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How to Install Rain Gutters

Abhijit Naik
Rain gutters have several advantages; safety of the house being the most important among them. By installing rain gutters properly, you can keep the walls and basement dry, thus keeping the beauty of your home intact.

The Cost Dilemma!

As far as the cost is concerned, vinyl rain gutters are the least expensive, while steel rain gutters are the most expensive.

Rain Gutters

A rain gutter, also known as eaves channel or roof gutter, is a narrow channel which is attached to the roof to collect the rainwater and divert it to the ground.
Rain gutters and rain chains help to channelize water away from the base of the building and thus, protect the walls and foundation of the structure.
As the water doesn't flow down the wall, problems like water seepage and dampness are also avoided. We often see that continuous pouring of water streams from the roof leads to soil erosion. Rain gutters help divert these water streams to the ground via a downspout, thus helping in preventing soil erosion.

Rain Gutter Installation Process

Mark the Drain Slope Using a Carpenter’s Level

It is important to install the rain gutter properly, and when we say properly, the degree of slope has a crucial role to play. It should ideally be between ¼ to ½ inch per 10 feet.
Non-uniformity in the slope will hamper water drainage, especially during heavy downpours. In order to ensure that the slope is uniform, you will have to calculate the overhang slope with a line level.

System of Installing Rain Gutters

If you are using mounting brackets, fix them to the fascia board using a drill and then set the gutter into it.
Mounting brackets is considered ideal for vinyl rain gutters. Though simple, this system is not as strong as the ferrule and spike system.
Here, the ferrule is planted inside the gutter and the spike is inserted through it and fixed to the fascia board. There do exist other systems, but these two are the simplest, and most popular.
It's easier to assemble the gutter and then take it to the top where it is to be attached. Working on a ladder can be a bit risky, especially if you are not used to such tasks. By assembling the gutter on the ground, you minimize the risk involved. Additionally, it also helps you to identify the problems and fix them easily.

Sketch the Rain Gutter

Prepare a mental sketch of the entire system. Measure the length for which the rain gutter will run and decide where the downspout will be located. Then, measure the sections of the gutter and cut them to the desirable size. Ensure to get gutters of the exact length required for the roof of house.

Drill a Hole Using a Hole Saw

The next step would be to put them together, which you can do using slip joints and a ready-to-use silicon caulk tube; the latter will help you seal the seams.
If you are using aluminum rain gutters, use a drilling machine to drill through overlapping seams and connect two pieces using aluminum pop rivets. Use an edging tool to smoothen the edges of the gutter. You will have to make a 3 inch hole into the gutter, using a hole saw, to attach the downspout. Then, install the end caps and your groundwork will be over.

Attach the Mounting Brackets to the Fascia Board Using Screws

Use non-corrosive screws to secure the mounting brackets into the fascia board. This will ensure that they won't rust and thus, the gutter will stay intact for a long time.
Spacing between the mounting brackets will depend on instructions given by the gutter manufacturer. If no instructions are provided, experts recommend an ideal distance of 24 inches apart from each other and 6 inches within the edge.

Fix the Rain Gutter Using Ferrules and Spikes

If you are using ferrules and spikes, you will have to take the assembled gutter to the rooftop and fix it using these ferrules and spikes. You will have to hold the rain gutter along the fascia board and fix it to the same.
One by one, insert the ferrules inside the gutter and drive the spike into the fascia board through the front end of the gutter, ferrule, and back end. This will not just strengthen the foundation of the rain gutter, but also keep its width intact.
A rain gutter is no doubt an important component of the house, especially in areas with frequent heavy downpours. Installing it will not just save your house from various damages, but also save you the money that you would otherwise spend on hiring someone to do the job for you.