How to Install Gutter Downspouts on Your Home

Keeping gutters and downspouts free of debris is crucial to keeping your roof free from excess water, and thus preventing a lot of problems that could occur from water absorbing into it and consequently your home. Many people know to clear their gutters and check them regularly for maintenance, but many times forget to check the downspouts as well. With so much wear and tear from inclement weather, the importance of checking your downspouts regularly cannot be ignored. If you find your downspouts are clogged, clear them immediately. If you find they need replaced, the following guide will help you to do so properly.

First know what you are looking for. You want to make sure your downspouts have the proper slope to move water away from your home. You also want to make sure that there are enough of them in place to handle the job of effectively removing water from your roof. You want your gutters to slope �½ to �¾ of an inch for every ten to twelve feet that they run. If you have exceptionally long gutters, run a downspout on each end, peaking the gutter in the middle so you do not force too much water into a single line. You also want to make sure that your downspouts are large enough to handle the job. If they are not, consider adding more to do an effective job.

Now that you know what you are looking for, gather your supplies for the job. You will need the following:

Safety Glasses
Measuring Tape
Gloves
Hacksaw
Drill Hole Saw Attachment
Tin Snips
Screws
Connectors
Downspouts
Elbow joints for downspouts
Straps
Gutter Sealant
Caulk Gun

Make sure to use your safety gloves because the metal from downspouts when cut is very sharp.

Put on your safety glasses and drill your holes with the hole saw attachment in place, and use your tin snips to make appropriate sized holes for your connectors.

Use screws to connect your downspout to your gutter. Use the holes in the gutter to guide you. Be sure to screw the downspout into place at the bottom as well.

Apply gutter sealant to any openings around your screws and allow to dry.

Screw your elbow connector into the gutter and then secure the bottom of it with a screw as well.

Measure the length of downspout needed, making sure to take into account the added length needed to fit under the gutter end.

Don your safety glasses and cut an appropriately pieced size of downspout with your hacksaw.

Apply downspouts with straps to the sleeves made in the aforementioned step, to ensure they stay in place and make sure you are placing them so that water runs away from your home. If you want to put the downspout together in pieces because it is too difficult to replace effectively with one piece, use two elbow joints and be sure to caulk around the screw hole when finished.

You can run water across your roof with a garden hose if you want to test the gutters out prior to a real rain coming. When testing, make sure that water runs off to a safe distance (at least three to five feet) from the home. Also make sure it drains effectively to a secure spot, such as to a drywell or onto the concrete or soil that is the appropriate slope and distance from the home. The great thing about gutters and downslopes is that they are inexpensive to purchase, easy to install and they provide a great service to your home. If your gutters and downspouts are not in good condition or are not mounted properly, your home will suffer from excess moisture in many ways, including rot, mold and mildew in and around your home. So while it may not be a glorious job to do, it is a necessary one. Take care to ensure that your gutters and downspouts remain properly secured, free of debris, and in good condition.

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