Hanging Gutters: A Quick Reference Guide
So you’ve got gutters to hang, but aren’t sure how to do it? No problem. Here’s a step-by-step checklist of everything you need to complete hanging gutters.
- Find the supports and rafters in your house. You’ll want to anchor your gutters to the sturdiest parts of your house, for obvious reasons, so take a little time before you climb the ladder and figure out where each of these features are. Plan out your hangers so you don’t have to spend any time on the ladder finding locations for them.
- Space your hangers so that your gutters are firmly supported. Too few hangers means that gutters will eventually begin to sag and collect water…which leads to insects, clogs, and the water weighing down the gutter, in time pulling it right off your house.
- Hanging gutters at a slight incline toward your downspout. As a rule of thumb, the incline should be one to two inches for every forty feet of gutter. It will be very slight and not noticeable from the ground. This incline keeps the water flowing and your gutters clear, reducing the risk of standing water.
- Before bringing up any gutter sections, install a few hangers at either end. That way, the weight of the section won’t be resting on one end, which can pull out your hanger or weaken it, causing long-term problems.
- Don’t bring gutter sections up on your own. Instead, have a helper at one end and yourself on the other, and bring the section up together. Install the section on the hangers you already mounted, and then work your way towards the middle, installing and mounting hangers as you go.
- When you’ve finished each section, double check each hanger to make sure it’s secure, and use your level to check your incline. When you’re satisfied, make any welds that are required, and move on to the next section. Wait until after you’ve hung your gutters before installing a gutter guard or a gutter cover.
Have a spotter at the bottom with his foot on the bottom rung. This will give the ladder much more stability, and keep you safer.
Ladder Safety While Hanging Gutters
But that’s not all there is to it. Ladder safety is extremely important, and don’t go up that ladder without doing the following:
- Ensure that the work you want to do isn’t out of your reach. If you have to shift your weight, lean over, or otherwise put yourself at risk, then move the ladder!
- Whenever you go up a ladder, have a spotter at the bottom with his foot on the bottom rung. This will give the ladder much more stability, and keep you safer.
- Extend the ladder a few feet above the top of your roof, which will also keep it stable and give you options for reaching something.
- Avoid using stepladders for roof work unless absolutely necessary: they can be extremely risky and give you a false sense of safety if badly used.
- Rope off any area you’re going to be working on the ground, and allow no one in without wearing the proper safety gear. Accidents can always happen.
- Never go up a ladder unless you’re fully alert. The last thing you want to wake you up in the morning is a one-story fall.
Good luck, and happy gutter hanging!