In Florida, rain gutters and downspouts are an absolute necessity to collect and carry away water from rainfall. If you didn’t have gutters in Florida, water would erode the soil around your foundation, your siding would get muddy, and you would likely have a water leak into your basement which could compromise your foundation.
Gutters are most often installed by professionals for a good reason, the work must be done properly or you risk losing the benefit of having them. If you’re going to replace your gutters and downspouts, make sure it is done correctly and preferably improves the look and value of your home. We can do this for you in Satellite Beach, Palm Bay, Melbourne, or Titusville areas.
I will discuss here what goes into installing gutters. This system is just a basic gutter system, so you know what is entailed in this work. There may be other details that the installer may need to deal with to properly install them, and these issues may vary from situation to situation. Too many homeowners let their damaged and leaky gutters go because they just don’t think the cost is worth the benefit. Yet, without a gutter system in good repair that effectively channels rainwater away from your home, you are putting the value of your home at risk due to the water damage, your home may experience as a result. The damage can be much more expensive than replacing the gutter system when it falls into disrepair.
If your home doesn’t have a gutter, the water that flows off the roof and hits the ground could splash mud and damage the siding and trim. Water can also easily leak into your basement and can compromise your foundation.
It varies. They say the average cost across the nation is $900 to $5,000, but there are a lot of factors that can influence the cost. With inflation and supply chain challenges, this cost may have gone up quite a bit. What kind of materials do you want to use? Are you a single-story or a multiple-story home? How many square feet is your home? Are you going to replace the fascia and soffit? Materials are only part of the cost. Most of the cost of installing them is the skill it takes to do them properly. The best way for you to know is to request a free quote for your home.
To ensure that gutters drain properly, you have to make sure they slope (½ inch for every 10 feet) toward a downspout. If the gutter needs to be longer than 40 feet, start the slope from the middle to a downspout at each end. Or you can slope the gutters down from each end toward a downspout in the middle. Figuring out what would be best for your situation may require some experience with what kind of issues you may run into with a single spout. Installing them so that they withstand the weather challenges they will face is also best done by an experienced professional.
After the fascia has been installed along the edge of the roof, the installer will be able to attach the gutters to it. Marking these lines requires creating a slope down to the downspout so the water will flow to it and drain. The installer will need to know where the downspouts are going to be before they start this process. They will want to have a 1/2-inch slope every 10 feet. The installer will usually use a chalk line, snapping it onto the fascia once the endpoints are set.
If there is already a fascia installed, it can be used, but must first be inspected for rot. It may need to be replaced. Chances are it is best to replace it.
The installer will need to locate the rafter rails behind the fascia to mark where to mount the brackets. They will typically mark every other rafter where they can bore a screw. They usually drill a small hole for the screw first, before mounting the bracket. The screws will need to be long enough to attach to the rafters after going through the fascia, to provide a solid amount of support for the gutter.
The installer may use a power saw to cut the gutter, or a hacksaw and aviation snips. If the gutter is going around a corner, then the cut will obviously need to be at a 45-degree angle, or whatever the appropriate angle is for the corner. If the gutter run is too long for a section of gutter, then the installer will overlap two gutters together by 8 inches and use 3/8-inch-long, self-tapping, stainless steel screws or pop rivets, in two rows of four each, on the sides to join them.
At the end of the gutter, if it is not turning a corner, it will have a square end. This is where you attach an end cap. This is also done with 3/8-inch-long, self-tapping, stainless steel screws or pop rivets. The installer will want to make sure the joint is watertight. Using high-quality siliconized caulk on the inside of the gutter is typically the way to seal these areas to make sure it is watertight.
What is pictured here is an example of what an endcap might look like. It will need to match the shape of the gutter being installed, but as you can see would be attached to the end of a gutter squared off at a 90-degree angle.
Using a drill similar to what is pictured here, the installer drills a hole in the gutter where the water will drain into the downspout. This is done at the low point of the gutter so there is no pooling of water in the gutter. This can also be done by drilling a small hole in the gutter and then using a hacksaw to cut along an outline drawn around the downspout, so the hold matches the size and shape of the downspout. You can also use a hammer to cold chisel and cut the hole.
The brackets are already installed onto the fascia, so all the installer needs to do is lay the gutter in the brackets. Then they rotate the gutter until the back edge slips into the hooks at the top of the brackets. Then the installer will be able to screw the appropriate holes into the gutter to attach it to the brackets. If this is an aluminum gutter installation, this would be painted to either match or contrast with the trim of the home.
The installer will then seal the corners with a strip-miter joint on the corners, which is a 3-inch wide strip of aluminum. The installer will then secure it with eight pop rivets or sheet-metal screws. He will then cut a triangular section from the top of the strip miter and fold down the two flaps around the top edge of the gutter. Then using some high-quality siliconized caulk to seal it will make it more watertight.
The downspout is then attached to the gutter with four pop rivets or screws.
There needs to be a downspout elbow to the outlet tube coming down from the gutter. They will hold another elbow against the house and cut a piece of downspout to fit between the two elbows. Using needlenose pliers will crimp the elbow to fit and attach the parts together with pop rivets or screws.