Converting standards gutters to vinyl gutters generally happens when a homeowners sees the need to replace old, rusted or sagging metal gutters and wants to do the project himself.
Vinyl gutters are less expensive to install and easier to cut than other types of gutters, and they are readily available at home improvement stores.
While they are not susceptible to rot, they do get brittle with age and in extreme cold, and are more easily broken by the weight of a ladder than aluminum gutters. You should take these things into account when deciding to convert to vinyl gutters.
Step One – Measure for New Materials
Measure the amount of gutter in linear feet that you will need to complete the project.
The good thing about converting from another types of gutter to the vinyl gutter means you already know what elbows, downspouts, end caps and accessories you’ll need to complete the project.
Make the purchases of all the pieces and fittings you need for the project.
Step One – Mark Old Gutters
If the gutters in your old system have a good water flow and are functioning well, then using them as a template will save you time.
Use a chalk string to mark along the upper edge of the current gutter and use that line as a guide in installing the vinyl gutters. This line will already reflect a drop of approximately one fourth of an inch to every ten feet of gutter, and that saves you measuring the entire run of the eaves.
Step Two – Remove Old Gutters
Taking careful note of any complex or unusual bends or turns, remove old brackets and gutter from the eaves.
Stand on a ladder leaning against the roof and not the gutter in order to reach the brackets. You’ll want to use an electric screwdriver or drill with long screwdriver bits in order to reach the brackets easily and remove them quickly.
While you are unlikely to need any of the hardware form the old system, save it until you have finished with the project. The screws can be recycled regardless of what other parts of the system you keep.
Step Three – Put up Vinyl Brackets
Using the chalk line as a guide, Place your first bracket at the highest side of the first eave (away from the downspout) at about 6” from the end of the piece. You will likely need a long screwdriver bit on your electric drill or electric screwdriver in order to secure the bracket. Place an end cap or corner, whichever is appropriate, on the end of the piece.
Snap the bracket into the gutter. Place the next bracket, using the guideline to get it right, and continue to the end of the section. Vinyl gutters generally come in 10 foot sections, so you will work with that length at a time.
Step Four – Connect the Gutters
To connect each ten foot length of vinyl gutter, use a connector bracket found at home improvement centers. These brackets come complete with silicone gaskets that should help prevent leaks at the joints.
The pieces of gutter snap easily into the connectors for an easy fit.