Steel Gutter Installation: 6 Tips
Gutter installation is a vital aspect of drainage management in your home. Rainwater collects in the gutters and is discharged away from your house and into the storm drain system. This helps to maintain an efficient drainage system in the home. It also helps to prevent damage to the house caused by stagnant water. Some of the best gutters you can install in your home are the steel variety. These have a high efficacy and are also amongst the most durable. The 6 tips below can help you install yours properly.
1. Determine Slope of the Gutter
This is a vital first step, as it determines the speed at which water will flow through the gutters. Avoid placement of level gutters. It is best to slope them at an angle to facilitate better drainage. Sloped gutters draw from the force of gravity to ferry water and debris away from your home. This helps to prevent blockages in the gutters. It also reduces corrosion of steel gutters caused by stagnant waters that are unable to drain away.
2. Cutting through the Gutters
Gutters usually come in 10 foot pieces. Some alterations will be necessary so that the gutters fit in your home. Due to the high tensile nature, it can be a bit of a challenge when you have to saw through steel gutters. It helps if you attach an extremely fine blade to your hacksaw. Place the blade backwards into the frame so that the teeth face the saw handle. This means you’ll cut the gutter when you pull the saw away and ease up on the return stroke.
At times, your gutter run will exceed the length of gutter pieces. This compels you to join 2 pieces together. Overlap the sections by at least 4 inches. Lap the joints in the direction of the flow. Seal the joints with a silicone rubber sealant and fasten with waterproof steel screws. These should be placed along the sides of the gutters and not at the bottom. Where the gutter has to negotiate a corner, you’ll have to cut at a 45 degree angle to create one side of the corner.
Take accurate measurements of all downspouts and cut to length. Take into consideration elbows at the top of the downspout, which may be required to fit into the outlet tube. The bottom of the downspout should have another elbow, to direct water into a drainage system. It is best to cut the downspout notches before you attach the gutters. Mark the points where you’ll have downspouts on the gutter pieces. Use metal shears to cut out the metal. This creates a hole where you’ll later install the downspout.
5. Mounting Brackets
It is a good idea to install the mounting brackets before you cut and install your steel gutters. The brackets secure the gutters onto the house. They should be installed in the rafter tails. Drill ½ inch diameter holes through the fascia board and into the rafter tails. Install the mounting brackets into the holes. Use long screws, that can pass through the fascia and into the rafter tails by about 2 inches.
6. Safety Considerations
For optimal safety during installation, take accurate measurements of all the gutter sections. You can then assemble the various pieces on the ground. This reduces the risk of accidents while on the ladder.