When it comes to something as seemingly humdrum as gutter installation, you might think that there really isn’t much to think about. After all, you’re really doing a little measuring, putting some pieces of things together, and in the end, you’re directing water away from your home. Ta-da! Gutter installation complete. You can go back to your college football, right? Not so fast.
Unfortunately, this is essentially what most folks think that gutter install jobs are. What’s more, because of the surge of DIY gurus taking over airwaves in recent years, EVERYONE has become emboldened to take on ALL jobs no matter the possible risks. Risks, of course, pertaining to screwing things up to an unplanned trip to the hospital. This isn’t to say that a self-assured & confident homeowner isn’t a lofty goal. It’s just that there are some jobs that require a more professional touch. Gutter installation happens to be one of these jobs.
Now, if you’ve visited enough home stores, you’ve seen aisles dedicated to gutter materials. You may have even thought to yourself, ‘Well, since I can reach it, why shouldn’t I be able to buy it & put in on myself?’ But there’s far more to installing gutters on your home than understanding that you need new gutters. For example:
All gutter install work requires precision. You know that old saying about close enough only counting for horseshoes & hand grenades? Yeah, not so much for a vital part of your home’s defense against moisture & foundation erosion.
You can find gutter parts at home stores, as well as popular online retailers, often at astoundingly low prices. The bargain hunter in you thinks it’s totally worth it, and the savings will continue to pile up because you’re planning to do the work yourself. But what are the parts made of? Are they high-grade? What kind of warranty/guarantee is backing them up?
Did you know that there are different sizes of gutters? Each new job will present its own set of circumstances, including specs just different enough to require a different gutter dimension.
Think of your curtains. Even though there’s a support hook on either end of the curtain rod, there HAS to be one in the center if it has to support heavy drapes. Otherwise, the rod will start to dip. The same goes for lengthier gutter runs. Even if their initial install shows no drooping, once the rain starts, it’ll happen.
Gutters have to be installed in such a way where water can FLOW. Putting them in arrow straight means that the water they catch will simply stay in place. This standing water will end up sloshing onto the house, causing water damage to fascia & soffits. Also, the weight of the water will start pulling on the gutter, leading physical damage to your home.
The more seams there, you introduce more points at which failure could occur. You’re depending on each seam to hold its own & maintain its structural integrity. If you happen to have a gutter system made up of a lot of sections & a seam should fail, it could wreak havoc on the whole thing.
The number of downspouts you need will depend on a number of factors. While there are some general ‘one per every x feet’ rules of thumb, it’s important to also think about historical weather patterns in the area, drainage, and the overall design of the gutter system.
You may not think that climbing a ladder is a big deal. Go do a general search of ladder injury & fatality numbers over the last few years. Now that you’ve got a better idea of how big a deal IT IS, your personal safety should be top priority throughout the gutter installation process should you actually still be going forward with it as a DIY project.
Where’s the 9th fact about gutter installation, you ask? It’s about short & long-term consequences. You could DIY the whole thing, but if you make a mistake, it’s your home’s value & your wallet that will take a beating. Moreover, you could really hurt yourself. Simply put, this is a job best left to professionals.
Trusting your gutter installation in Boerne to the pros is not only the right choice, but also the safe choice.