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Build a Rain Barrel in 10 Easy Steps

 

What is a rain barrel?

A rain barrel is a large reservoir fashioned to catch and collect rain water from your gutter so you can use it elsewhere. It’s a super simple concept, but it can make a huge difference when it comes to your summer water expenses. Instead of spending all kinds of money watering your lawn, garden, and plants, you can use rainwater. It’s sustainable, and you’ll get all kinds of good feelings from knowing that you’re contributing to a greener planet. Plus, if having a big plastic barrel in your yard isn’t your idea of aesthetic appeal, there are tons of options for designing your rain barrel — you can even build your landscape to incorporate it as part of your design scheme.

 

How to build a rain barrel:

There are a few items to take care of before you get started.

First: pick a reservoir. You’ve got lots of choices with it comes to picking a reservoir (the barrel part of your rain barrel) for your rain barrel. Reservoirs are typically heavy-duty, food grade plastic drums. You can buy a new one (search for a 55 gallon, open-head plastic drum with a cover). These will usually run $40-$60. Another option is to use a heavy-duty, outdoor garbage can. A garbage can is large and durable enough to serve all your purpose, and they’re a little more affordable at $30-$40.

 

If you’re looking for an even better deal, check in with local your local car wash or other similar establishment –– they often buy cleaning liquids in large drums, so you might be able to score a free reservoir container.

 

A few tips when picking a reservoir:

  • Make sure there are no harmful chemicals still left in the container. A container with lingering chemicals could pollute the area around the rain barrel or any plants you water, and the chemicals could potentially leech into the water table, posing a health risk for you and your family.
  • Pick a barrel that is opaque in color — water in a clear container can heat up too much.
  • Make sure the container is made of a sun-resistant material. Your barrel will be sitting in the sun most of the time, so you’ll want to make sure the plastic doesn’t break down as a result.
  • Be sure the lid of your barrel fits tightly to avoid the possibility of debris or small animals making their way into the barrel.

 

Then: Take a trip to the hardware store.

 

After you’ve got the perfect reservoir, you’ll need to head to the hardware store to pick up a few items.

 

Here’s a handy list you can use in order to avoid multiple store runs:

 

  • 2 rubber washers
  • 2 metal washers
  • 1 hose clamp
  • 1 spigot
  • A drill
  • Silicone caulk
  • Landscaping mesh

 

Now that you’ve got your gear, you’re ready to get started.

 

Step 1: Drill a hole for the spigot, about 3-4” from the bottom of the barrel. For a snug fit, make sure the diameter of the hole is slightly smaller than the diameter of your spigot.

 

Step 2: Put one metal washer on the threaded end of the spigot. Add a snug-fitting rubber washer over the threads to keep the metal washer in place.

 

Step 3: Apply a bead of silicone caulk to the metal and rubber washers and fit the faucet into the hole in your rain barrel.

Step 4: When the sealant is dry, place the second washer on the threads of the spigot on the inside of the barrel, then place the second rubber washer on the threaded spigot.

 

Step 5: Fasten the hose clamp to the spigot on the inside of your barrel. This will keep the spigot in place, so make sure to apply the clamp snuggly.

 

Step 6: Cut a hole in the lid of your barrel wide enough to accommodate the water flow from your gutter downspout.

 

Step 7: Drill a couple holes on the side of your barrel, near the top. These are for overflow, so you can avoid major flooding from your barrel in case of a heavy rain.

 

Pro-tip: If you live in a really rainy area, consider adding a second barrel. Just affix a short length of hose or PVC piping to the overflow port of the first barrel, then connect it to a similar port on the second barrel.

 

Step 8: Fit a piece of landscaping mesh over the top of the barrel, then put the lid on top of the barrel to secure the mesh in place. This will prevent leaves, bugs, and other small critters from falling into your barrel.

Step 9: Install your barrel in its intended location. Make sure the barrel is placed directly below the gutter downspout in order to catch rainwater.

 

Pro-tip: Build a platform for your rain barrel. The extra height will add water pressure, and a using a platform can add stability during heavy rains when the ground is soggier than normal.

 

Step 10: Enjoy your new rain barrel! You’ll feel great about all the money you save on expensive water bills, and you’ll be proud of your new, super-green watering system.

