Whether you are interested in reinforcing your existing gutters or you need to make some repairs, it’s always a good idea to understand the best ways to install some of the most common gutter components on your home. Here, you will learn about some of the most common and important accessories as well as how to install them.
Downspout Rack, Drive & Key
A rack and key are used to attach a downspout to an exterior wall. For each story, you will need two racks and keys to properly fasten your downspout. This sort of fastener can be used whether your home exterior is masonry, wood, or stone, and it also works with most siding types. Fasten the rack to the back of the downspout, and then affix the drive to the wall. Finally, use the key to attach the two. This sort of fastener hides behind the downspout to provide a clean and professional finish.
There are many different types of traditional gutter hangers, ranging from hidden hangers, spikes and ferrules, to circles designed for use with half-round gutters. Each hanger has its own unique installation method, so it’s important to research these before attempting to install them. The most common hanger is the hidden hanger and involves using a bracket slipped into the gutter lip that is later secured to your roof sheathing or fascia board. Spikes are also popular, but these should be used to reinforce your existing gutter support and not as a standalone means of securing your gutters.
Gutter guards also come in many varieties, but the most common of these is a screen that simply fits over the open end of the gutter to prevent the accumulation of leaves and debris. Because gutters come in a handful of styles, most gutter guards simply snap on or can be attached to the top of the gutter lip with zip screws. Just be sure you’ve ordered the right size and the right number of feet to cover your entire gutter system, then snap or secure the guards in place with zip screws. Some can be trimmed to more accurately fit the entire system.
Downspout Wire Strainers
The most common downspout wire strainers look like small baskets, and they are designed to fit inside the outlet tube (inside the gutter) where the downspout meets the gutter. The wire strainers prevent debris, leaves, and more from entering the downspout. Wire Strainers are easy to install. Simply place the strainer in the outlet tube that connects the gutter to the downspout. No fasteners or tools needed.
If you choose to forego traditional downspouts and install rain chains instead, they are quite easy to handle. Once you’ve carefully measured the rain chains to provide yourself with enough length, simply remove the downspout and hang the rain chains onto the gutter using a clip or installation kit. Then, you will need to either place the end of the rain chain in a basin for water collection or stake it out in the yard where you would like the water to drain.
There are numerous accessories that can help support your gutter, make it more aesthetically pleasing, or even make maintenance simpler. Understanding more about these accessories and their installation can help you do the job yourself, saving time and money.