Stop Overflowing Gutters With a Gutter Splash Guard
Having gutters on your home is supposed to help prevent water from avalanching off your roof and into your yard, or worse yet, onto you. Unfortunately, even with a well installed gutter system this can still happen. Why? In roof valleys rain water will travel faster, especially during a heavy storm or if the gutters are already full, and the water will skip over the gutter and right onto whatever, or whomever, is unlucky enough to be beneath it.
Thankfully there's a fix for this, and it's called a gutter splash guard. Better yet, it's inexpensive and easy to install. Here's a few simple steps to get it installed:
Step 1 - Purchase or Make Your Gutter Splash Guard
The first step is going to depend on whether or not you were able to find a prefabricated gutter splash guard or if you'll have to make it yourself. If you can't find one in your local home center, they're not that hard to create so we'll show you how here:
- Purchase a thin piece of sheet metal or aluminum.
- Using tin snips, cut the sheet metal to approximately 12-24 inches in length (you'll be bending it) and 5-6 inches in width. These measurements are suggestions only and can be cut to whatever dimensions will best fit your roof and gutter system.
- Spray paint the sheet metal to match your gutter system.
- Bend the sheet metal (using gloves to prevent cutting yourself) so that it has a 1-inch lip along the bottom that will attach to the gutter system, and then bend your guard in half so that it has a 90 degree angle. This is the usual angle needed when adding a splash guard to a roof valley, but it may differ. You can climb up your ladder and check the angle prior to bending it to be sure. Using a table corner will help you to bend it, as will cutting a little v-notch at the bend point.
Step 2 - Drill Holes
As you prepare to attach your splash guard, you'll want to align it so that the lip that will be attached to the gutter will be facing outwards towards you. If you have a homemade splash guard, you may prefer that the lip be on the inside -- this is really up to you and won't affect the way it works. Next you will drill holes through the lip and into the gutter where it will be preventing the water overflow from, usually at a roof valley. Once it's lined up you'll want to drill through the guard and gutter.
Step 3 - Attach Splash Guard
You can now attach the splash guard with rivets or screws. Some people also like to add some silicone caulking to help give a little extra water prevention protection. If you want to add the silicone, you can do so now by running a bead of silicone beneath the lip and then placing it back over the holes that you drilled, or you can do so later after having attached it with the rivets or screws and just running a bead along where it joined to the gutter.
To attach the guard with rivets, place the 1/8 rivet into each hole and then place the riveting tool over the shaft of each rivet and squeeze the handle. Squeeze it until the stem breaks off, which may take 2-3 compressions of the tool. If you're using sheet metal screws, simply get the ½ bit for your drill / driver and screw them in.
Whether you have to make your own gutter splash guard or you buy one, this do-it-yourself project is an easy and quick one that will help protect your roof and anything below it.
Photo courtesy of Alan Levine.