Can You Install Gutters Yourself?
March 14, 2023
We all know that gutters protect your home from water damage. There are many benefits to rain gutters. Some of them you might have heard about, and others might come as news. Yet, it is basic knowledge that all buildings, especially in areas of heavy rainfall, should have gutters.
While many might seek to reduce costs by installing gutters alone, this might not be such a good idea. In fact, it might be more expensive than hiring a professional. Why? We'll get to that in just a bit, but first, let's check out a few key factors about rain gutters.
What Are Rain Gutters?
Rain gutters are channels that collect and redirect rainwater away from your home's foundation. They are typically made of aluminum, copper, or steel. However, many other materials can be used to manufacture gutters in various lengths, widths, and styles.
What doesn't change much is that all gutters are mounted onto your home's fascia board or roofline. And that all gutters should be installed with a slight slope down towards the downspouts. That way, the water can be directed away from your home's foundation and landscaping.
Benefits of Rain Gutters
There are many benefits of installing rain gutters, and not only for the building itself. As mentioned, rain gutters prevent water damage to your home's foundation and basement or crawl space. By keeping water away from these spaces and your home's siding, they help prevent mold and mildew growth. And by keeping your walls, siding, windows, and doors dry, they help prevent structural damage.
What most people don't often hear, though, is that rain gutters also help protect your landscape
. Well-maintained gutters serve the purpose of channeling rainwater away from the roof to designated areas in your landscape. These areas can handle the excess water, like barren sections of your yard or a sewer grate. That way, gutters help prevent erosion and soil displacement.
Finally, a beautifully installed gutter system will add value to your home and improve its overall aesthetic by preventing water stains and streaks on your siding.
But can all gutters provide all these benefits for all types of buildings? The answer is no. You need the proper gutters for your home or business.
Types of Gutters
There are several types of gutters
to choose from, each with its advantages and disadvantages. They vary from how they are manufactured; to the materials used to manufacture them. Let's check out the most common types of rain gutters:
- Sectional Gutters: These are the most common type of gutters sold in sections, typically 10–20 feet long. They are easy to install and can be purchased at most home improvement stores.
- Seamless Gutters: As the name suggests, these gutters are made from a single, continuous piece of material, eliminating the need for seams that can leak over time. Professionals typically install seamless gutters, since they must be custom-made to fit your home's dimensions.
- Copper Gutters: These are durable and long-lasting. In fact, according to This Old House, copper gutters have a lifespan of up to 100 years! They are also aesthetically pleasing and can add a touch of elegance to your home. However, copper gutters are expensive and require professional installation.
- Vinyl Gutters: These gutters are lightweight and easy to install, making them a popular choice for DIY projects. They are also inexpensive and come in various colors to match your home's exterior. However, vinyl gutters are less durable than other materials and can crack or warp over time. Ask yourself, how many times will you have to pay for new gutter sections and repairs? And then add that up, and you will find that vinyl gutters might not be as inexpensive as you first thought.
- Steel Gutters: Gutters made of steel have a lifespan of up to 25 years. They are also resistant to dents and damage from heavy rain and snow. However, steel gutters can rust over time and require regular maintenance to prevent corrosion.
- Zinc Gutters: These gutters are also durable and corrosion-resistant. Plus, they are environmentally friendly, as zinc is a natural material that can be recycled. However, zinc gutters can be expensive and require professional installation.
As you can see, most types of gutters do require professional installation. Let's take a closer look at why that is.
Professional Installation vs. DIY Installation
While it is possible to install rain gutters yourself, it's essential to consider the risks and benefits of doing so. Professional installation is generally recommended for several reasons. First, professional installers have the experience and knowledge to install gutters correctly. They also have the necessary tools and equipment to complete the job efficiently and safely.
Additionally, a professional installation comes with a warranty, which ensures that any issues or problems with the gutters will be addressed promptly and effectively. When you install gutters yourself, you are responsible for any issues or problems that arise, and fixing them can be time-consuming and costly.
Furthermore, hiring a professional rain gutter installation company will not only ensure a proper installation. It will also give you access to their knowledge and expertise. That will undoubtedly be useful when choosing the best gutters for your home or business.
Plus, you will be able to avoid many gutter installation mistakes. You'll be surprised how many things could go wrong with a DIY gutter installation.
Common Gutter Installation Mistakes
Suppose you are still thinking about tackling the project of installing gutters yourself. In that case, it's essential to be aware of some common mistakes that can occur. One of the most common mistakes is improper sloping. Gutters should be sloped downward towards the downspouts to ensure proper water flow. If the gutters are not sloped correctly, water can pool in certain areas, leading to leaks and potential water damage.
Another common mistake is inadequate support. Gutters must be adequately supported to prevent sagging and ensure proper water flow. If the gutters are not adequately supported, they can pull away from the fascia board or roofline, causing damage to your home's exterior.
Finally, ensuring that the gutters are securely fastened to your home is crucial. If the gutters are not secured correctly, they can come loose during heavy rain or wind, causing damage to your home and potentially injuring someone, probably you.
Maintaining and Cleaning Rain Gutters
Gutter installation is vital, but to ensure your gutters last, you must also care for them. That means cleaning them by removing leaves, twigs, and other debris. It would help if you cleaned your gutters at least twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. And remember, you should also clean the downspouts!
Yes, that means removing the whole thing, which is why hiring a professional gutter cleaning service
is much easier.
Another crucial aspect of caring for your gutters is checking for cracks. If you find some, it's best to repair your gutters
as soon as possible before those cracks get wider.
Miami Gutter Cleaning Can Help You Out!
Miami Gutter Cleaning is a family-owned business boasting over two decades of combined experience in the industry. Our primary goal is to offer efficient and affordable gutter and downspout cleaning services to commercial and residential properties. We provide our top-notch services to South Florida and the surrounding areas.
Our company is licensed and insured, and we only hire skilled and trustworthy employees who undergo a thorough background check.
At Miami Gutter Cleaning, we make gutter maintenance and repair simple. We visit your home or office, evaluate your gutters, give you an honest estimate, and get to work. We work around your schedule and finish the job quickly without sacrificing quality.
Call us at (786) 676-8259
or fill out our website's form to schedule an appointment today!