How to Tell If Your Rain Gutters Need Replaced


roof line with rain gutters
Sometimes, the gutter problem is not always what you think.


This summer we had a problem that I noticed with our gutters.  Rain was literally pouring over the top of them.  You would think there was a problem with leaves clogging the gutters. But before you replace your rain gutters check them out!

What we found was the old rain gutters were not as bad as we thought once we replaced them.  The real problem was in the ground and not on our roof. What we found when we pulled one of the downspouts to investigate this mystery was it was loaded  with dirt that the water couldn’t flow through.

The problem wasn’t in the rain gutters over our heads, but the drains under our yard.  Just be careful in what you wish for!  Now saving thousands for one of those fancy gutter systems with the metal cover on them was great.  Yet, digging that was not fun for my guy!

The hard part for us was the Pennsylvania clay and many rocks . . . so many rocks!
But we dug a trench to the edge of our yard.

trench for downspouts
Here is  the trench .


All you do is pitch the pipe away from your house.  Get a level and look at the bubble and make sure of the entire length the trench is about 18 inches.  Afterwards, then backfill with pea gravel a bit to make a level trench, is pitched away from the house.  Look at the level and the bubble.  It should be on the line closer to your house or closer.  All you need is to be on the line.  You don’t want a trench that’s level, but it needs to be pitched.

You can find lots of you tubes on ways to extend your drain lines.  We could have snaked them out.  But they were old clay tiles which probably were cracked by our trees.

You have lots of choices from spools of solid corrugate pipe or what’s ideal is that white Schedule 40 PVC pipe.  The white pipes you just have to clue together with fittings.  The corrugated pipe is easier since you can bend it around things.  However, the PVC is smoother.  They also have green SAR pipe that is flared on one end and you just insert the pipes into each other.  The price for the green or white pipes in our area is only about $13 and $15 per ten foot sections.  The black corrugated, you can pick up 100 feet for $40.  If you can manage it go with the PVC since it’s smooth inside and very durable.  But I know my neighbor used the solid corrugated and he drives his full size truck over it every day and it’s still working.  We used the corrugated since next year we expect to do more construction that may tear these pipes up.

Hopefully, what my guy and I learned in this gutter experience will help save you a lot of money.



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