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Why DIY Gutter Installation is a Bad Idea

May 25, 2016
Amanda Curry
Read Time
4 minutes

Your gutters are one of the most important parts of your home. They protect your foundation from water damage and your landscaping from erosion. They also provide a barrier so that the roof isn’t exposed to the elements.

Because your gutters are so essential to preventing water damage, it is important to maintain them on a regular basis. If the gutters begin to rust, leak, or pull away from the house, it may be time to look into some new gutters.

You may think you’ll save time and money (and gain a little experience) if you DIY your gutters, but think again! Proper gutter installation is tough work, and may take more time and money in the long run, not to mention the safety hazards you’ll encounter. Read on for all the reasons you might want to think twice about DIY gutter installation.

Technical Issues

The professionals make installing eavestrough look easy. But for proper gutter installation, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration, especially when it comes to the technical aspects of installation, like:

  • Adequately sized gutters – You may not realize it, but gutters come in many different sizes. Larger sizes have the capacity to hold more water, but may pull away from your home easier due to weight. Smaller sizes may be more secure, but could potentially overflow if your area gets a lot of rain. A professional can help you determine what size gutters you’ll benefit from.
  • Proper pitch – Properly pitching gutters is a crucial factor if you want to avoid having Niagara Falls in your own backyard. There is a delicate balance between pitching the gutters effectively and still maintaining curb appeal. If the pitch is incorrect, you run the risk of overflowing gutters, which compromises your foundation. A not-so-subtle pitch can make your house look a little lopsided, which could negatively impact curb appeal.
  • Spacing of gutter hangers – A few things can happen if you don’t properly space your gutters hangers. If you space them too far, the gutter system will eventually sag and pull away from your fascia. If you use too many, you’re simply wasting time and money on needless materials.
  • Sufficiently sealing seams – Sealing gutter seams is a bit of a science. Things like temperature, moisture levels, and gutter conditions all factor in to whether or not you’ll get an effective seal. As you can probably guess, sealing seams isn’t the best long-term option. Seamless gutters lessen your risk of gutter separation and leaks.
  • Fascia and soffit complications – If you haven’t cleaned your gutter system in a while, improperly diverted water may have caused your fascia board and soffit to rot. They may need to be treated for mold, or replaced altogether. If you don’t properly take care of any problems, they can compound and cause even more costly issues in the future. You wouldn’t want to have to uninstall your brand new gutters to take care of a rotting fascia board six months down the road, would you?

Safety Issues

Your personal safety should be your biggest concern while installing eavestrough. Unfortunately, all it takes is one tiny slip up, and you may be stuck dealing with potentially fatal consequences. Here are the biggest risks you should take into consideration:

  • Ladders – Thousands of homeowners fall off ladders every single year, and are met with some serious consequences. Ladder falls can result in concussions, broken bones, joint dislocation, and even death in some cases. Professionals are trained in ladder safety, and are often bonded and insured to protect the homeowner from any accidents that may happen.
  • Dangerous tools – Aside from common tools, like a drill, hammer, and screwdriver, the equipment you’ll need to use while installing eavestrough can be dangerous if you’re not trained to use them properly. Some of the tools you might need during gutter installation are tin snips, chisel, a hacksaw, and a downspout crimper.  These tools are sharp and powerful, which can be intimidating to some people. Even seasoned DIY’ers may not be familiar with tools like the downspout crimper or tin snips, which puts them at risk of injury as well.

Cost Issues

Most DIY’ers cite cost of gutter installation as the main reason they don’t hire a professional to do the job. What they don’t realize is that they may end up spending more to do it themselves than it would cost for a professional job. Here are just some of the reasons why:

  • Source Material – Many homeowners are concerned about the cost of gutter installation by professionals, but this can actually be a more economical option. Professionals purchase materials in bulk, which means they get better pricing than you can get at a big box hardware store.
  • Special Orders – Every home is different, and many homes have unique quirks that may not work well with run-of-the-mill materials. When you hire a professional, the cost of gutter installation also factors in any specialty materials you might need based off of the unique features of your home. If you choose the DIY route, you risk purchasing the wrong materials or spending a lot more on special orders than the professionals who may already have the correct parts in stock.
  • Replacement Parts – Mistakes happen, and they can be costly. Say you end up dropping your system during gutter installation and your gutters end up bent and bowed. You’ll have to pay for the replacement materials in addition to your original spend. If a professional were to cause damage, such as botching your seamless gutter installation, they’d have to pay out of pocket for the replacement expenses, so you won’t have any unexpected costs.

If you DIY your gutters, you may gain some experience, and you’ll certainly have bragging rights if all turns out well. But, between the technical aspects of the project, the safety hazards, and the cost of materials, you’ll be dealing with more hassles than that’s worth.

If you’re starting to think twice about DIY’ing this project, call the experts at LeafFilter for proper gutter installation today. We guarantee you’ll be glad you did!

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