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Gutters allow rainwater to flow naturally down the roof and along the sides of the house to the ground without causing damage to the home. Gutter installation requires knowledge, skill, good tools and good materials. While there are many examples of do-it-yourself gutter installation, this can be difficult to do properly and actually cause problems if done incorrectly. Here are some common problems.

Not choosing the right gutters. Today there are many types of gutters available for purchase, all varying in materials, size, style and gauge. Each type has its benefits and also drawbacks. It is important to choose the best gutter for your home that you can afford and that fits properly with your roof at the right size and width. The type of gutter you use depends upon the area you live in. For example, a home in a rainy climate requires different gutters than one where it is sunny most of the year or where there is heavy snow and ice for six months of the year. Too often, homeowners buy the wrong kind of gutters that don’t take into account seasonal variations or the specific requirements of their home’s structure.

Not calculating the correct pitch. While gutters may look even, they must have a slight pitch that allows water to flow towards the downspouts. The general rule of thumb is one to two inches of decline for every 40 feet of length. Unfortunately, many do-it-yourself home installations fail to correctly pitch gutters and thus prevent them from working properly.

Not spacing the hanger system correctly. A hanger system attaches gutters to the house. This system’s individual components have to be properly spaced at three feet or less to give good support. Rain gutters sag without sufficient support until the whole system is compromised.

Not hanging the gutters in the right place. It may seem that gutters are placed right at the edge of the roof, but in reality gutters have to be placed a few inches under the edge of your roof. This is because of a physical phenomenon called capillary action where water will drip off the edge of the roof but also be pulled back up on the underside, dripping out a few inches underneath the roof’s edge.

Not maintaining seams. Some gutters are soldered or welded together. Over time, this welding at the seams can deteriorate or break. Seams have to be monitored and maintained to prevent leaks and damage.

As you can see, there are many problems that may accompany a do-it-yourself gutter installation. Gutters also require regular maintenance. It is easy to make mistakes and damage your gutters and even the structure of your home. Installing gutter covers is an important step in safeguarding your home and decreasing regular maintenance. Skip the hassles of gutter installation and call Gutter Helmet® at (800) 824-3772 to discuss your gutter and gutter protection needs.