All those of you who love DIY tasks likely know the possible risks when you take over significant projects – gutter installation being one of them. While some mistakes may be forgiving with smaller-scale DIY projects, demanding tasks – like installing rain gutters, will not be so forgiving.
The effects of an improper rain gutter installation are plenty and none is good. To give you an idea, the job is not easy and so there’s a risk of doing it all wrong. This will take turn into causing problems in the performance of gutters. And when there’s trouble with that, it is translated into water damage. How about the safety concerns? Are you sure you can stand on a ladder to measure, remove the old gutters, and install the new gutters?
Now that you have an overall view of the considerations and risks, let’s see in greater detail why DIY gutter installation is not such a good idea.
Choosing the right gutters is not easy
Do you know which gutters will be best for you? Or, will you just take the word of a random salesman? Rain gutters come in different materials, styles, and sizes. For example, large sizes hold more water but are more prone to damage than smaller ones due to their weight. It all comes down to the roof’s pitch and the average rainfall in your area. Also, when you shop for gutters alone, there’s often an inclination to go for the cheaper ones. With no one trusted to offer advice by your side, you may end up getting cheap gutters that will not do the job to your expectations in the long run. When it comes to your rain gutters, this is not something you want.
Your gutter options will be limited
Seamless gutters are the best option for most homes since they have no seams, as their name implies. But you cannot get these ones – only gutters with seams. Why? Because the seamless rain gutters are made on-site. For that, you need to find a gutter contractor.
Why are seamless gutters a much better option? Because they have no seams and so the risk of dealing with problems and damage due to cracks is out of the equation.
Getting the right gutter pitch is difficult
All roofs are somewhat sloped – even the flat roofs have a slight inclination. The gutter system must follow this pitch so that rainwater will easily flow and be channeled off the roof. Pitching gutters properly is very difficult since you need to maintain balance. If the slope of the gutters is not sufficient, water won’t flow with ease. This will put extra weight on the gutters with the risk of causing damage. In heavy rainfall, the water will overflow. This will also happen if the gutters are too steeped.
Spacing gutter hangers correctly is demanding
The hangers must be placed at specific intervals for stability. They are not placed randomly because the big space between them will lead to gutter sagging and damage, water overflow, and water damage. While the average space between hangers is 2 feet, this is also subject to the local weather conditions. If, for example, an area experiences heavy snowfall, the space should be smaller so that the gutters can hold the weight.
Sealing seams properly takes some skills
Sealing the gutter seams correctly is paramount. If any damage occurs, it usually comes from these joined points which may become loose over time and crack. Now, if they are not sealed correctly, to start with, this moment of trouble will come very soon. Of course, you may be under the impression that sealing gutters is easy. But it’s not. Plus, you need to consider several factors, like the level of moisture in the area, the gutter material, the average temperatures, et cetera.
Inexperience takes its toll
Not all homes have the same shape and size. Not all roofs are the same. And as we said, not all gutters are the same. One must have knowledge of all that and the experience required to install gutters correctly. Don’t forget that the gutters go around the roof, and the roof has angles, corners, and various shapes. And then, the gutters must be connected with the downspouts, which must also be placed at specific points and in a particular way, while they are not all the same. It’s a very complicated task.
Safety issues are always in play
Before you climb the ladder, think of your safety. Even taking measurements is difficult – let alone removing and installing gutters. And as we said, all phases of the job must be done with accuracy or you will have various problems which are not cheap and they are certainly a headache. And you must do all that while on the ladder. Do you know how many accidents happen every year? Or the repercussions of ladder falls? If you are considering DIY gutter installation for money reasons, don’t do it. Think of how much you will lose if you do the job wrong and much worse if you fall. Why risk it? Isn’t it better to assign the job to an experienced gutter contractor and forget about these risks altogether?