By collecting rainwater to direct it away from your home, gutters promote soil drainage and ensure the integrity of its foundations. Here are some tips to help you choose the right gutter model for your home.
The components of a gutter
The gutter is made up of two main elements: the gutter itself and the downspout . Each of these elements has several components as follows.
End cap: This piece of metal or PVC is placed at the end of the gutter in order to close the channel.
Corner: Part of the gutter channel, at a 90 degree angle, the corner is installed at the edge of a roof in the corners.
Exterior Hook or Fixing Bracket: This elongated hook, with a hole for inserting a screw, is installed under the gutter to secure it to the roof edge.
Center Downspout Connector: Installed in the center of the gutter and made with an opening, this part of the gutter channel allows water to enter the downspout.
End Downspout Connector: Installed at the end of the gutter and made with an opening, this part of the gutter channel allows water to enter the downspout.
Hooks should be installed every 20″ to 24″, or every 16″ to 18″ if the house is exposed to frost and heavy snowfall.
The components of the downspout
Downspout: This pipe, offered in a 10-foot section, is installed along the wall and is used to evacuate the water collected in the gutter. A downspout is required every 40 ft of gutter.
Elbow: This part of the downspout below the gutter is formed at a 45 degree angle. Three bends are required for the installation of a regular downspout:
A pipe connects to this last bend and is used to direct water away from the roof.
Coupling: This piece is used to join two sections of the downspout. It is necessary if the descent along the wall is more than 10 feet.
Downspout collar: This clip, consisting of two holes on each side, is used to fix the downspout to the wall of the house. A collar must be installed every 3 feet of downspout.
Deflector: This is a block of stone or concrete placed under the outlet of a downspout to direct water away from the foundations and prevent soil erosion. Provide one deflector per descent.
The most common materials
The materials most used for the design of gutter systems are unquestionably PVC and aluminum .
There are also more stylized materials, such as copper and galvanized steel , but they are less popular because they are more expensive and less easy to install. We also see gutters of zinc, stainless steel, or even wood, installed on ancestral houses.
Here are the characteristics of the gutters most popular with consumers, namely those made of PVC, aluminum, galvanized steel and copper.
How to install your gutters
If you are a good do-it-yourselfer, PVC gutter systems and aluminum gutter systems are available in kits and are easy to install. Take the time to properly assess the costs and stages of your gutter installation project.
The work plan
First draw a plan with an aerial view of your house.
Determine the angle of inclination of the roof in order to plan the location of the gutter and the direction of the slope.
Plan the location of downspouts. Keep in mind that water will accumulate during heavy rains and that your gutters must direct water away from the foundation of the house to prevent infiltration into your basement.
Once all the locations have been chosen, calculate the required lengths of gutter, the number of downspouts, as well as the installation accessories.
Note that gutters and downspouts are sold in 10′ sections. Hooks must be installed every 20 in., and drop collars every 3 ft.
Precautions to take before starting
All work carried out at height, such as on the roof of a house, requires certain precautions.
First check the strength of your ladder or stepladder.
Use scaffolding if the roof edge is very high for added stability and safety.
Pay attention to electrical installations when moving the ladder or scaffolding around the house.
Gutter installation is a task that must be carried out by two or more people, since you must handle 10-foot sections, perched on a ladder or in scaffolding.