Gutters on your home may not look like much, but they are actually a powerful tool for keeping your house in good shape for years to come.
Few houses can go without a water diversion system. Without gutters, rain and snow roof run-off relentlessly pound the earth, creating heavy, water-logged soil that can crack the foundation. With metal or plastic gutters and downspouts, you can avoid this problem altogether. Installing gutters is a do-it-yourself job that pays off many times over, whether you intend to stay in your house for the long-term or sell at some point in the future.
Basics of Installing Gutters
Moving roof water away from the house is as basic as letting the water drain into open-topped gutters attached directly to the house’s fascia. Gutters lead to closed pipes—downspouts—which drop the water to ground level. It’s a system that’s as effective as it is simple.
Most large home centers carry all components necessary for building a complete gutter system. Gutters and downspouts attach to each other with a variety of connectors and corners to form a unified system.
As long as you have good weather, a partner to help, the right tools, and a sturdy ladder, you should be able to install gutters on an entire one-story house in a weekend or two.
Gutter Installation Preparation
One frequent hangup with installing gutters is the condition of the fascia. When old gutters are removed, severe fascia damage might be revealed. The wood might be cracked, split, moldy, or rotten. Though hardier, PVC fascia, too, can fail.
Complete replacement of the fascia is usually the best course since the fascia must be strong enough to accept the new screws and to hold heavy, water-bearing gutters. Any run of 40 feet or more of gutters should have two or more downspouts.
Codes, Regulations, and Permits
Most communities generally do not require you to apply for a permit to install gutters and downspouts. Always check with your local permitting office, though.
When to Install Gutters
Gutters are best installed in dry, warm months. This eliminates the possibility of water runoff from the roof that may interfere with the gutter installation.
Work with a partner who can steady the ladder for you as you work. Work from the ladder, not from the roof. Wear eye protection and use heavy leather gloves whenever cutting metal gutters or downspouts.
Source: The Spruce