One of the most easily forgotten aspects of the outside of your home is your gutter system. Many homeowners do not think about their gutters until they start causing problems in other areas of the house. Bad gutters can lead to all sorts of problems, from a leaking ceiling to a flooded basement or even rotted wood structure, and not only old gutters cause these issues. Brand new gutters can result in expensive damage if they are poorly installed.
The Wrong Size
A common mistake homeowners make when installing their own gutters is choosing the wrong size. The size of the gutter depends on the span and pitch of the roof and the expected amount of rainfall in your area. If the roof is large and steep, it will need a larger gutter to accommodate large amounts of fast-moving water flowing off the roof. At the same time, if you live in an area that receives a lot of rain, having too small of gutters will lead to overflowing gutters and, eventually, property damage.
The Right Pitch
Gutters have to follow gravity and tilting the pitch of the gutters correctly for proper flow is important. If the pitch is too steep, the water will travel too quickly toward the drainage pipe and spill over the sides. On the other hand, if the pitch is too flat, the water may not drain at all. Instead, the water will pool in the gutter, creating heavy spots that weigh the gutter down and even gutter damage.
Placements of Hangers
Generally, the gutters attach to the house using devices called hangers, and the misplacement of these is another potentially devastating mistake made when homeowners install gutters themselves. While the only downfall of placing them too close together is investing more money than necessary in hangers you did not need, spacing them too far apart is another story. Here, the unsupported gutters may sag under the weight of the water, leading to water pooling, improper drainage and possibly collapsing gutters.
The Right Material
Finally, many do-it-yourselfers make the mistake of choosing the cost-effective materials, like vinyl or aluminum. These cheap gutters may feel good on the wallet, but you will feel the true costs down the line when the gutters deteriorate much faster than you anticipated. A wiser investment would be in steel, copper or zinc gutters, which are designed to last much longer. They cost more upfront but will save you money in the long run.
While no one can stop you from buying and installing gutters yourself, you should seriously consider the consequences of a poor installation. Aside from the physical danger you needlessly put yourself in by climbing on your house, your actual home could pay a price too in the form of costly property damage. Your best bet is to have the gutters installed professionally. If you need gutters installed or serviced and live in the Nashville, Tennessee area, contact the Gutterman of TN for a professional consultation.