 

The Importance of Gutter Guards

Gutter guards are crucial to the protection of a home. A home is one of the most important investments a person will make in their lives and should therefore be protected. The importance of gutter guards is found in the protection, they provide against water damage. Water damage is one of the most frightening financial problems a home can be faced with. Not owning gutter guards or ignoring necessary gutter repair can be catastrophic for home owners.  The value of a home with water damage plummets, because of all the different ways water damage can affect a home.

One of the most common water damage problems caused by the absence of gutter guards is wood rot. Wood rot occurs when there is leakage and the wood in your home gets waterlogged.  Wood rot repairs can be very costly. The best way to combat wood rot is to take the necessary preventive measures with gutter guards and proper gutter repair.  Another common problem caused by water damage is mold and mildew. Mold and mildew need three things to spread: a place to grow, moisture, and a substance to eat like wood. When leaking occurs because of faulty gutters, without gutter guards your attic is at risk of mold and mildew. Avoid this disgusting fact, by taking gutter guards and gutter repair seriously.

As the winter months are upon us, ice damage should be considered by home owners. Ice damage can lead to serious problems like wood rot, mold and mildew, foundation erosion, and more. Gutter guards help protect against ice damage, by letting your gutters flow freely and keeping moisture outside of your home. When moisture enters the home, serious damage occurs. Purchasing gutter guards and keeping up to date on all gutter repair services, will keep the interior of your home dry and safe. The financial damages faced by so many Americans, year after year, could be avoided with the proper gutter guards and gutter repair service.

How to fix rain water gutters

Rain water gutters are used to collect and drain water from the roofs. These can be used to harvest water from he roof into a storage tank. This water can be used as a clean supply to the house. Gutters can be designed and formed into different shapes and materials. These can be half round or square shaped. The materials can be concrete, PVC, cast iron or sheet metal. The water storage can be made in the ground or elevated above ground level. The position of the tank will depend on the height of the roof from the ground level.

The rain water gutters are connected with down pipes to drain into tanks or the ground sewers. This gutters start or are attached at the eaves end point of the roof on the fascia board. It is important to blend the rain water goods to the fascia boards. This will give good aesthetic factors to the house. When fixing the down pipes, they should also be made to match the wall facades. Colors used should not contrast with the wall finishes. Sometimes these down pipes can be concealed inside beams and columns into the ground or tanks.

The size of the rain water gutters is six to eight inches wide. The fixing is done using clips attached to the fascia boards. The concrete ones are cast within the flat roof slab. The fixing clips are supplied as part of the whole system. These are made to slope to one side of the fascia board. This will allow the gutter to drain water to the down pipe. Once the gutter is fixed to the clips, water is poured on the roof to check the slope. This should not too fast as it will not be self cleansing. Again the slope should not be too visible on the fascia board.

The roof corners are done with stopped ends connected to the gutter. This has a hole for the swan neck shaped pipe. This piece makes the bend from the roof to the wall. The down pipe is joined to it, to take the water down. The pipes are fitted straight and connected to the wall with brackets away from doors and windows. If a water storage tank is elevated, the pipe is joined from the swan neck to the tank. If it is on the ground, a pipe runs down and bends towards the tank. When water is not harvested, the pipe bends and lets out water onto splash apron.

Rain Gutter Attributes To Take Into Account

Rain gutters provide a lot of protection for your house without you even noticing. They work pretty much passively without really being noticed most of the time. No attention is really paid to them until they start malfunctioning.

When this happens, rain pours out everywhere that it isn’t supposed to be, and gutters clog up in the worst places possible. Purchasing these rain gutters requires some planning since there is such a wide variety of them. Here’s an overview of what you have to sort through.

What Type Of Material Do You Want?

One of the first decisions you’ll make for your rain gutters is what material you want them to be made from. The post popular ones will be aluminum, copper, steel, and vinyl. Metal ones are more popular since it lasts longer. Most of the time, material choice is made depending on the weather in your area.

If you live in really wet and humid areas, steel is usually a bad choice. A lot of people choose aluminum since it is a nice medium between price and function. Copper is being a more popular choice for its great appearance and high quality. Steel can rust eventually if it is not cared for properly.

Shapes Of Gutters

After choosing the material, you’ll need to decide on the material. The most popular style are “K” style gutters and half-round gutters. You’ll then need to pick the size of the gutters. They are available in different diameters. Larger ones tend to help prevent clogging if you have a lot of trees in the surrounding areas.

