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Take the time to read these tips and instructions on
how to put up gutters and downspouts. Following these suggestions can save you
both time and effort. In this document you will find information about:
- Component Parts of Gutters and Downspouts
- Installing Gutters and Downspouts
- Gutters and downspouts are constructed of many separate parts and pieces.
FIG. 2 - Each
of the parts shown serves a specific purpose in your gutter project.
COMPONENT PARTS OF GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS
- Gutters and downspouts are constructed of many
separate parts and pieces. Fig. 1 illustrates the basic parts used in a typical
installation. Metal guttering pieces are usually fastened together with sheet
metal screws or pop rivets.
basic gutter pieces are commonly offered in standard 10' lengths and are usually
made of aluminum, plastic or galvanized metal. These are the basic gutter materials
used for most gutter and downspout installations.
and ferrules hold the gutter to the wall of the house. The ferrule is inserted
inside the gutter and the spike is driven through the rim of the gutter and through
the ferrule to hold the gutter in place.
slip connector is used to connect two pieces of guttering in the run. The connecting
joint is sealed with mastic or caulk to prevent leakage. Some brands of downspouts
and gutters slip snugly together and need no mastic or caulk.
- The strap hanger is attached under the shingles
or other roofing material and then to the outside edge of the gutter, providing
support for the run.
- The end
piece is available with an outlet for the downspout or for simply ending a gutter
- The end cap ends the run
of guttering and is available for left- or right-hand use. Some styles must be
sealed with either caulk or mastic.
downspout takes the water out of the gutter and down to the drainage pipe or splash
block on the ground. It is attached to the gutter at the outlet in the end piece.
- The conductor pipe band, or clincher,
is a strap used to hold the downspout in place. It is nailed or screwed to the
outside wall to hold the downspout securely wherever necessary. This piece is
available in various styles and types.
strainers can be inserted in the end piece to prevent leaves and other bulky material
from clogging the downspout or drainage pipes. Several other types of gutter covers
are available as well (Fig. 2). While not absolutely necessary, strainers and
gutter covers can be helpful.
some cases, strap hangers are the wraparound type. The style of strap hanger you
use is more a matter of choice or manufacturer's design than of function. The
strap hangers shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 both serve the same purposeto hold
the gutter in place.
- An inside
miter is used when it becomes necessary to make an inside turn in a gutter.
- You can make outside turns in the
guttering system by inserting an outside miter as illustrated in Fig. 2. Use mastic
or caulk for sealing the joint where either inside or outside miters are jointed
to the gutter.
- Some downspouts
and elbows are round instead of square.
sometimes becomes necessary to make turns in downspouts. When a turn is required
to pull the downspout toward or away from the house, use square elbows (A, Fig.
3). Two of these elbows used together, as illustrated, make an offset of several
inches in the downspout. The crimp in downspouts and elbows usually makes mastic
or caulk unnecessary at the joints.
make a turn in the downspout either to the left or right, use the square elbows
shown in B, Fig. 3. Two of these elbows mounted together divert the direction
of the downspout to the left or right by several inches.
square shoe is used at the bottom of the downspout. This turns the flow of water
onto a splash block where the downspout ends.
INSTALLING GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS
- The most commonly used gutters and downspouts
are made of galvanized metal, aluminum or plastic. Various component parts described
in step 1 are required to complete the job.
of guttering usually come in 10' lengths. First, measure the area where the guttering
is to be installed and determine exactly how many feet of guttering and how many
of the basic component parts you need.
4 provides a checklist for determining the materials you'll need for the job.
Measure the house carefully, then note on the checklist exactly how many of the
various parts you need for your gutter and downspout installation.
- Write these figures in the column to the extreme
right. Bring this checklist to your local retailer for help with the materials
- Once you've purchased
the materials, lay out the pieces of gutter and fittings on the ground below where
they are to be installed. Align them to correspond to the way they will fit when
assembled under the eave of the roof.
FIG. 5 - Allow
about 1" of slope for each 16' of gutter length.
FIG. 6 - Measure from
the center of the run and allow a 1" drop in each direction.
FIG. 7 - Use this
as a guide for attaching gutters to the fascia of the house.
FIG. 8 - Insert two
style A elbows to bring the downspout flush with the wall.
- Use a long level to get the
correct slope for each run of gutter (Fig. 5). Use a slope of about 1" for
each 16' of gutter for proper drainagegood drainage is important.
- One easy way to accurately set the slope
for proper drainage is to allow for a fall of 1-1/4" for each two 10' lengths
of guttering material.
the slope by marking the nailing position on the fascia of the house before attaching
the gutter. Then check the fall with a level for accuracy.
6 illustrates a simple way to calculate the correct rate of fall in a run of gutter.
- Locate the center of each gutter
span. Mark this center location on the fascia of the house (Fig. 6).
- Snap a chalk line from the center position
as marked to the end of the run in each direction (Fig. 6). Allow for 1"
of fall each way. For most homes, this fall of 1" in each direction from
the center provides adequate drainage. If the run is extremely long, allow 1"
fall for each 16' of gutter.
the installation by attaching the gutter at the end or corner of the house. If
this is the end of the gutter run, attach the left- or right-hand end cap to the
end of the gutter. If sealing is required, seal the end cap into place before
- If you start at a corner,
attach the inside or outside miter to the first length of gutter before hanging.
- Study the details of Fig. 7. This
illustration shows how to attach a gutter to the fascia.
you are installing gutters on a new house, mount the molding as illustrated. If
you are replacing existing gutter and downspouts, you may need to remove the lower
molding before putting the gutter in place. The original molding can be remounted
or new molding can be installed after the gutter is put in place.
- Attach the gutter to the fascia by using spikes
and ferrules, strap hangers and fascia brackets as illustrated and described in
- Insert an end piece with
an outlet at any point where a downspout is required. Downspouts are usually located
at the end of a building or in a corner.
extremely long runs, downspouts may be located in the center of a gutter run.
- If spikes and ferrules are used,
space them about every 2-1/2' in the gutter run. Use the same spacing to attach
the gutter with plain or wraparound strap hangers.
strap hangers directly over roof rafters wherever possible for a stronger support.
- Always insert the strap hanger under
the roofing material and attach it securely to the roofing deck (Fig. 7).
- After the first length of gutter
is in place, continue assembling the component parts with slip connectors at each
joint and inside or outside mitres as required.
two style A elbows to bring the downspouts from the outlet on the gutter back
flush with the wall (Fig. 8).
can insert a strainer in each downspout opening to prevent clogging from leaves,
limbs and other objects falling from nearby trees. These objects can get into
your underground drainage system and cause a great deal of trouble.
- Use connector pipe bands, sometimes called clincher
bands, to connect the downspouts to the wall as required. There are several styles
of these holding devices.
the downspout does not run into an underground tile system, place a shoe at the
bottom of each downspout to throw the water out onto a splash block.
- Often, caulk or mastic is necessary to
seal the connecting joints of guttering.
your state and local codes before starting any project. Follow all safety precautions.
Information in this document has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware
Association (NRHA) and associated contributors. Every effort has been made to
ensure accuracy and safety. Neither NRHA, any contributor nor the retailer can
be held responsible for damages or injuries resulting from the use of the information
in this document.
for Other "Show-How" Instruction Sheets
instruction sheets for home do-it-yourself projects are available from your local
supplier of materials. Come in and ask for "Show-How" instructions when
you get ready for that next handyman project!