Tag Archives: downspout

Gutter Bits #10 – Extra Downspout?

No matter how big your gutters are, the number of downspouts you have will still be a big factor in overflow prevention. If needed, add another downspout.

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Gutter Leak Repair

While maintaining your gutter system, it’s not a surprise when you encounter issues and minor repairs. Major issues can be prevented, but minor damages concerns are all but inevitable. At some point you will encounter repairs that you have to do – however, all of these can be done yourself, and won’t require any professional help. Working on it yourself will save you money and will give you the DIY knowledge. One of the usual issues that you’ll encounter is a gutter leak. Though it’s a minor issue, it can gradually turn to a costly repair if neglected.

Here are some materials needed. Make sure you make a checklist of it for you not to miss anything.

Gloves. Providing hand safety, it’s good enough that you use the disposable variety as the adhesive that you’ll be using is really hard to remove. Some would recommend the thicker work gloves to prevent any wounds. Gutters have parts that may be sharp or that can puncture you, and that isn’t good. Risk of infection due to the debris is imminent and you wouldn’t want that, would you?

Abrasive Pad/Steel Wool. The leak itself, including the area around it needs to be even to prevent anything seeping through the seal. It also cleans up the area and makes the sealant you’re using to bond as quickly and as strong as possible.

Ladder. I guess this is self-explanatory.

Metal Flashing. This can be useful as you can cut a small part of it using metal snips to form a small patch.

Metal Snips. Use this to cut up parts of metal flashing.

Putty Knife. This ensures an even layer of the adhesive that you’ll be using on the patch or on the exact leak.

Caulking Gun/Cartridge. This is an extremely important tool, and is reliable. Aside from gutter issues, you can use this practically anywhere around the house that concerns sealing up, such as windows, tiles, etc. This can be used when the leak is on the joints or at downspouts.

To fix the leak, let’s assume that it’s just a small hole. Scrub the area with your abrasive pad or steel wool. Then cut a small part of the metal flashing that you have and apply the adhesive on one side then place it on the leak. If there are any excess adhesive sticking out, just use your fingers to even it out or remove any bits of it. You can also use a caulking gun, by caulking on the area of the leak then lightly sealing it with your finger. If the leak is located on downspouts, it’s best to disassemble it, and apply the caulk while your putting it back together. Make sure that the caulk is dry when installing it back to the gutter.

Thank our preferred Gutter Guard company Hallett Gutter Cover for helping to find these tips

Downspout Maintenance

The downspouts are undoubtedly an integral part of the gutter system in anyone’s home. They redirect the water collected by gutters and prevent them from seeping through the soffits and fascia boards. Having a downspout working properly will save the house from being soaked and be weak at its very foundation. We all know that once the ground just below the house gets soaked, soil erosion starts and will slowly “bring the house down.” The downspouts that one needs depends on the amount of water that’s expected to be received by the gutter on a regular basis, and also the type that will work perfectly – metal or vinyl. Though it’s the gutters that usually get all the attention, your trusty downspouts deserve some loving too.

Whenever you’re doing some gutter cleaning, make some downspout maintenance too:

Fascia Boards. Always make sure that the fascia boards are securely attached to provide a sturdy base for your drainage system. Replace any damaged or rotten parts immediately to prevent further damage.

Downspout Sections. The connected parts of the downspout should always be securely attached. The tapered ends should be in good condition and as much as possible be fastened with screws. Anchor straps should be securely attached to the wall as well.

Debris. The downspout needs to be cleared of debris all the time. A plumber’s snake can get the job done, especially for the hard to reach parts. A pressurized hose is an excellent tool for flushing it out. The best time for cleaning is when autumn comes, as there will be a lot of leaves and twigs falling. Over time, these debris break down and form a layer of muck which can accumulate into a cause of clogging. Gutter guards will help a lot in minimizing these debris so don’t hesitate to look for the right type for your roof.

Elbows. These are attachments in downspouts which enable redirection of water. Always make sure that it’s attached properly to prevent leaks.

Water runoff. When water comes out of the downspout, splash blocks are a good addition to make sure that the water is directed away from the house. Downspout extenders also do the trick to make sure no water comes through the house foundation and cause soil erosion.

Gutter Bits #6 – Downspout Flow

Make sure that your gutter downspouts are pointed toward lower ground so that water does not flow back to your house.

Molds and Spore Invasion: Fight them off!

Maintenance of your gutter system is simple, as long as there’s regular cleaning and checks for anything wrong. Flushing debris and scooping up debris may look like it’s done, but there’s another spoiler that gradually becomes hazardous if left undealt. Molds and spores might look like harmless stains in the outside of your home, but it can be a major culprit in terms of safety.

Molds are fungi that can be found both inside and outside the house. They grow anywhere – in warm, damp and humid conditions. In the gutter system, for example, the debris and leaves that it collects gradually decay and disintegrate. Molds help to break them down and recycle these to the environment. The multiply through spores, which are spread by insects, air and water. They’re like seeds – they grow in the proper conditions. An example of a perfect home for molds is your bathroom, kitchen sink, water pipes, and gutters.