Installing The Gutters

The gutters need to be attached to your house, and there are many systems available to do it. One of the most used ways is with gutter hangers. Various styles of hangers are available like crossbar hangers, ones with straps, and ones that are hidden once installed. Any of these will be suitable for your gutters. However, it may be determined by your roof design.

Downspouts

These are exactly what they sound like. Downspouts are the spouts that direct water downwards from the gutters. These are usually available in 3 by 4 inches rectangular sizes or even round ones. Again, it is usually better to go with larger sizes to prevent water and leaf clogging.

Selecting Best Rainwater Gutter System

Gutters are the important part of home’s exterior. Choosing a wrong gutter system may cause lots of damage. Old, damaged and defective gutters are harmful for home’s structure. These can make the house walls ugly and weak. It can make spots on the wall; destroy the original color of the walls. When a gutter clogs, the water is not diverted properly and overflows into either the house or foundation, it can cause wood rot, foundation problems and landscaping erosion as well. While choosing a good and new gutter system, a home owner must keep in mind several things like price, performance of rainwater gutters and the area where you are living. The few other things also should be taken in consideration before installing a good rainwater system like the temperature of the area, density of the rain and snow or ice storms, density of trees in the vicinity etc.

Home improvement experts suggest some of the following things before installing or buying a good rainwater gutter system:

Design of the gutters
If the primary purpose of gutters is to collect water from the roof and direct it away from the home where it could cause damage, then the first thing you want to know is whether or not your gutter system is properly designed. Good systems drain in such a way as to keep water out from under your foundation while keeping your fascia, siding and paint dry.

Material of the rainwater gutters
There are several different types of material used to make rain gutters.
Cast iron gutters and aluminum gutters can be the best choice for the rainwater systems. These are available in various sizes and colors in the market. A wholesale supplier of gutters can help to select the right gutter with the appropriate size as per your house design and requirements. Cast iron and aluminum gutters are installed by the experts. These are very adaptable and most often used in seamless rain gutter systems. The gutter holds more water than traditional wood gutters, and this is the product which is generally recommended.

Copper is also an attractive choice, but more expensive than the rest. Copper also requires a more expert installer. Wood is another material used for rain guttering, most often in restoration projects.

Type of rainwater gutters
Rain gutter systems are mainly categorized in two categories which are sectional and seamless. Sectional rainwater system can be installed by the homeowner whereas seamless systems need expert installer. Sectional are made up of vinyl or aluminum sections that are fastened together.

Sectional systems lend themselves more to do-it-yourself installations due to the high configurability of the parts. They are made up of either vinyl or aluminum sections that are fastened together.

A drawback of sectional rain gutters is that the joints are prone to developing leaks. Gutter add-ons, such as screens and filters, help these basic rain gutters stay clog free. This keeps debris and animals out of your rain gutter.

The second type of rain gutter system is the seamless rain gutter. This is a no-clog system which catches and routes water down and out while diverting leaves and debris to the ground. This type of rain gutter is quickly becoming a favorite choice due to its durability, seamless appearance and easy maintenance.

Gutter Covers
Gutter covers are used to help keep gutters clear of debris and they are getting better and better each generation. Gutter cover like gutter guards are introduced recently to protect the gutters from debris. You should consider gutter cover or guard, which are very helpful for your gutter solution.

Downspout Guards

Anyone who owns a home understand the basic maintenance that comes along with the joy of home ownership. Downspout gutter guards are an essential part of home ownership. The downspouts carry water away from your roof gutter and down to the ground. The problem is downspouts can clog with leaves, twigs, or other objects. For this reason it is important to check your gutters and downspouts regularly. Another important step is to buy and have a guard installed.

This will protect your gutter from becoming so cluttered with debris. Without regular maintenance to your gutters or the use of a guard, leaves and other items will build up and hold water back in your gutter and restrict the normal flow. This will typically result in damage to your house. This makes the gutters heavy and the water will find a way out down along your house, where damage can occur. The heavy weight from the water can cause the gutter to pull away from the house, causing damage. Another problem that occurs is water stains along the walls of the home.

Another problem that typically occurs when downspout guards are not used is a clog due to debris resulting in an ice clog. The water that has built up can freeze. This typically forms when snow melts off of a roof and should run down the gutter but cannot due to a clog. If water freezes in your gutters, your gutters will be very heavy and pull away from your house. If the snow melt off if not properly drained from your roof, ice and snow can build up on your roof, causing further damage such as roof damage or ceiling damage to your property. The ice can make it under your shingles and cause water damage on the inside of your house.

