A house without gutters is like a car without brakes – it’s bound for disaster. Gutter systems catch and redirect rainwater away from your home’s foundation, so it doesn’t fall apart. On top of that, it protects your roof from damage and mold.
But the big question is: is it even worth installing gutters in a region as sunny and bright as California? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that YEESSSSS. There are times of the year when the Golden State gets plagued by consistent rainfall. You’ll want to be prepared for that. Knowing this, here are eleven neat gutter installation tips you should know about.
1. Find a Contractor that Specializes in Gutters
Like any other job, gutter installation is a craft. It’s crucial for protection, and curb appeal since installing gutters will help prevent erosion and protect landscaping. In light of this, it’s a good idea to hire someone who knows how to work with gutters.
While this may seem pretty obvious, many contractors try to be jacks-of-all-trades but fail to master the ins and outs of a particular job. Plus, he’ll know how to install the gutter in a manner that will survive California’s climate for the years to come.
2. Set a Budget
Like any other home renovation project, gutter installation costs can quickly spiral out of control when you’re not careful. Since gutters aren’t exactly a glamorous item, it’s easy for people to buy any material and rush the job. However, this can lead to regret in the future when you realize that your money could have been spent more wisely. Set a budget and have realistic expectations.
3. Make a List of Every Material You’ll Need
If you’re going to do the job, be sure to consider the supplies you’ll need and make a list of them. This includes not only the gutters themselves but also fasteners, sections, and tools you might need. This ensures that the installation will go smoothly as planned.
4. Do Your Research on the Type of Gutter to Use
While gutters have the same function, different types have varying levels of effectiveness. For example, aluminum gutters are lightweight and good at preventing leaks. However, vinyl gutters are cheaper despite being less reliable. But since it doesn’t rain much in Cali, it’s a considerable compromise to make.
5. Make Sure to Take Measurements
You’ll never know if the gutter contractor has given you accurate measurements to work with. If you do the measurements yourself, however, you can be sure that the gutters will fit properly. Also, remember to keep your measurements as accurate as possible. The most straightforward approach to this process is marking the roof section where the top of the gutter will rest.
6. Don’t Skimp on Applying Sealant
It’s easy to get tempted into evenly distributing your sealant to save money. Unfortunately, this practice will only come and bite you in the long run. Inadequately applying sealant will raise the probability of water seeping into your home. To prevent this from happening, make sure to apply a nice thick coat of sealant across all joints exposed to the outside.
7. Don’t Space Gutter Hangers Too Far Apart
You might have already taken measurements, but don’t forget to install gutter pieces close to each other. This is to prevent sagging in the long run. Not only does a sagging gutter look bad, but it’s also less effective in funneling water away from the house too.
8. Prepare Water Bottles for Installation Day
It’s never a fun job installing gutters, especially when it gets hot in good old California. To make things easier for you or your contractors, have water bottles ready for consumption during the entire process. Stay hydrated. You don’t want to spend that extra money on hospital bills, do you?
9. Account for Roof Pitch
The roof pitch is the angle at which your roof rises from its lowest to the highest point. While most people are familiar with the pitch, few realize that gutters need to be installed in a way that takes it into account. Steep slopes cause the downspouts to overflow, while the opposite causes water to pool in certain parts of the gutter. You want your gutters installed in a manner that allows the water to flow evenly.
10. Use Screws instead of Rivets or Nails on Downspouts
Screws and rivets both anchor the downspout to your home’s exterior siding. That said, screws provide a better option for two reasons:
A) They hold the entire section in place better.
B) Screws give you the option of easily removing the downspout should you decide to upgrade, clean, or replace it at some point.
11. Good Snippers Make the Difference
The right snippers are your best friend when you’re installing gutters. You don’t want to spend hours of your life trying to cut around corners, make adjustments, or make sharp turns with a saw. So go ahead and pick up some quality snippers instead.
One Final Extra Tip
Okay, maybe this one is kind of obvious, but a gutter installation is not a DIY-friendly job. If the thought of hiring a contractor has crossed your mind at least once during this article, then do yourself a favor and hire someone. Better go the extra mile than suffer from a leaky gutter later.