Rain Gutter Improvements Over The Years
Simply stated the earliest rain gutters were made of wood, so “we have come a long way baby” since then…
Today, probably the best value in rain gutters is the Seamless Aluminum Gutter. Aluminum is an excellent rain gutter material because it is relatively inexpensive, can be powder coated many colors and, properly installed, aluminum is strong enough to hold up well under all weather conditions.
The fact that gutters are seamless means they are not connected (or have a seam) every 10 feet or so. They are actually extruded from aluminum coil stock into the shape, size and exact length of the gutter needed at the site of the installation.
This enables installers to extrude a seamless aluminum gutter to any length needed as one gutter with no seams. So, a house with two 22 ft. gutters, one 16 ft. gutter and one 11 ft. gutter will get just that: 4 gutters of exact length needed and seamless.
Because over time most seams will leak, seamless gutters eliminate this leaking problem.
Earliest rain gutters were installed into fascia board using spikes and ferrules (like a long nail installed through a tight cylinder) through the top of the gutter and into the fascia board. The problem was that the weight of the gutter itself and then additional weight of water and debris would “pull” the spike out of the fascia board and away from the house. If you hammered the spike back into the same hole, that hole just got bigger making the problem worse.
Spike and ferrule installation has been replaced with Hidden Hangers. These are hangers that secure the gutter under the top of the gutter, front and back.
They are installed into the fascia with a screw (not a nail or spike) that goes through the top of the Hidden Hanger, through the back of the gutter and into the fascia ON A DOWNWARD ANGLE. This creates a strong secure support to hold the gutter tightly against the fascia board. Unlike a spike, a hidden hanger will not pull out of the fascia board.
Another good rain gutter development is the 45 degree Elbow. Most downspouts (also called leaders) simply get installed with 75 degree elbows because that’s just the way it has always been done. But by installing 45 degree Elbows as the UPPER Elbows, you “straighten” the gutter better than 75 degree Elbows creating a much better, faster flow of both water and debris. This significantly reduces the chance of clogging in upper Elbows.
When we say UPPER Elbows we are referring to Elbows up at the gutter and any Elbows needed along the downspout ABOVE the bottom Elbow. The Bottom Elbow should always be a 75⁰ Elbow because the 75 will direct water away from the house or building best.
Know that 45 degree Elbows cannot be used in ALL upper Elbow locations. Where they cannot be used, 75s will have to be used. This is usually on lower, 1-story downspout installations because the horizontal connecting downspout could be at a height where a person could bump into it.
Full Disclosure: The above rain gutter information is submitted by the inventor, developer and distributor of The SpoutOff Rain Gutter System, Kevin Leahy. The intent of this information is to help those interested make the best rain gutter decisions for THEIR home or building.
Contact us with any comments or questions at 610-420-0378 or Kevin@thespoutoff.com.