This is very avoidable. There is no reason to let this damage occur. It is much simpler to avoid these major house repairs and simple check your gutters regularly and have gutter guards installed. Prevention is the best policy. If not properly maintained, your house will end up costing you more in repairs. You do not have to install the gutters, downspouts, or guards yourself. This can be hired out. There are many reputable companies willing to assist you on your home maintenance and prevention. Taking care of your gutters, downspouts, and guards will save you money in the long run and allow you to enjoy your house.

You can learn about copper downspouts, and get more articles and resources about downspouts at diverters for downspouts

Gutter Toppers

House gutters prevent rainwater and roof water from trickling into a resident’s dwelling or basement. Without it, the acidic rainwater may cause structural damage to both the foundation of a home and the building itself. It is important for homeowners to get gutter guards to prevent twigs, leaves and other rubble from pouring into it and clogging it. When it fills up with debris, the rainwater may spill over from the top thus causing damage to the walls and foundation of the home. They need maintenance and purchasing a gutter topper greatly assists in this. Ignoring regular maintenance is quite risky because insects may build their homes in it and then start crawling into one’s home. An owner can purchase the product from online stores that sell home outdoor appliances or from superstores that sell gardening appliances.

A person can also purchase one from the internet by visiting an online store and placing an order. There are two things that a homeowner should be in possession of when purchasing gutter toppers online – a valid credit card and a valid bank account. These two facilitate the transaction, thus enabling a person to make their purchase quickly and safely. Products come in different forms such as metallic, polymer and plastic. Many people use plastic because they can withstand different weather conditions and they are long lasting. They are also cheaper than other materials in both price and maintenance costs. Most stores that sell roofing supplies also sell downspouts, gutters and other related products. This enables a person to purchase them at the same time and even for a discount.

The metallic gutter toppers have different materials such as aluminum, copper and iron. A person should purchase one that matches their home color in order to make it visually appealing. Some people buy ones that are similar in style to the existing system, thus acquiring a complete and matching set. Copper toppers are ideal for use because they are long lasting and require less maintenance costs. Amongst the various types of metallic materials available, copper are the most common due to their numerous benefits. They can withstand every weather condition and they do not rot or rust- this does not imply that no maintenance is required. It is important to maintain it by purchasing and applying sealants, which assist in maintaining their glossy look as well as preventing them from damages caused by acidic rain.

When buying these products, one should consider a number of factors such as its circumference, the design and the costs. It is important for a person to enquire from professionals the type of product that is best suited for their roof. The system works by channeling water to flow through the gutters and at the same time keeping out the leaves and other forms of debris. Selecting a big one may be inconvenient because it might not be able to sieve out the debris. When cleaning, one should also clean the gutter topper because it may have collected leaves over time.

The importance of guttering for your home

When considering the kinds of home improvements you need to carry out, you probably think more about improvements to add to the beauty of your home rather than improvements that actually help you take care of your house. Guttering is one very important aspect that you really need to think about in order to keep your home in a good state.

The point of guttering is very simple; it channels rain (or other substances) away from the roof of your house. Guttering stops a build-up of water on your roof, which eventually would otherwise cause the water to overflow and damage your property – defiantly not an outcome you want.

It is very important that you keep the guttering of your home clean and ensure that debris is not allowed to build-up within them. If you don’t clean your guttering regularly, rain will not be able to drain away effectively.

A common way of keeping your guttering clean is to install a guard onto it. A guard is most often simply a mesh frame that covers the gutter and stops debris from filling and blocking it. However, the problem with guards is that they, themselves, can become blocked over time. An additional problem with guards is that some can sometimes become detached (especially in high winds) and can end up blown from your roof and into your neighbour’s property.

Guttering can be made from many different materials. Steel is a more traditional material, although aluminium and plastic are becoming more popular these days, as they are substantially more lightweight and cheap to buy.

At Bliby Plastics, we can provide you with plastic guttering that is both lightweight and durable so that you don’t have to worry about the damage old guttering could be causing to your property while getting a cost-effective deal.

What you Need to Know About Gutters

What You Need To Know About Gutters

Materials

Gutters come in various materials, sizes and colors. It is no surprise then, why consumers feel so perplexed when it comes to purchasing the right gutter system for their home.