How would you know if there are molds in your house? Simple. A simple discoloration of your walls, sometimes a greenish tint, is an example of the existence of molds. Though it’ll make your house look like it’s naturally “aged” by nature, these molds must be taken seriously not only in your gutter system but in your house as well. Why? Mold exposure can be hazardous with some people, allergic reactions may occur if they are sensitive to molds and spores. It can cause congestion in breathing, asthma, cough, skin irritation and headache, just to name a few.

In your gutter system, there’s a lot of causes for mold growth. Trees and plants too close to the house blocks sunlight, which is a perfect breeding place for them to grow. Not cleaning clogged gutters right away will be a major factor, as moisture stays on the gutter along with the leaves and other debris – instant mold haven from there.

How can this be prevented? Simple. Regular gutter cleaning should be done, and regular checks for any clogs, leaks or any damaged parts. As molds can also grow on pipes, downspouts need to be checked as well. When cleaning gutters, always have a scrub brush to scrape off any mold that’s starting to grow. A liquid bleach is extremely helpful in mold removal too. Just make sure to wear a face mask to prevent inhalation of molds and spores. If the gutter is painted, a sealant should be applied too to prevent any accumulation of mold. A good gutter cover can also help in preventing these, but check them as well. Consider having your house painted too with mildew-resistant paint.

Having these done will keep not only your gutter system safe, but also the other parts of your house.

What’s a Heat Tape Anyway?

When the winter comes, our gutters suffer greatly from it. The weight of snow is a threat to the performance of gutter systems, especially when ice dams form. It can somehow be minimized by raking the snow off your roof, but you can’t simply do it everytime. This is when a heat tape comes into play. But how does it exactly work?

Usually, a heat tape is installed in water pipes to prevent them from freezing in extremely low temperatures, which happens in winter. It’s not literally a tape though, but instead an electrical wire enclosed in a tape-like cord. It is installed in roof or along the gutters, ran in loops. It can be 30 ft up to even 150 ft long, depending on the need (it even goes up to a thousand feet). Some varieties are engineered to automatically heat up when the temperature reaches a certain point, or be activated on a specific part of the day when the weather gets snowy or cold.

Having a heat tape is extremely useful for your gutter system. An ice dam will really give your gutter a hard time, for ice dams continue to accumulate. If nothing is done with it, the gutter will be damaged due to the weight of the ice, get cracked, and will even have icicles below, which is hazardous.

If you’ll decide to buy one, make sure to have the measurement of your roof’s overhanging edge. That will give you a hint on how long your heat tape must be. For example, if your roof’s overhang is 12 inches, you will need 2 feet for every 1 foot of the roof edge. Do the math. Add also the gutter and the downspout length to come up with an approximate length of what you’ll get. A standard heat tape is 120 and 150 volts, but there’s also some that reach 500-600 volts.

When installing it, make use of the clips included. There will be clips for the roof, gutter and downspouts. Follow the instructions carefully from the manufacturer, it’ll be included in the purchase. Check the wattage to, if it can handle the power load. There’s also a control box included in the kit, so have the tape installed there and place it near the gutter, preferably in a corner.

Heat Tapes is a essential part of your gutter system as it keeps your roof safe, and icicle-free. Better get one now!

Your Gutter System Will Need…

In terms of keeping the house clean, anyone will consider on investing some money. Anyone would want to keep their house spic and span and a nice place to live in. The gutters are one of the most important part of the house that needs to be well-maintained to prevent any damage to the roof. The gutter regulates the flow of water, debris and other materials that your roof will have.

Here are the essential materials that you’ll need for the gutter system that you might consider be investing in, or be installed from a licensed professional:

Fascia Boards. These are the boards placed right below the edges of the roof. This is where the gutter is to be installed. Make sure that it’s in good condition and have it replaced if it’s not. You wouldn’t want to see your brand new gutter fall down to the ground, don’t you?

Gutter Spikes. This make the gutter shape consistent and maintains the width. It’s important that it’s included in the installation as this keeps the gutter fastened to the roof, thus making it secure.

Elbows/Mitres. It controls the direction of the water coming from the downspout. It’s not an “ordinary” part though. It diverts the water from the downspout to a certain angle (45 degrees) to make sure that the water flows away from your home. Mitres alters the direction of the gutter. It’s best to have a spare elbow for the downspout and also a spare that goes to another direction if the situation calls for it.

Downspouts. A gutter system won’t be called one if it doesn’t have downspouts installed. Having no downspouts will pretty much ruin your day, and give your house walls that “splashed-on” look. It directs the water straight down to the elbows, so it’s best to always check these too for any leaks or holes to make sure it’s working fine.

Gutter Guard/Cover. For best performance of your gutter system, having a gutter cover/guard helps you out in making sure that cleaning your gutter will be minimal. They prevent your gutters from getting clogged. There are a lot of things to consider on the type of gutter cover you’ll purchase. The usual weather conditions, surrounding trees, and the usual debris that falls or brought to your roof by the wind. Take your budget into consideration and the amount of maintenance that you can do to it.

These are the materials needed for the gutter system that you’re planning to make, consider the things mentioned and you’re good to go.