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Old 10-23-2009, 11:27 AM   #1
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advice on gutters


we need to install guttters on our house.... I like to do things right the first time esp. on thing saround the homestead......that being said do you think I should save $$$ and install gutters from home depot or is it worth it to pay for seamless and have pro install (I don't think I could install seamless myself due to 50' run)
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:34 AM   #2
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You can have my gutters, I took them off about five years ago due to periodic ice dam problems. Best thing I ever did, they were a complete pain, what with leaves getting in them, ice dams, wasp nests etc. In all seriousness, are you sure you want gutters? If you are having problems due to water adjacent to your house, the best solution may be simply regrading. After much research, I am unable to find a valid use for gutters, except in areas where you want to capture roof runoff for irrigation or drinking water.
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Old 10-23-2009, 02:55 PM   #3
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thanks for the response.......I know we need gutters over our back deck where water is splashing up against house, however now i am questioning if we need anywhhere else....... if crawlspace is slighlty damp around some of the edges of foundation underneath house should I put gutters? I certainly don't want to spend the money if I don't need to ...... here is a link to a picture of the house that has the least amount of slope away from foundation, also this is where the house is closest to grade, thanks
http://community.webshots.com/album/575218119aocvct
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:03 PM   #4
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Before spending time and money on gutters, ask yourself what it is you hope to achieve by putting them on. If the problem is water getting into your crawlspace because it seeps down along the foundation wall, the answer may be to add some soil to create a positive grade away from the house. If you add gutters, you can of course direct the collected water away from the house by extending the downspout away from the house. This is a perfectly good solution, however it does not eliminate the need to have positive pitch away from your house in addition.

My experience has been that positive grading away from the house is sufficient to keep water out of my basement, with or without gutters. It is also relatively inexpensive to add some soil, and almost no maintenance is required.
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:13 PM   #5
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It's an interesting point that Daniel makes about whether gutters are needed. I don't have any as my roof is thatched, and the overhang is enough to throw the rain clear of the walls.
However with tiled and slate roofs nearly every house in the UK has gutters, and now you are not allowed to allow rainwater from the roof to leave your property into the road.
Gutters tend to cause damp problems in solid wall houses if they are leaking or overflowing, so in these cases the properties would be better off without them. If the rainwater is well clear of the walls there shouldn't be a problem. Shingle next to the house can help stop rain bounce affecting the walls.
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:13 PM   #6
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Simple answer to this question. Gutters move water away from your foundation.

The amount of water that flows off of your roof during even a small rain is more than you think. Hundreds of gallons. Once the ground is saturated, water doesn't just sit there, it looks for somewhere to go. Quite often that is into your basement or crawlspace. It's a simple equation. Move the water away from your foundation, lessen the chance for intrusion.

Yes, gutters do require maintenance, which most homeowners find to be an annoyance. But there are many products available to lessen that maintenance. Gutter screens will drastically reduce the amount and frequency of cleaning that is needed. Seamless gutters (which you have already expressed an interest in), don't require seams and joints to be resealed. Ever.

If you are experiencing moisture along your foundation, yes re-grading will definately help. But installing a gutter system is relatively cheap added insurance, and adds an architectural element to your fascia system that most people find very visually appealing.
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Old 10-24-2009, 09:00 AM   #7
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I guess my question is: will a little dampness in the crawlspace next to foundation hurt anything??? Thanks
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:08 AM   #8
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You definitely want seamless gutters. I don't know where you're located but in the Boston area we have eagle seamless gutter supply that will drop off the gutters at the jobsite.
If for no other reason to install gutters, you can harvest the rainwater for the garden.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:25 AM   #9
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My conclusions:

1. If you insist on gutters, go seamless.
2. If you have proper pitch away from your house, and adeqaute roof overhang (at least 6 inches) you don't need gutters, since the rainwater will drop to the ground and flow away.
3. A little groundwater adjacent to your crawlspace is normal, and will not be a problem,unless you have holes in your wall or some other structural problem.
4. Collecting roof runoff using gutters sounds good in theory, but unless you empty those barrels religiously, they are just going to overflow during a major rain event. My town is full of gardeners, recyclers, and generally very "green" folks, and hardly anyone can deal with the issues associated with rainwater collection for the home. In my town, it doesn't really matter, since we are all on wells, if the roof runoff is diverted away from the house, it soaks into the ground naturally, and eventually you wind up pumping it up through your well anyhow.
5. If you put on the gutters, I don't care what brand of gutter guard you use, in my experience they don't work (you can have mine, I still have about 75 feet of gutter guard in the garage that I saved for some inexplicable reason when I removed the gutters). You still have to get up there on a ladder every year and clean the damn things.


Before you spend the money and time on gutters, you may want to research the history of gutters. American houses did not always have them, they were introduced, and you should at least consider the possibility that they serve no useful purpose. Kind of like my appendix. If they are already on your house, you may want to live with them, but if I were born without an appendix, I surely would not pay a doctor to put one in.
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Old 10-25-2009, 08:29 PM   #10
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Fine Homebuilding did an article last year about hanging gutters yourself using seamless gutters dropped off at your home. It would give you an idea of the work involved.

You don't want water getting into your crawlspace.

How well gutter guards work is very dependent on what kind of leaves land on your roof.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ugabulldog View Post
I guess my question is: will a little dampness in the crawlspace next to foundation hurt anything??? Thanks
Yes. This could end up causing mold/mildew issues, and if you live in a cold climate, the freezing/thawing could damage your foundation.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:11 PM   #12
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I'm not sure if the company I used for gutters is in your area, but I highly recommend them. It's called "Leaf Guard" and their gutters are superior to all the others I received quotes on. The price was very competitive too. They come out to your house and make the gutters out of the back of a truck. They are seamless and made from thick guage aluminum. They have a great warranty and will even come out and clean your gutters if they get clogged. I have two large oak trees in my yard, one with large leaves and one with small leaves. The gutters have been on the house for 3 years and I've never had to clean them, nor have they clogged. It's a great product. (And no, I don't work for them. )
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