Wood, vinyl, aluminum, steel and copper are some of the materials that gutters and downspouts are made of. Wood is the least popular because of its high maintenance and price. Vinyl is great for do-it-yourselfers and can be found at home-improvement centers. Aluminum gutters are the most common. Primary aluminum is the thickest and most consistent kind. Avoid secondary aluminum, a recycled product that’s often plagued by inconsistent thickness. Metal gutters are made in sheet metal shops and require gutter specialists to install them.

Types of Gutters

Sectional types are sold in 10ft. to 22ft. long pieces. They are either made of vinyl, painted aluminum or pre-painted steel. Gutter sections are joined together by snap-in-place connectors. All sectional systems have end caps, corner pieces and drop outlets for connecting to downspouts. The negative to sectional systems is that there is a potential for leaks through the seams. One positive is that they can be installed by either the homeowner or by a professional installer.

Seamless gutters are the most popular type today. The biggest selling point is that they don’t have any seams which could potentially leak. The sections join only at inside and outside corners and at downspout outlets. Seam¬less gutters are usually formed from aluminum that has a baked-on finish, but they may be made from copper or factory-painted steel. They are made with a special machine that’s brought to your home by a gutter contractor. These types of gutters can not be installed by do-it-yourselfers.

How To Clean Your Rain Gutters

Rain gutters protect your house from water damage, but they only do their job when free of clogs. To keep your gutters flowing freely, you need to clean them periodically.

The conventional wisdom says to clean your rain gutters twice a year – once in the fall and once in the spring. In fact, this is the minimum frequency at which you should clean them. If you live in a rainy climate or have trees near your roof, you will need to clean your gutters more often.

Check your gutters once a month during the rainy season to make sure they are clean. In addition to leaves and pine needles, check for small seeds and nuts. If allowed to build up, these can leave a tar-like residue that’s hard to remove.

To clean your gutters you’ll need the right tools, and the most important tool for this job is a steady ladder.

If you have a low roof, a step-ladder may be enough to do the job. Otherwise you will need a stabilized extension ladder. Lean the top of the ladder against your roof and place the bottom on level ground about one quarter of the ladder’s length away from the wall.

Leaning an extension ladder against your gutters can damage them. You can avoid this by using a ladder stay, which is a metal triangle that attaches to the ladder, allowing it to rest safely against a wall and keeping its weight off of your gutters.

Remember never to stand on the top step of your ladder. If your ladder isn’t tall enough for you to comfortably reach your gutters, don’t be a hero, just get a bigger ladder.

Once your ladder is in place, you’ll need a plastic bucket to store debris. Hang the bucket from a ladder step with an S-hook. Don’t be tempted to hang the bucket from your gutters, since the added weight can damage the gutters.

Next you’ll need a tool for scraping leaves and other debris from your gutters. A trowel or garden spade will do the job, but avoid sharp tools that can gouge your gutters. Some hardware stores also sell a specialized “gutter scooper,” which is basically a long-bladed trowel shaped to fit most gutters.

Begin near a downspout and scoop out debris, working your way along the gutters and away from the downspout.

After you have cleaned out the debris, flush the gutters with a garden hose. This is also a good time to check for leaks in your gutter system.

Next, check for clogs in your downspouts. Insert your garden hose into the top of the downspout and turn on the water. Compare the flow from the hose to that washing out of the downspout. A slow flow means you have a clogged downspout.

Unclogging your downspouts is undoubtedly the hardest part of cleaning your gutters. You can try blasting water through the downspout, but this can potentially worsen the clog.

In many cases it’s better to disassemble the downspout. Take out the elbows, which are where clogs usually occur, and clean them with your tools.

Another option is to use a plumber’s snake (sometimes called a plumber’s auger or drain auger). Essentially an auger with a flexible tube, the plumber’s snake lets you bore through the clog. Just be sure to buy a plumber’s snake that’s wide enough for your rain gutters.

Instead of cleaning your own gutters, you can a hire service to do the job for you. The cost depends on the size and height of your house. To clean the gutters on a two-story, 2,000 square-foot home with 180 feet of gutters will cost anywhere from to 0.

Another option is to install gutter screen or gutter covers, which help keep leaves and debris from getting into your gutters. These cost anywhere from .50 – .00 per foot over gutter, depending on the type of system you buy.

Mike Milliman is founder and partner of GutterSupply.com, the leading manufacturer and distributor of Gutters, Rain Gutter, and related tools and equipment.