Hanging Rain Gutters and Downspouts Installation

Hanging Rain Gutters and Downspouts InstallationIf you got to this part of our rain gutter installation manual we are ready to hung sections of the gutters along the roof’s edge. If you skipped the first part, we’d suggest to scroll down and click the left button to start from the beginning.

Hanging gutter sections

Setting a proper slope of a gutter is mandatory at this point and the easiest way to do that is by driving a nail half an inch below the shingles on the higher side of the gutter run or in the middle of the 40′ (or longer) fascia span. The distance from the nail to the bottom of fascia board should then be carefully measured and recorded.

Next, a quarter of an inch should be subtracted for every ten feet of a gutter from this measurement and marked at the low end of the gutter run. At this mark make sure that you drive a nail and between the 2 nails you should stretch a chalk line. With this method you have to be sure that your fascia boards are 100% level because you are using the fascia edge as a reference.

Example: a 20 feet long gutter should drop at least 1/2″ along its run, a little more is recommended to achieve better flow.

In case the fascia boards are not leveled properly, double-checking the chalk line’s slope before snapping is mandatory, so don’t forget about this step. As for the bubble, it needs to be a bit off-center towards their higher side. If you are not getting it you need to adjust the string to the point where you’re going to see that the bubble indicates the fact you got the right slope. Lastly, all you’ll have to do is mark a line on the fascia board by snapping the string.

You don’t need much, a little slope is just fine

If you want to make sure the downspouts are going to empty fast, then you need to greatly consider the size and number of your downspouts as well. Securing them at a proper slope is going to help eliminate standing water which can lead to a host of problems such as leaks, corrosion, and clogs.

Remember, each gutter run should be sloped towards the downspout approximately a quarter of an inch for every ten feet of gutter. 

Finish with hangers and flashing

At this point you’ll need to add gutter flashing under your shingles and use one inch nails to secure them ever two feet. The gutter flashing sections should also be lapped about two inches.

No more water damage when flashing the shingles

Did you know that you can easily install a metal gutter apron flashing under your shingles in order to prevent water from running behind the gutters?

If you cannot find pre-bent flashing at your local hardware or center store, then get in touch with a local sheet metal manufacturer or aluminum siding contractor to bend a few for you. It’s recommended that the flashing is slid under the roofing paper or ice and water shield.

If you cannot do that because the procedure may cause too much damage, then you can just go ahead with slipping the flashing under the shingles. In case the flashing you plan on using is too short and it cannot reach over the gutter’s back edge, then slide an extra strip of aluminum over the gutter’s back wall and under the bent flashing.

Install hidden hangers

After the gutters have been properly secured to the fascia, installing the hidden gutter hangers is very simple. To strengthen the front edge, but also support the gutters, it’s very important that hangers are installed every two feet.

However, since we’ve already used flashing in order to cover this edge, make sure they’re held level and then secure with screws driven through the gutter and flashing right into the fascia board.

Downspout installation

You should start this step by securing one elbow to the downspout outlet and after that, while holding a second elbow against the wall measure the distance between them. It’s recommended that you allow for a one inch and up to one inch and a half overlap at both ends. You can cut the extra length using a hacksaw.

Install the downspout tube and elbows by making sure that the crimped ends face down in order to avoid water leakage through the joints. Instead of rivets, it’s best that you use sheet metal screws. By doing so, you’ll be able to remove the downspouts in the future when cleaning them for instance.

The professionals generally use a quarter inch hex head screws with sharp points, due to the fact they make the installation process very simple.

Downspout tubing can be easily cut with a hacksaw blade – use safety googles and protective gloves!

On one end, each length of elbow and gutter needs to be crimped or squeezed to ensure the pieces fit perfectly together with one another. Because ten foot long lengths of downspout will only be crimped on 1 end, one end of any cutoff piece needs to be crimped so it properly fits inside the next downspout section or elbow.

The last part of the downspout installation process lies in hanging the downspouts and properly attaching them to the wall. You can purchase various types of straps designed for this particular purpose or cut long, aluminum straps from pieces of gutter or downspout.

Gutter and downspout maintenance

Gutters and downspouts maintenance
Last but not least, leaves should be cleaned from the gutters 2 times a year, but if you can’t do that on your own or don’t want to, it’s better to hire a specialized company to help you with it. Not only will you eliminate issues such as clogged downspouts and backed-up gutters, but also greatly extend the life of the gutters themselves.

The above installation guidelines are dedicated to gutters that you can purchase at most home improvement centers. However, the most recommended seamless gutter systems require special machine to produce long sections of gutter. If this is something you’d consider for your Chicago property, give us a call at the number below.

In case you are considering copper roof gutters installation, don’t forget to ask when contacting us.