crimped. The parts are joined by fitting the larger end of one over the smaller end of the other—usually 1 inch of down- spout overlapping the elbow at each end. Use the same procedure to determine length of the down- spout along the house wall. Assemble the downspout at the ground level, driving primed sheet-metal screws into pilot holes drilled at each joint. Be sure to orient the successive pieces so the upper elbow or downspout section always tucks into the lower section—rather than the other way around, which will ensure a leak. Use two screws per joint. Fasten the downspouts snugly against the wall, with two flexible aluminum downspout bands per 10-foot section using nails or screws. A little temporary duct tape helps to keep the downspout stationary while fastening. Finally, attach a front or side elbow at the downspout’s bottom to direct water away from the building foundation. Concrete or plastic splash blocks can be installed beneath the down- spouts at a slope of 1 inch per foot to direct water away from the foundation. In areas with flatter grades, the downspouts should ideally discharge rain water eight feet from the founda- tion. This can be achieved in a number of ways. Some systems utilize above-ground dispersal, others in-ground. The latter are the least obtrusive, but the most expensive. Generally speaking, the grade around your home should slope about one inch per foot extending at least 10 feet from the building.
PROTECTION If your house resides beneath trees, you should strongly consid- er capping your new gutter with protective covers. Clogged gutters present a multitude of problems. When packed with leaves and debris, gutters don’t catch run- off as intended and the water spills over the edges, leading to landscape erosion and even the dreaded foundation leak. Furthermore, all that damp, rot- ting debris that gets clogged in a
Predrill the screw holes in the flange and attach the down- spouts, which must direct water away from the building founda- tion. Concrete or plastic splash blocks can be installed beneath downspouts. The downspout pictured terminates into an in-ground dispersal sytem.
Accumulated organic matter can clog a gutter, leading to all sorts of problems, such as the ant infestation shown here. Avoid these problems with gutter covers.
Protective covers from E-Z Gutter simply snap into place against the ridges of the gutter.
If an existing gutter has the old spike-and-ferrule fasteners, you might have to notch the gutter covers with a metal snips to make them fit.