How To Expand Your Gutters and Drainage System How To Expand Your Gutters and Drainage System

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Tin snips
Sealant caulk
Gutter system (or gutter lengths, hangers, end caps and outlet)

Gutters prevent a home from suffering water damage. Water running off the roof around the perimeter of a home can kill anything growing there. It can also cause soil erosion and foundation problems from too much water pooling near the home. Gutters also protect the flashing around the edge of the roof where they're mounted by making it more secure. Expanding your drainage system can help prevent wall damage, leaking basements and many other problems.

Step 1 – Determine Where You Need to Add Gutters
Not every roof edge really needs gutters. On a sloping roof, the bottom edge is a prime candidate for a gutter. If you have a roof edge where water typically runs off then you could add guttering to improve your drainage system.

Step 2 – Look for Potential Obstacles

If you want to hang another gutter but both corners on that side of your house would be problematic if a downspout were installed there, you may have to reconsider. A downspout can't interfere with things like outdoor spigots, meters or other features. In the rainiest times, will the heavy water flow coming from that downspout cause problems there? Will it pour directly onto a patio or be trapped between a walkway and the house? These can make problems worse. Once you've found a suitable place for the downspout, you're ready to expand your gutters. Also, make sure the fascia and soffit are in good condition with no soft or rotting wood and that it's a flat surface to mount gutters to.

Step 3 – Purchase Gutters
Measure the length you'll need to cover that roof edge and then divide that measurement by the length of the gutter pieces you plan to purchase. You can purchase a gutter system that has everything included; otherwise also purchase hangers, end caps and an outlet. Measure the length you'll need in a downspout and purchase the appropriate pieces. Downspout usually comes in 10' lengths.

Step 4 – Assemble Gutters
Whether your gutters are metal or vinyl, assembling them on the ground is easier than doing so as you mount them, but you may need help in mounting them. Be sure that you overlap when you join pieces by 3 or 4 inches, then rivet and seal seams.

Step 5 - Measure for Downspout
Measure from the corner of the house to the approximate place you want to the downspout to intersect with the gutter. Transfer this length to the gutter. Using tin snips if the gutter is metal, cut the opening in the guttering, or cut the guttering and install the pre-made drop outlet, overlapping seams and sealing them carefully.

Step 6 – Mount the Gutters

Mount the gutters against the fascia with screws and hangers so that the guttering goes down at a slight angle toward the downspout. Also, be sure that the piece that's inside is on the higher end rather than the lower, so that water doesn't get caught in the inner seam and cause problems. Install the downspout and make sure that the crimped ends of the gutters elbow face down.

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