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The Hangers and the hardware used to support your gutter system is more important than the quality of the gutter.
If its not adequately supported it will not last!!
This page addresses another common problem that rain gutters have; that is, why do those old spikes keep wanting to work out? It has to do with old mother nature.
- As the temperature changes from hot to cool, your gutter will expand and contract. This happens no matter what the gutter material (steel, aluminum, plastic, or wood).
- As the material warms up, it will expand laterally, but the spikes will try to restrict its expansion. Most of us have seen what happens to highways we drive on. On a very hot day, they will bulge or blow up. This same expansion also accrues to your gutters.
- This force puts a large amount of pressure on the spike and over a period of time will force the nail out. The longer the gutter run (length) the more noticeable this problem is.
- If you take note, you will notice more nails working out on the ends than in the middle of the run. That's where most of the force is. It never pushes the spike back in, but just keeps working it farther out.
By using a gripping spike ring shank or a screw, it will not pull out as easily as it expands and contracts- as they will grip the wood better than a smooth spike does.
When your nails have once been pulled out, they have lost their ability to hold, this can be repaired by using the Hidden Hanger or Gutter Screws (See screws). These hangers will give your gutters the needed support (test results) to keep them in working condition. They are very user-friendly and easy to install. We recommend they be secured with screws.
Expansion and contraction is also the reason that your gutters will sag over a period of time, causing them to leak at the joints. This constant movement along with mother nature's elements (U.V. and moisture) will cause most joint sealer to become hard and crack. Once this happens the repair is difficult and the life of the repair is very short, usually lasting only one season.
Having seamless gutters installed takes care of the problem of leaks at the joints as compared to sectional guttering. The extra cost of seamless guttering is not that great, when you take into account the benefit it offers. They are available in 20 different colors in Steel and Aluminum, as well as Copper. There are 3 different styles: K-Style (most common), box style, and half round (Click here and view them). These are available in different sizes: 5-inch, 6-inch, and some even larger for commercial use. As you can see, this allows you a lot of options to choose from; and always remember it is usually priced installed.
Another common problem known to gutters is that the water still runs behind them and drips off the face board.
This problem is common with homes that have roofs that do not have much pitch to them. For example. Most ranch style homes have a 3-12 or 4-12 pitch roof. When the roof shingles do not extend past the metal drip edge the water will suck back on the metal drip edge and run behind your gutters (see drawings).
- This problem can be solved by always placing the back of the gutter under the drip edge when you install your gutter.
- If your gutter has been previously installed, rather than taking it down and redoing it, you can easily place a small strip of metal flashing under the drip edge and over the back of the gutter (as shown by the top left drawing at the bottom of this page) so the water will shed into the gutter.
- This problem can do extensive damage to your fascia covering and paint.
- The flashing should be secured with screws.
- Do not waste your time by trying to fix this problem with some caulking, you will just have to redo it again in a year or two, use the metal flashing and be done with it.
Front of gutter sags from past snow load. A support strap can be used (called a J strap or Toboggan) which locks under the front lip of the gutter than secured to the roof deck.
Click here for roof deck Hangers
This drawing illustrates how to determine the size of your gutter. K -Style shown (sometimes also called O Gee style) This is how all gutter sizes are determined, regardless of their style. (Half Round, Box, Fascia or K-Style)
The drawing below illustrates the amount of rain a different pitch roof will collect. Assuming the rain comes straight down they are all the same, even though the roof area of a 12/12 pitch roof is more than that of a 4/12 roof the building area (foot print) is the same.
The difference will be the rate the roof will shed water, the roof material (metal, wood, asphalt) also regulates run off. Larger downspouts or more downspouts may want to be used for a 12/12 metal roof. A standard rule for downspouts is that a 2 x 3 will drain 600 sq. ft. area, 3x4 1200 sq. ft. area.
One foot of 5" K-Style gutter holds 1.2 gallons of water.
One foot of 6" K-Style gutter holds 2.0 gallons of water.
The increase in a 50 ft. length of material due to an increase in temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Increase (in inches) Galvanized steel (13/32"), Copper (5/8"), Stainless Steel (5/8"), Aluminum (25/32") & Vinyl (1.92" see note below.) Wood (1/2") Wood expansion is influenced more by moisture rather than heat.
NOTE: Based on .000032" of expansion for one inch of material for every one degree F. increase. The expansion figure used for vinyl is a approximate figure. Test results range from .000031" to .000037".
Water Collection information
On a 1 foot square flat surface area one inch of rain will produce .62 gal. of water. Using this value, you can calculate the amount of water that will come down your downspout on a given rain.
This link will give you the yearly rain fall in your area. http://countrystudies.us/united-states/weather/ (Courtesy of countrystudies.us)
Using the drawing illustration below, if line A is 15 feet and line B is 50 feet you would have 750 sq. ft. of roof area and it will produce 465 gallon of water for every 1 inch of rain fall. If you use this figure to include the entire 30' x 50' building it is surprising at the amount of rain water that a building or home will produce with a 1" rain. (930 gal)
Star Symbol = Down Spout location
Circle Symbol = High point of gutter
To calculate your water collecting roof area multiply line A by line B. There should be at least one 2" x 3"downspout for every 40' of gutter or 600 sq ft. of roof area, the gutter should be secured every 2'. The back of the gutter should always be under the metal roof drip-edge on less then 6/12 pitch roofs. This will prevent water sucking back and running behind the gutter and rotting out the face board.
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P. O. Box 38 - Barnes City, Iowa 50027
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