Front Street Manufacturing

Seamless Gutter Installation Check Sheet

In my correspondence with home owners, GutterWorks has received many request for a guide so they can be better educated when purchasing a seamless gutter system.

This check sheet is provided for the homeowner so they can better evaluate the installation quotes they receive.

There are two categories: Material & Installation. They will be graded using  Poor, Good and Excellent.

When evaluating this list you will need to keep in mind that different parts of the country may require a better grade of product. For example, in the North half of the U.S. we may encounter a ice build up in and on the gutter. This extra weight will require either a stronger hanger or more hangers to hold this extra weight for a extended period of time.
 

  Poor Good Excellent
Gutter Material: Aluminum        
.022 Thickness X    
.027 Thickness (most commonly used)   X  
.032 Thickness     X
Downspout Material: Aluminum      
.019 Thickness (Most commonly used.) 2x3 and 3x4 downspout   X  
.024 Thickness   3"x4" downspout more common but available in 2x3 also.                   X
Spikes & Ferrules: Aluminum      
Smooth spike or Striated X    
Spiral spike X    
Ring shank spike     X
Hidden Hangers: Aluminum       
hidden hanger secured with nails. X    
hidden hanger secured with a # 10 x 1 1/2" screw             X  
hidden hanger secured with a # 12 x 2" screw     X
Hidden Hangers & Spike: Spacing      
36" X    
30"   X  
24"     X


Gutter Slope:

A 1" to 2" slope in  40 foot. NOTE: A gutter installed level will drain because water levels itself, however you will not have any water flow to self clean the gutter. Too much slope does not look good and you loose some of the gutters holding capacity.

Example: A gutter sloping 3 1/2" in a run has lost 1/2 of its holding capacity.  In a short heavy down pour the water at the high end of the gutter will be nearly to the bottom of the gutter and at the downspout end (Low end) the water will be overflowing the top of the gutter, Remember- water levels itself.

Summary: Try to strike a happy medium, some slope for cleaning but not too much.

Downspout capacity:

2x3 Downspout will drain 600 sq. ft of roof area.
3x4 Downspout will drain 1200 sq. ft. of roof area.

Gutter Capacity:

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.

Gutter placed behind the drip edge.

This is a important part of installation on homes of 3/12 and 4/12 pitch roof. Water will suck back (capillary action) on the roofing material and run down the face board and behind the gutter (causing damage to the face board over time). The basic knowledge and understanding of capillary action of water was the founding principle that the inventor Robert Demantini used in producing the well known product "GUTTER HELMET" which started a revolution in gutter cover industry spurring dozens of different models of gutter covers we see on the market today.

Steeper sloped roofs do not have this problem and in some cases the singles may overhang the drip edge and droop down into the gutter thus eliminating the problem . Strip flashing must be used to bridge the gap between the drip edge and the back of the gutter if the gutter runs below the drip edge at the lower end of the gutter run.  Good luck in getting a shoddy gutter company to come back and fix this problem because it will require reinstalling the complete gutter system or installing flashing. So beware and insist that it be done!

Tree Debris problem:

Consider some kind of gutter guard. In most cases if you have your gutter installer install the gutter guard when he's there to install the gutter, they'll cut you a better deal. Use 3x4 downspout.  DO NOT INSTALL PRODUCTS THAT FIT DOWN INTO THE GUTTER.  Install only Product that fit and install on top of the gutter.  Metal products will last longer than a Plastic product.  No rolled metal or plastic screens!

A brief comment about trying to clean your gutters from the ground. There are mechanical devices that do work. The water blasters are poor at best. Its very hard to clean something when you can't see what your doing. The next time you take your car to the car wash close your eyes when you wash it and see what it looks like when your finished.  And O' yes don't forget the rain coat when you use the water blaster on your gutter because mother natures gravity is going to bring everything straight down on your head- and pick a calm day or the windows may have to be re-cleaned as well. BEEN THERE, DONE THAT!

Screws & pop rivets

Screws: Stainless Steel with painted heads: Excellent
              Zinc Coated with painted heads: Good
              Pop Rivets: Excellent

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