How to Install an Eavestrough

eavestrough on side of roof
What You'll Need
Hack saw
Drill with screwdriver bit
Rust-resistant screws
Chalk line
Silicone caulk
Tape measure
Drop outlets
Flexible plastic pipe
Mounting brackets

A quality eavestrough system secured to your roof can be an important part of your home's drainage system. Not only does it keep water out of a basement, but also it protects a home’s foundation from water damage. Luckily, aluminum and vinyl eavestroughs are easy enough for any do-it-yourselfer to install.

Step 1 – Planning the System

First, you must decide where the water within the eavestrough system is going to go before hanging it. Ideally, the eavestroughs will be mounted so that water flows toward a side of the house where a downspout can safely channel it away from the foundation.

Step 2 – Measuring the Eavestroughs

Measure the length of the roof edges where the eavestroughs will be. Eavestroughs usually come in 10-foot lengths, so take the measurement of the roof edges and divide it by 10 to find out how many troughs you will need. Add an additional 10 percent to this number in case some lengths need to be cut.

Step 3 – Taking Note of Parts Needed

Take note of how many elbows and drop outlets, the brackets that lead to the downspout, you will need to complete the project. Remember that you will also need to install mounting brackets about every 2 feet to support the structure. Collect your materials, and move on to the fourth step.

Step 4 – Measuring the Slope

Starting on the opposite end of where the downspout will be, make a mark 1/2 inch below the edge of the roof. Next, calculate the slope the eavestrough system will need. Make sure that the line is level, or your calculations will be off. An eavestrough system should slope 1/16 inch for every 1 foot it runs linearly. So, if the distance to the downspout is 10 feet, the eavestroughs should be 5/8 inch lower on the downspout side than the side where it began.

Since the eavestrough system is going to be mounted at 1/2 inch below the roof’s edge, if the trough must span 10 feet, the downspout side should be mounted at 1 1/8 inch lower than the roof edge.

Marking the Line

Once the slope has been calculated, make a mark for the final height on the downspout side and use a chalk line to mark a straight line across the distance.

Step 5 – Securing Mounting Brackets and Fittings

Using a drill with a screwdriver bit and rust-resistant screws, fasten the mounting brackets approximately every 2 feet along the sloping line left by the chalk line. Install any elbows and downspout brackets in the same manner.

Step 6 – Mounting the Eavestroughs

Once the mounting brackets are in place, fasten the eavestroughs to them. If a trough needs to be cut to fit properly into the drop outlets or elbows, use a hacksaw. In the places where the eavestroughs meet, join the pieces with silicone caulk to keep water from leaking through the seams.

Step 7 – Installing the Downspout

Once the rest of the eavestrough system has been installed, join the downspout to the drop-outlet bracket with a bead of silicone caulk.

At the bottom of the downspout, connect an elbow to channel the water away from the house’s foundation. You can attach a tube of flexible plastic pipe to the elbow to guarantee that the water is led far from the house before is vented onto the ground.