Avoid Making These

Gutter Installation Mistakes


Are you considering a new gutter project soon and are wondering how to make it a less painful process? We can relate. Gutter installation is a little tricky, and that is made worse by the fact that it can be rather dangerous if you’re not planning ahead of the project. As professional installers, we thought we would take a moment and go over some of the most common mistakes we see in gutter installation. We share these mistakes, so you’re not struggling with the same problems, which can cost you down the road.

Watch Your Pitch – What seems like an even application from end to end is deceiving. You will want to make sure there is an inch of pitch for every 40-feet of the gutter system. If you don’t get enough pitch, you will end up seeing water pooling at various points of the gutters. This will lead to overflowing and water getting into the eves of your home causing all sorts of unwanted problems. You can always use a hose to test this before you make the final installation adjustments. Try not to overcompensate for the pitch of the gutter at the same time. The last thing you want is a lop-sided gutter system, which will kill your curb appeal.

Front to Back Tilt – We have covered the side to side pitch but let’s talk about the pitching front to back. Your gutters must be completely even from front to back. Without this adjustment, you are running the risk of overflowing your gutters again, which often leads to problems, especially during the winter months. We suggest breaking out a small level so you can test the front to back pitch. You will also want to be sure to secure this part of your installation since gutters can fill with water and debris causing blockages. That can make the gutter heavy, slowly pulling out the hardware you’ve used to secure it.

Get Clear on Positioning – Do some research on your particular type of roofline and how to attach gutters to it. You cannot just hang a gutter at the edge and expect it to work out. A gutter needs to sit just below the roofline. If you place it too high, you’ll start seeing water drip down the backside of the gutter and splash onto the sides of your home. Not only can this cause staining, but chances are it’s also going to do some damage that will cost you money to repair. You can always consult with a professional on placement if you’re unsure.

Hanger Spacing Issues – The gutter hangers are how your gutters are cradled for support. When these aren’t placed correctly, you may begin to see sagging. A properly affixed hanger will be placed no more than 3-feet away from another to avoid a droopy gutter. Gutter hangers come in a variety of styles, so make sure you read the instructions and follow those carefully. These will secure to your facia boards and should be treated to handle outdoor elements. Some hangers are hidden and won’t affix to the fascia board but will attach to the shingles.

Seams Upon Seams – Seams are inevitable unless you’re using a seamless system. Unfortunately, the seams are the weakest part of your gutter system, which means they are a source of many problems. This is where debris often gets trapped, or water will often leak. As your home settles, and your home shifts on the foundation, the seams will likely pull apart. We suggest using as few seams as possible in your installation. Ideally, you’d want to have a seamless system customized for your roofline.

Install Damage – Installation damage is all too common. After all, working with long awkward pieces of the material comes with plenty of juggling. You will want to have everything you need close by so you’re not stuck in a position where you can drop, dent, or wrongly attach the gutter to your home. While it might not seem like a big deal if you have a small hole or dent in your gutter, these problems can become larger ones. A dent will collect water or debris. A hole will cause water to drip, making puddles and a muddy mess below. These small problems can lead to expensive mistakes or leave you having to replace the section of gutter altogether.

Installation Injuries – We are placing this into the category of mistakes because so many gutter installation injuries are preventable. Ladders are just not that safe to be maneuvering on top of. Did you know that emergency rooms see thousands of injuries every year, from people falling off ladders? You will want to do this job with someone else, so you’re not juggling gutters and tools at the same time. Always wear the right protective clothing and shoes and triple check the security of your ladder before climbing it. 

With a little luck, this has given you some ideas on how to make your gutter installation project run a little smoother. Preparing and planning are key. If we can help you in the future, please don’t hesitate to ask. We would be happy to work with you and get your gutters ready for the upcoming season.