Gutters Installation Services in Pittsburgh
Gutters and downspouts are a vital component of a roofing system. In capturing and shedding the water from the roof, they help protect masonry, siding, wood products, and most importantly the foundation from moisture infiltrations. While variables exist as to style, material, etc., there are basically (3) types of gutters: K-Style (or “U” Shape), half-round and box/trough. K-style and half-round are usually made of aluminum, copper or galvanized metal. Box gutters are usually lined with terne-coated tin, copper or rubber membrane.
The key point to installing a proper gutter system is providing “slope” or pitch” to the gutter to allow water to freely drain to the downspout. The gutter slope must be calculated properly as not enough slope will cause the water to simply pool in the gutter, allow for sediment buildup and in the winter enhancing the formation of ice dams. Too much slope results in reduced capacity, splash over in heavy rains and possibly an unsightly appearance.
The slope is built into the structure of box gutters and various hangers and aprons are used to provide slope for half-round and K-style gutters. In the case of half-round gutters, adjustable fascia and roof hangers are installed and then the gutter is laid into and clipped to the hangers. Slope is achieved by moving the circle up and down on the roof hanger and installing fascia hangers to a pre-determined pitch.
K-style gutters can be sloped in (2) different ways:
a) Using hangers that fasten into the back of the gutter (spike & ferrule, hidden screw hangers, etc.) and installed to a pre-determined pitch. Using these hangers creates (2) problems: 1) A roof apron (metal bent to go under the roofing material and down over back of gutter designed to stop water from going behind the gutter) is very hard to incorporate with these types of hangers. 2) The fastener creates a hold where water may flow through and behind the fascia board if the gutter should fill with water.
b) A fascia apron (a strip of aluminum with a hook on the bottom that corresponds with the hook on the back of the gutter) with appropriate hangers and a fabricated roof apron. The fascia apron is attached to the fascia board with slope already predetermined by use of a level and chalk line. The gutters are then installed clipping into the fascia apron. Roof apron is then fabricated and installed extending under roofing material and down over front of fascia apron to hook. Aluminum bar hangers are then fastened through the apron and into the rafter tails behind the fascia board. Ice & Watershield underlayment is then installed along the gutter line 3’ up from the interior wall and covering the top edge of the roof apron.
The Alcoa fascia apron along with fabricated aluminum roof apron, Alcoa OG12 hangers and Ice & Watershield underlayment provides the most effective means of providing slope to the gutters.
The use of a proper sealing agent to watertight gutter end caps, eave tubes, corners, etc. cannot be over looked. Tripolymer gutter seal is a flexible, self-leveling, UV resistant product that is ideal for gutter use. The amount and placement of rivets/fasteners is also important to the overall integrity of the gutter system as well as proper installation of elbows and downspouts to drain water to the ground.