ends of the fascia, mark the lowest ends for the gutter run, keeping a ½ inch drop every 10 feet.
- Then using a chalk line, snap a layout line between those two points
Install fascia brackets
- Locate the rafter tails located behind the fascia, typically every 16 inches.
- Mark the chalk line every other rafter tail.
- Drill a pilot hole measuring ⅛-inch-diameter into the fascia, going into the rafter tail at each of those marks.
- Using ¼” stainless steel lag screws, at each mark, fasten the fascia brackets.
Cut the gutter runs to length
- Using a hacksaw or metal snips, cut the gutter section to length.
- If a corner is require, cut at a 45 degree angle on that end.
- If wo sections of gutter runs are required for a straight-a-way,, overlap them 8 inches and connect with 3/8-inch-long,stainless steel screws that are self-starting.
Connect the end caps
- On the square-cut ends of each gutter run, attach a spherical end cap with aluminum pop rivets.
- Seal the rivets or screws inside the gutter runs to create a watertight joint using a waterproof caulk.
Cut downspout holes
- Turning the gutter upside down with the downspout outlet on top, mark the where the downspout goes by tracing on the inside where the downspout hole is to be located on the gutter
- Drill a quarter-inch diameter hole in the center of the round outline.
- Now, turning the gutter run over, cut the downspout hole with a four-inch-diameter hole.
- Lay the gutter runs in the brackets that are connected to the fascia.
- Turn the gutter upward so that the back edge slides into the hooks at the top.
- Drill a three-sixteenth hole through the screw holes on each bracket from the front, then secure the gutter runs to the bracket with a one-inch-long stainless steel machine screw.
Be sure to have the right type of screws and installed correctly to avoid Gutters pulling away from house. Should you notice any gutter runs pulling away, either do your own gutter repair or have a contractor schedule for the job.
Should I repair or replace gutters?
Do you pay for gutter repairs or is it time to replace them? That is a question usually necessitated financially. Why buy new when a few simple gutter repairs will give you another couple of years? But when is too far gone for gutter repairs to be enough?
- Gutters are detached
- Damaged or missing fasteners or screws
- Cracks, holes, and rust in gutter runs or downspouts
- Gutter slope is drooping
- Paint is fading or eroding
- Siding has water stains
- Gutters have water sitting in them
- Mildew forming from collected water
- Basement floods
- Gutters and downspouts are buckled or dented
How do professionals clean gutters?
Are you wondering why gutters overflowing? Probably because they are clogged up somewhere in the gutter run or one of the downspouts. This is an indication that it is time for gutter cleaning. The next thing to gutter repairs is gutter cleaning, something that most of us do not like doing, yet it is a necessity.
So, hiring a professional gutter cleaning service twice a year will get the job done. But how do they do it so quick and still be thorough? First thing you should realize, this is their business and livelihood, so they have made the investment of equipment, supplies and time to do the job right.
Some companies will have their equipment truck-mounted, and others have a portable setup. This includes vacuums with attachments that are gutter size and have industrial power. Some gutter cleaning companies use a wet/dry process and technology where the contractor alternates back and forth between the power wash process and vacuum process. This allows them to remove all the debris that collects in a gutter system over time. Then they take all that debris they have cleaned out and put it in garbage bags to be disposed of.
At The End Of The Day
Okay, the gutter installation we discussed earlier are for the traditional gutter system. Today, there are seamless gutters that are installed by a professional. They may the gutters while they install them, customized to your home. Are Seamless Gutters worth it?
Yes! A seamless rain gutter system is more durable and will have a longer lifespan than the traditional sectional gutter system. With no joints or seams, the possibility of cracks and leaks are minimal.