Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Another PVC Eavestrough Installation Update

We have all the eavestroughs/gutters installed.  The downspouts are next but it was 23 degrees today and after 15 minutes outside with leather gloves on, my fingers were stinging.  So we said "no" to outside work today.  

Instead we worked on cleaning the gameroom because that is our workroom for now. It was so congested with 'stuff' everywhere that we decided to devote this second day to cleaning and organization.  The amount of sawdust is staggering.

So in the meantime I will go over how we installed our PVC eavestroughs.  We do it slightly different than the instructions.  The manufacturer's instructions are to cut the trough and place the cut end into the diverter on one side.  You are suppose to slide the trough into the diverter and line it up to the corresponding line for the current air temperature.  Then repeat the process on the other side.  The reason for this is because the PVC expands/grows as it get warmer and contracts/shrinks when it is colder.

When we used this method the trough and diverter would over time get slightly askew, as the PVC expanded and contracted.  Our method is to slide the diverter all the way onto the trough.  Then hang the section of trough onto the fascia board attaching the trough to the fascia board with the hanging clips and recommended screws. 
 Remember to slide the pieces on in the correct order. In our case it was 1 hanging clip, then the diverter, then a clip 3 inches from the diverter, then additional clips every 20 inches  After the trough is attached to the fascia board, go back and attach the diverter to the fascia board using the same screws that you used for the clips.  There are two holes (see the photo of the diverters further down the page) in the diverter for attachment.  At this point you can then cut a large hole in the trough where the downspout attaches to the diverter.
Eavestrough before the hole is cut. 

I assumed that the manufacturer chose the first method because it requires less tools.  Unfortunately that method causes bad reviews.  The bad reviews included the fact that the trough didn't stay straight and that the system leaks at the seams and required yearly caulking.  We have not experienced the need to caulk yearly.  We caulked once when we installed and never again.  The new area that we are working on now will get caulked in the spring when weather permits.  Also make sure you use exterior grade caulk/sealant.

The other bad review mentioned was that the runs did not stay straight.  We did experience that on the front of the house but that was remedied by using our method of installing the diverter.  Our method results in just one continuous 10 foot run, where as the manufacturers method ends up with 3 pieces. 

But first before I show you how we cut the hole in the diverter, I want to show you the two sizes that are offered and why you should always go bigger.  I would say that the hole in the top diverter is twice the size.  Bigger allows for the rainwater to leave the trough faster which helps to eliminate trough/gutter overflows.  
The photo above shows the diverter for the standard downspout size of 2X3 inch and for the larger size downspout of 3X4 inch.  The difference in price is $9.23 vs $12.15.  Basically 2 bucks per 10 foot length to have the larger size downspout.  The larger the diverter hole and downspout, the faster the gutter/eavestrough can empty.  This is very important for the times that you get a very heavy rainstorm. FYI if you decide to go with the larger sized diverter and downspouts you also need to buy the bigger size downspout clip (just 20 cents more) to hold the downspout against the house.

On to how to make a hole in the gutter/trough.  You can do it 2 ways.  The first way is to use a hole saw and drill motor to cut a round hole and then go back and expand the hole using the pneumatic grinder with a burr bit.  OR you can do how we do it.  R drills a pattern of 5/8th holes in the trough and then uses his pneumatic grinder with a large pointed burr bit to remove the plastic.
   He uses the bit because the cut off wheel wouldn't allow him to get a nice finish.  So instead of using the cut off wheel and then using the burr bit to clean up the edges, he found it was easier to just use the burr bit for all of it.  You could also use a mill bit but if you are going to buy just one bit, then make it a pointed burr bit because you will get more use out of it.  A Dremel with a small bit would work, just remember to go slow and let the bit do the work.  Don't put pressure on the bit.  Use the highest speed and let the bit cut away the material.
And while we are covering the diverter and downspout hole, make sure that you put a strainer in the diverter hole.  We have tried several types and we prefer the metal mesh style.  The plastic strainers get sun damaged and get brittle and fall apart.  The aluminum wire mesh style is sturdier and the sun has no effect on it.  Also squirrels or chipmunks can't chew on the metal mesh version either.
I did a price comparison on downspout wire mesh strainers and the best price was Home Depot at $4.12 each.  You can buy them on Amazon but that requires a shipping cost. 
So there you have it.  All that is left is the downspout installation.  Downspout install is probably going to be Friday.  Tomorrow I have a hair appointment and then I need to drop stuff off at my sister's house.  

If it is nice weather I will take a few photos of her house.  It is grey and white like mine but a darker grey.  She is a shows dog/breeder so they added an addition onto the side of her garage where the dogs can come and go as they please.  She did a wrought iron fence in front of it with a poured patio with aggregate.  This way when people come to look at the puppies they can be in the enclosed area to play with them. The poured aggregate is also easy to keep clean if a puppy has an accident. 

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