A gutter guard provides an important function to prevent the build-up of debris in a gutter that stops the free flow of water to the downpipe. Damage caused by blocked gutters includes peeling wall paint and erosion of the wall surface, as well as cracking foundations due to continual water penetration. Installing a gutter guard mitigates the problems, time and costs associated with water damage. Gutter guards come in a variety of materials, with nylon mesh being a leading product type due to its durability, ease of installation and debris-prevention style of construction.
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Rubber gloves
- Jet wash
- Silicone-based sealant
- Caulking gun
Using a measuring tape, measure across the top of the gutter from back to front to establish the correct width of nylon mesh to purchase. Nylon mesh gutter guards are commonly manufactured to fit the residential standard 5K or five-inch guttering, and for 6K and half-round gutters.
Wear rubber gloves and clear all debris and sludge out of the gutters. Flush the gutters clean with a medium pressure jet wash, paying particular attention to the channel along the front inside edge, and the first inch down from the back of the gutter mouth. Later on you'll caulk sealant in these areas so it is important to clean them so that the sealant adheres correctly.
Dry the inside of the gutter with cloths. Start at the gutter end and overlap it by two inches with the nylon mesh, and make sure the smooth side is facing up.
Using the gutter end as a guide, use scissors to cut a 1/2-inch slit into the front edge of the nylon mesh parallel with the gutter end. Cut a three-inch slit into the back edge of the nylon mesh using the gutter end to position the cut. Cut at a right angle from the end of each slit back to the starting edge of the nylon mesh that overhangs the gutter end.
Check for any hanging brackets that obstruct the nylon mesh installation. Make a three-inch cut at the point of a hanging bracket from the back of the mesh across toward the front. Cut one-inch slits to either side of the end of the cut at a right angle so that it forms a T-cut.
Push the back edge of the nylon mesh down to the bottom of the back of the gutter. Tuck the front edge into the guttering front channel. Make a 1/2-inch deep triangular notch into the front edge of the mesh where any hanging bracket interferes with the channel installation. Tuck the overhanging nylon mesh at the starting point down inside the gutter end.
Position another length of nylon gutter mesh next to the installed piece and abut the ends. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 to install the nylon gutter mesh. Continue to install lengths in the same way as before, and leave a two-inch overhang at the other gutter end. Cut the overhang using the same method as explained in Step 4, and tuck the end down inside the gutter.
Use a silicone-based sealant and a caulking gun to run a line of sealant between the nylon mesh and the back edge of the gutter all along the gutter length. Caulk a line of sealant between the nylon mesh and the underside of the channel lip along the length of the gutter to finish the installation.
Tips and warnings
- Press down on the nylon gutter mesh to gain access for the caulking nozzle.
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