How to Put up Gutters and Downspouts



Tool and Material Checklist:

Basic gutter and downspout parts, Nails (various sizes), Ladder, Mastic or cement, Star drill, Hand cleaner, Soldering iron or gun, Screwdriver, Hammer, Tin snips, Screws, Level, Chalk line, Marking pencil, Masonry fasteners, Masonry drill, Solder

Component Parts of Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are made up of many different parts and pieces. The basic gutter pieces are usually offered in standard 10 ft. lengths. They are usually made of aluminum or galvanized metal. This is the basic gutter material that will make up most of a gutter and downspout installation.

Spikes and ferules are used to hold the gutter to the wall of the house. The ferrule is inserted inside the gutter and the spike driven through the rim of the gutter and through the ferrule to hold the gutter in place.

The slip connector is used where it becomes necessary to connect two pieces of guttering in the gutter run. The joint is sealed with mastic or soldered to prevent leakage. Some brands of downspouts and gutters require no mastic or solder. They are made to slip snugly together without a leak.

The strap hanger is attached under the shingles or other roofing material and then attached to the outside edge of the gutter to provide support for the run of gutter.

The end piece is attached under the shingles or other roofing material and then attached to the outside edge of the gutter to provide support for the run of gutter.

The end piece is available both with an outlet for the downspout or for simply ending off a gutter run. An end piece with a downspout outlet is often inserted in a run where a downspout is needed.

The end cap is tapped onto the end piece to end the run of guttering. End caps are available for left or right hand use. They are soldered into place or sealed with mastic. Some styles require neither solder nor 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 wood or masonry wall to hold the downspout securely wherever necessary. These are available in various styles and types.

Ball strainer are sometimes inserted as strainers for the outlet to the downspout in the end piece. Strainers are not absolutely necessary, but do serve to prevent leaves and other bulky material from clogging the downspout or drainage pipes.

In some cases, strap hangers are the wrap around type. The style of strap hanger is more a matter of choice or manufacturer design than functional. Strap hangers both serve the same basic purpose — holding the gutter in place.

When it becomes necessary to make an inside turn in a gutter, an inside mitre is used. Outside turns in the guttering system are made by inserting an outside mitre. Use mastic or solder for sealing the joint where either inside or outside mitres are joined to the gutter. A square shoe is used at the bottom of the downspout. This turns the flow of water and pulls it out onto a splash block where the downspout ends near the ground.

Installing Gutters and Downspouts

Gutters and downspouts are available in galvanized metal, aluminum, copper or plastic. Various component parts, previously described, are required to complete the job in each case. Strips of guttering usually come in 10 ft. lengths. Measure the area where guttering is to be installed very carefully and determine exactly how many feet of guttering and how many of the basic component parts you will need.

Make a checklist for determining the materials you will need before starting the job. Measure the house carefully and then note on this checklist exactly how many of the various parts you will need for your gutter and downspout installation.

Lay out the pieces of gutter and fittings on the ground below where they are to be installed. Align them to correspond to the way they will fit when assembled under the eave of the roof. Use a long level to get the correct slope for each run of gutter. A slope of approximately 1in. for each 16 ft. of gutter is adequate to provide proper drainage. Good drainage is important.

One easy way to accurately set the slope for proper drainage of gutter is to allow for a fall of 1-1/4 in. for each two 10 ft. lengths of guttering material.

This can be calculated by marking the nailing position on the fascia of the house before attaching the gutter and then checking the fall with a level to be sure it is accurate.

Locate the center of each span of gutter material. Mark this center location on the fascia of the house. Now take a chalk line and snap a line from the center position to the end of the run in each direction. Allow for 1 in. of fall each way. On an ordinary home installation, this fall of 1 in. in each direction from the center will provide adequate drainage. If the run is extremely long, allow 1 in. fall for each 16 ft. of gutter.

Start attaching the gutter at the end or corner of the house. If it is the end of the gutter run, attach the left or right hand end cap to the end of the gutter and seal it into place before hanging it, if sealing is required. If you start at a corner, attach the inside or outside mitre to the first length of gutter before you hang it into place.

If you are mounting gutter on a new house, the molding should be mounted as illustrated. If you are replacing existing gutter and downspouts, it will probably be necessary to remove the lower molding before putting the gutter into place. The molding can be remounted or new molding can be installed after the gutter is put into place.

Attach the gutter to the fascia under the eave of the house by using spikes and ferrules, strap hangers and fascia brackets. Insert an end piece with an outlet at any point where a downspout is required. Downspouts are usually located at the end of a building or in a corner. On extremely long runs, downspouts are often located in the center of a gutter run.

If spikes and ferrules are used, space them about every 2-1/2 in. in the gutter run. Use the same spacing if you are attaching the gutter with plain or wrap around strap hangers. If strap hangers are used, locate them directly over roof rafters wherever possible. This location provides a stronger support.

Always insert the strap hanger under the roofing material and attach it to the roofing deck securely. After the first length of gutter is hung in place, continue assembling the component parts with slip connectors at each joint and inside or outside mitres as required. Insert two elbows to bring the downspouts from the outlet on the gutter back flush with the wall.

A strainer can be inserted in each downspout opening to prevent the clogging of the downspout by leaves, limbs and other objects falling from trees nearby. Such objects can get into underground drainage systems and cause a great deal of trouble. Use connector pipe band, sometimes called clincher bands, to connect the downspouts to the wall as required. There are several styles of these holding devices.

If the downspout does not run into an underground tile system, place a shoe at the bottom of each downspout to throw the water out onto a splash block. Mastic gutter seal must be used to seal the connecting joints of many aluminum type guttering.




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