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Installing Seamless Gutters

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Seamless gutters aren't entirely seamless; they will be fitted to the eaves of your home and what seams there are will be at the corners, covered up. Seamless gutters have a few benefits over other, non-seamless options. For one, they look better. On top of that, the lack of seams means fewer leaks and a longer lifespan. Installing seamless gutters yourself will take a good deal more effort, so consider hiring professionals to do it. If, however, you want to take it on yourself, here are a few tips.

Installing Seamless Gutters

The first thing you'll need are the measurements of the eaves on your house. Generally, contractors recommend a slope of anywhere from 1/4 inch of slope for every ten feet to 1 inch for every sixteen feet. The slope should send the water toward the downspout. You can use a line level (it hooks onto a string) to see what the slope of your eaves is like now and how much you need to alter the slope of the gutters. If there isn't enough slope as-is, you can use a chalk line to mark a level line, measure the slope at one end, and mark that with another chalk line.

Use the elbow joints you have to mark their placement at the corners. Then, subtract 1/4 inch from each one to account for the seams you'll put in to attach the gutters to them. This will be the length of gutter you'll need to cut. Use heavy-duty tin snips and a square to make straight lines, and cut from each side down to the bottom of the gutter. Then, crease it and cut the bottom.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installing the brackets. Hanging brackets are especially nice for seamless gutters, as they don't detract from the seamless aesthetic.

You will have to cut out a hole in the gutter for the downspout using a drill and a jigsaw. Use the connector piece as a guide and trace the outline of the hole you need to cut. Then, drill starter holes in each corner of the outline and finish by cutting it out with the saw and filing down the edges. Affix the connector piece with some waterproof sealant (e.g., silicone) and some short screws.

Downspouts have two ends: tapered and non-tapered. When you are cutting the pieces for your downspout, always cut the larger end, so that the tapered end is available to connect to the next piece. When you install it, always have the tapered ends facing down, or you will have leakage problems. Use short screws to secure all your connections and follow the manufacturer's instructions concerning brackets. Measure the length of your downspout by placing any elbow joints where they should go first (including the one that will rest on the ground).

Use the aluminum seam strips to cover any gaps in the gutters on the outside and use a good amount of waterproof sealant on the inside to avoid any leaks. Test your gutters with a hose, and you're done!

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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