Hanging Gutters at the Wrong Pitch
When you’re hanging gutters by yourself, the most common mistake people make is they use improper slope or pitch.
At first glance, it may look like you have your gutter system installed correctly. If the slope is incorrect, the system will be fighting against itself. When water falls into a gutter trough, the first thing it does is start flowing downhill. If your gutters are installed in sections, they could all be angled a different way.
As the flow begins to go in one direction, another section of gutter leaning the opposite way could be fighting against it. What this does is cause the water to back up, keeping it from finding the outlet where it can drain.Once this occurs, the system inevitably overflows causing leaks and other problems.
Hangar Type and Placement
Another common mistake is hangar type or the hangar placement. When you are installing gutters, it is really important that you have consistent hangar spacing. Typically, they are hung around 30 inches apart. You can push it to 36 inches or go is little as 18 inches. The most important thing is that you are consistent, especially if they are going to be farther apart. Inconsistent spacing can cause the gutter to be wavy. Too few hangers or too much spacing can cause the gutter to sag when it’s full of rainwater.
The type of hangar that you use also needs to be consistent. Some are light duty and some are heavy duty. You don’t want to interchange these because they hold at different strengths. You want a good hanger that holds when the water fills up. A gutter can weigh as much as six pounds per gallon and can get extremely heavy. Keep in mind gutters weigh one gallon per foot on a five inch system and almost two gallons per foot on a six inch system. Ensure that your hangars are sturdy, designed and placed properly.
The third problem people run into when hanging gutters themselves is incorrect downspouts placement. Downspout placement is an extremely important component of gutter installation. Water does not flow around corners easily and positioning downspouts in the right location solve this problem.
Water has a build up effect when it gets to an inside corner or an outside corner. A professional installer will place the outlets for the downspout in the correct location to ensure maximum drainage on a gutter system so the system isn’t stressed.
Some Materials are Only Available to Professionals
When hanging gutters yourself, the materials that you purchased from a hardware store or a big box store are not the same materials that are available to professionals. Also, you may be missing important equipment or equipment of a degraded quality. Seamless gutter machines are expensive and the types of materials that you have to buy from a big box store are not only thinner, but sometimes they aren’t even available.
Hanging Seamed Gutters Instead of Seamless
Since you probably don’t have a gutter machine to run out these pieces seamlessly, you will have a seam every 10 feet. Seams locations where the gutter can actually deteriorate quicker and begin leaking because of the expansion and contraction that happens. In metal gutter systems or even in the PVC systems, joints are the weakest link in the system. If at all possible you want seamless gutters to avoid this weakness.
The major downside of seamed gutters is expansion and contraction. PVC expands almost three fourths of an inch for every 10 feet. This is massive and the pieces that you use to seam the gutters together are rubber flanged. PVC breaks down very quickly due to gunk and grime that gets on the rubber seal causing leaks.
Safety and Liability
Hanging your own gutters is a liability and safety issue. Gutter system can range between 500 to $3,500 plus, depending on the home. Quality materials, equipment or different types of gutter guard systems are still going to cost you some money, not to mention the time. Gutter installation is high liability, especially if you aren’t used to being on a ladder. If you fall off the ladder or your roof you could be seriously injured or worse. Expensive doctor and hospital bills add further insult to injury if you get hurt.
Hanging Gutters Yourself Takes a Long Time
A gutter professional can do 1-3 gutter jobs per day. Professional gutter installation is a streamlined process and they go up very quickly. If you are not a professional.you are using second rate materials, and you aren’t experienced on a ladder, it could take days or weeks.
After installing your fascia board, it is important to make sure that your roof projection, a roof overhang over that fascia board, is sufficient to prevent water from bleeding back onto the board. This prevents rain damage every time there’s bad weather. Be sure to use a string, proper fasteners and always make sure that it’s level from one end to the next. It is recommended to use a sub fascia to ensure that the board is fastened correctly.