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Ten Steps to Proper Gutter Installation

Ten Steps to Proper Gutter Installation

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September 29, 2010

Without rain gutters, the foundation of your home is vulnerable. Without gutters to protect your home, rain can deteriorate the foundation, seep into basements and cellars, and cause problems with your siding or clapboard.

How to Install Rain Gutters

Most rain gutters are professionally installed, but you might need to replace a section on your own. Here's how to do just that:

  1. Measure the area very carefully before purchasing gutters. A rain gutter that's too long can always be trimmed down, but a gutter that's too small can be a problem.
  2. Check the fascia for signs of rot or insect damage. If everything looks fine, use a chalk line to mark the area where you will hang the gutter. The gutter should slope 1/2 inch per every ten feet of run.
  3. Locate the rafter tails behind the fascia. They're usually spaced 16 inches apart. Fasten the fascia brackets to the rafter tails with screws long enough to penetrate the rafters.
  4. Measure the gutter again, and, this time, cut it to size. You can use a hacksaw, aviation snips, or power saw with a carbide-tipped blade.
  5. At the end of the gutter, add the spherical end cap with pop rivets. Make sure to put the rivets on the side of the gutter, never in the bottom. Seal the joint with high-quality caulk to prevent water seeping through the gutter seam.
  6. Using a four-inch diameter hole saw, measure and cut the holes for the downspouts.
  7. Lay the gutter into the brackets and rotate it gently until the back of the gutter slips into the hooks on the brackets. Secure the gutter to the brackets with screws.
  8. Secure the downspout outlet and elbow to the gutter with rivets. Crimp the edges of the downspout to fit into the elbow. Use one downspout bracket for a one-story house and three downspout brackets for a two-story house.
  9. When you're done with the installation, wait for the rain! Walk around your house and watch the rain flowing down the gutters. If you see water going anywhere it shouldn't, check all of your work as soon as the rain stops.
  10. When you're satisfied with your work on the rain gutters, paint or spray-paint them to match or contrast with the trim on your home. Make sure the downspouts are firmly placed at the ground and pointing away from your home's foundation.

Follow these ten steps to properly install your rain gutters, and you can rest easy knowing the rain, rain WILL go away.

About the author: Shannon Dauphin is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. Her current home was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her necessary hobbies.

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