How To Change Out Your Gutters and Downspouts
If your gutters and downspouts have become old, discolored or don’t perform as you’d like, you may decide to change them out. Replacing your gutters and downspouts is as simple as these easy-to-follow steps.
Step One - Mark and Measure Current System
Because you already have a gutter system in place, you can use it as a template for your new system.
Measure the gutter runs (the long areas of gutters usually along the side of the home) and note how many hangars are used.
You should have gutter hangars every 18 to 24 inches, so measure the distance between the hangars first. If the measurement is correct, then you can simply count how many hangars were used with the current gutters.
Mark with chalk or pencil around each gutter hangar so you know exactly where each was located. Mark a chalk line or pencil line along the top of the gutter. This will save you time later.
Measure downspouts, elbows and short runs of gutter as well. Count all caps, corners and turns, and make note of direction and length.
If you want to change anything about your system, like adding corner caps, downspout grills, or gutter covers, then count, measure and add those to your shopping list.
Step Two - Purchase Materials
Using your current system as a guide, purchase the materials for your new system. Generally speaking, home improvement centers allow you to return excess materials, so be safe and get more than you think you’ll need.
Then you’ll only need to make one trip back to return extras instead of 3 or 4 trips back to pick up something you’ve forgotten.
Step Three - Remove Old System
Working on one side of the home at once, remove a section of the old gutter system. Be sure you are able to see the marks you’ve made for the hangars and gutter line before you completely remove old gutters.
Use care as you remove gutters that you don’t drop screws, old hangars or other pieces of small hardware where they can cause injury.
Step Four -- Install New Gutter System
Since you are changing out the gutters, rather than beginning from scratch, you don’t need to measure again for the pitch and hangar positions.
Simply line up the gutter top with the gutter line you traced from the old system. Install hangars where you’ve marked them from the previous system..
Before you remove the next section of old gutter, make sure the new section is aligned properly.
Step Five – Install any Accessories and Test
If you are using any corner covers, screens or gutter guards, install them. After you have completed installation, use a garden hose to test the gutters. Be sure the water flows properly down the gutters and downspouts without puddles or clogs in the system.