How to install gutter downspout straps

Gutter downspout straps are a simple solution to protect your home from water damage. They prevent precipitation from accumulating in your gutters and causing water to overflow the sides of your roof. Downspout straps ensure that runoff water flows away safely instead of spilling over the top and running down the side of your building into windows, doors, or siding.

The number one reason for water damage is an obstruction in the gutters, which causes rainwater to spill over the gutter and down the side of buildings. During storms, gutters that are clogged with leaves or other obstructions allow large amounts of water to back up, causing it to pour over the edge. The straps will prevent the gutter from being filled to capacity, thus preventing backup.

Your gutters should be installed by a contractor or properly trained individual if you do not have the time to make this project. If you are confident in your skills, follow these steps carefully and you can install straps and protect your home from water damage.

While installing this product, you should have a second person to assist. Use extreme caution at all times when working with sharp tools and high levels of stress on your ladder or roof.

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How to install gutter downspout straps

Use a ladder to reach your gutters

You can purchase a ladder that is designed for use on your roof. If you are climbing up and down the ladder, you should have a secure footing on the roof to make sure you do not slip off and cause injury.

Assess gutter location and length of straps needed  Measure the distance between brackets on your gutters that are located along the eaves (perimeter of the roof). The height from these brackets to your downspout is what you will use to determine how many straps you need. You can purchase additional straps, but make sure that your budget allows you to cover the desired distance.

If your gutters have a peak (they come together in the center), measure from the bracket closest to the peak and down toward where they end into the gutter. If there is no peak, start at one edge of the roof and measure across.

Inspect your guttering for damages and limitations before installation

Check the condition of your gutters and downspouts. Make sure they are not breakable, rusty, or fragile to ensure you will be able to install the straps properly and tightly without causing problems. If they do have any existing damages, plan repairs prior to installation.

Step 1: Remove debris from downspouts and gutters

Use a rake or small shovel to remove any debris from your gutters. You may want to remove as many leaves, sticks, and branches as you can before continuing with this project.

Step 2: Measure downspout straps  Once you have completed the first step, find the center point of both sides where the gutter connects to your roof. You will use this location in conjunction with the measurement that you took earlier to determine how much strap is needed. This process may require some math, so have a calculator handy if you need one.

Step 3: Attach straps  Once you have measured and determined where on the gutter (up and down) you need to place the strap, you can begin to install. Take one strap and hold it against your gutter on the side that is closest to your peak or opening where runoff goes into the downspout.

Use screws along with washers and tighten them as much as possible using a screwdriver. If you do not have a drill, you can use screws with a screwdriver.

An alternate way to tighten is by using some pliers (usually used for electrical wires) and gripping the strap and turning until it is secure. You may need to use one hand on the pliers, while your other holds onto the strap.

Find the downspouts and measure them with a tape measure

You will need to know the length of each downspout. Add one foot to this total length and mark it on a piece of drywall or cardboard with tape. This will serve as your cutting guide for the gutter downspout straps. Use a hack saw or jigsaw to cut along the marked line you drew on your piece of cardboard.

A gutter downspout strap is a small metal rod and eyelet that looks like a length of chain with “eyes” on the end of each link. The easiest way to measure for the strap is to use your tape measure as a guide from one end of the downspout to the other, then add 2 inches to this total measurement and cut the piece of straps to this length. The 2 extra inches are for attaching the strap to the downspout with screws.

The gutter downspout strap is attached directly onto a lapped seam (where two pieces of metal are overlapping each other). Make sure that where you attach it, there is already a small gap between the two pieces

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    Cut the straps so they are long enough to fit around the gutter pipe.

    On the ends of the strap, you will find a small loop and opening. Take one end of the downspout strap and place it around the gutter’s downspout pipe. Make sure that you leave some slack on either side so that you can fit them over both of the pipe’s edges. Take the loose end of the strap and thread it through the eyelet at one end of the loop. If you are having trouble getting this part done, put a large washer over each side of one eyelet before trying again. Slide both ends of the downspout strap off your workbench and place them around the pipe.

    The strap should be snug, but not too tight. You will need to push down on it to get the eyelet to slide through both of the pipe edges around it. If you run into trouble getting the loop end back onto itself with a large washer in place, take off one side of the washers and give it another go. Once the loop end of the strap is threaded onto itself, tighten a screw into one side of your downspout strap so that it holds everything in place.

    When you are finished with one strap, do the same thing on the other side, and then move on to installing gutter downspout straps at various spots along the length of the downspout and pipe.

    To install gutter downspout straps at corners, measure out the length of your strap. It should be long enough to wrap all the way around each piece of metal from one end to another with a nice big gap left in between them. Lay it out on a workbench so that you can use it as a guide while you cut. Once that is done, bend the strap at each end to make it easier to fit and slide into place around both pieces of metal.

    When you are done attaching gutter straps along the top edge of your downspout pipe, it’s time to move on to attaching one at the bottom edge. Before doing that, you will need to cut out a notch along the bottom edge of the downspout. Measure out from the end of your downspout about 2 inches and make a small mark with your pencil.

    Each side of the pipe should be flush with each other for about 6 inches in both directions along its length. Insert the tip of your hacksaw into the metal and cut out a notch from one end of this area to the other. You will need to cut away about 1/2 an inch of the downspout pipe.

    Cut the strap so it is long enough to reach around both pieces of metal at the bottom edge of your downspout. To attach this piece, you will once again use a large washer on each side of one eyelet to help hold it in place.

    Once the loop end of your strap is threaded back onto itself with a large washer in place, tighten a screw into one side of your downspout strap so that it holds everything in place.

    It’s important to know that you should only use galvanized metal straps for this purpose and that you can repeat the process with additional straps as needed. Some people choose to place a couple of straps in between each downspout strap, and then fit a large washer on both sides of one eyelet at the top edge of the pipe for extra security.

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