Some roofing projects can be completed with the right materials and some do-it-yourself know-how. But gutters are another thing entirely. This part of your roof is not one you want to practice your DIY skills on.
Installing, maintaining, and repairing gutters require certain skills and technical knowledge. To avoid costly mistakes, it’s best to leave this part of roof work to the pros. But if you really feel inclined to fix the gutters by yourself, consider these common gutter mistakes first.
Using poor quality materials
Everyone loves a good bargain. But if the price of getting a good deal on your gutter materials is seeing your gutters deteriorate within a few years, then you’re better off going for the more expensive (but better quality) stuff.
Getting good quality materials ensures that they won’t warp, buckle, or fall apart with the first major storm. Avoid the headache and the cost of having to repair or replace your gutters by using high quality materials in the first place.
Forgetting the pitch and tilt
While gutters appear to form a straight line around your roof, they actually need to be angled a certain way to get water flowing down and out. Roofing professionals typically use a half inch pitch for every 10 feet of gutter. Getting the pitch and tilt of the gutter right keeps water flowing towards the downspout instead of spilling over the sides.
Installing them too close to the edge
When gutters are attached too near the roofline, they don’t have enough space to keep the water away from the roof itself. If they are placed directly under the edge of the roof, strong downpours can cause rainwater to overflow and get into the roof and ceiling. Gutters should be placed a few inches under the roof’s overhang to make sure that water will not soak any part of the roof.
Too many seams, hangers too far apart
When the gutter’s hangers are spaced too far from each other, water can weigh down the gutter and cause it to pull away from the roof. To ensure that the gutter will not be dislodged by the considerable weight of rainwater, hangers should not be installed more than three feet from each other.
Seams are another issue. Each seam is a vulnerable point along the gutter. When the gutter has too many seams, it can fail and come apart during heavy downpours.
Thinking gutter guards are enough
Some homeowners buy into the thinking that because they have gutter guards installed, they no longer have to keep an eye on the state of their gutters. Unfortunately, even with gutter guard systems installed, homeowners still have to regularly clear the gutters of dirt, twigs, leaves, silt, and other debris. Gutters can also become clogged by weeds, algae, moss, and small plants.
Make sure you conduct gutter inspections and maintenance at least twice a year to keep your drainage system in tiptop shape.
You can try to fix, install, or repair gutters on your own. Just keep these costly mistakes in mind and be mindful of your safety. But if you need some professional advice or assistance, don’t hesitate to give your local roofing company a call.