Tips for Replacing Your Gutters and Downspout


Fall is the perfect time to inspect your downspouts and gutters, making sure they are fit to last the winter and will be ready for the spring thaw. If you spot some bent, broken or damaged areas, autumn is also an ideal time to repair or replace your gutters. With a little know how and some essential safety tips, this DIY project can be taken care of quickly.

Top Tips for DIY Gutter Repairs and Replacement

1) Be Careful

It may go without saying, but most of this project will be done while you are high up on a ladder. Proper fall arrest equipment and procedures should be used, including tying yourself off to a secure part of the roof, stabilizing the ladder and having a partner on the ground to spot you.

Try to complete this DIY gutter replacement job when the weather is decent, without rain to make the roof and ladder slippery and without too much wind that can catch long pieces of eaves trough and pull you off of the ladder.

Always wear gloves when working with gutters, downspouts and eaves trough, to protect your hands and allow for a better grip.

2) Check Your Measurements

Eaves troughs are generally long and involve a few corners and bends. Be sure that you double check your measurements before purchasing the materials, especially if the product is a special order.

Account for all of the pieces, including the downspouts and any changes in elevation between roof lines. You should be able to calculate all of your measurements at ground level. Write down the lengths or take a sketch to the building supplies store and have the staff there double check your material list.

3) Remove the Old Gutters As Gently As Possible

There may be some force needed, but try not to damage the fascia during removal. Metal eaves trough is fairly heavy and even PVC or plastic types can be filled with debris that has some weight to it. Having someone on the ground to catch or gather the old pieces is helpful, but make sure they won't be in the way as the pieces come down.

4) Repair or Repaint Fascia Before New Gutters Are Attached

Wood fascia will rot over time and paint will wear away. You will need to repaint any surfaces or completely replace the wood with PVC fascia for a low maintenance, lifelong finish.

5) Spacing Is Important

You need to leave the proper amount of spacing between the outer edge of the roof line and the top of the gutter. If you put the gutters too close, it will eliminate the overflow spacing and any water back up can damage the shingles - too far will make the flow inefficient. Many manufacturers suggest a spacing of 1 1/4". Check installation instructions of the specific product you have purchased.

Gutters and downspouts are an essential part of your roofing system and help to control drainage on your property. Choose a quality system made from low maintenance materials for the wisest investment. With a solid eaves trough installed your home is ready for the coming season.

Posted by: TrustedPros
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