Proper Installation of Gutters on Stucco Walls

How hard can it be to install a gutter? All you need is some sort of half pipe, and then nail it to the house right below the roofline, right? Wrong! A gutter is an integral part of keeping moisture away from your house, eliminating the chance of mold and structural damage, so make sure your gutters are properly installed.

Gutters should not be attached directly to your stucco

moisture bg

Proper gutter installation can help prevent moisture buildup and structural problems due to water damage and mold.

If you have stucco walls, make sure you don’t attach your gutters directly to the stucco. There should be about half an inch of space between the wall and the gutter. This will prevent gutter water from spilling over into your wall and rotting the OSB. If you’re about to put on stucco to your walls, but the gutters have already been placed, you must take down the gutters and re-install them properly after the stucco has gone on. Unfortunately, some guys take short cuts and simply apply the stucco around the gutters, and before you know it you have moldy, rotten walls and you are looking at some costly reparations.

Kick-out flashing for gutter system

Kick Out Flashing

Example of kick-out flashing to direct moisture away from your walls and into the gutter. Diagram taken from Hardiplank Installation Instructions

Gutters are supposed to catch the water running off of your roof and deflect the water away from the structure of your house. To prevent water from seeping in behind the siding where the roof intersects with the sidewall it is necessary to install kick-out flashing to direct the water away from the wall and into your gutter. When you are installing kick-out flashing, make sure the kick-out is between 4”-6” high and wide, and angled in a way to maximize water deflection.

Sloping your gutters and mounting downspouts

All gutters need to be sloped downward, directing water towards the downspouts to ensure that any water runs down to the ground and doesn’t sit and pool in your gutters. A good rule of thumb is to slope your gutters about 1 inch for every 10ft of horizontal run. If your gutters run longer than 40ft, it will be beneficial to slope the gutter in each direction from the middle of the gutter. You don’t want to overload one of your downspouts and cause a buildup of excess water in one area. The downspouts are attached with brackets directly to the stucco wall. To waterproof the holes you screw in the stucco wall, try using caulk before adding the screw, and using a plastic anchor will help secure the screws in the stucco.

Call Swift Inspections if you suspect water damage to your stucco

Swift inspections

Swift Inspections, Inc. specializes in all types of exterior inspections including EIFS, Stucco, Stone, Windows, etc.

There are many reasons why moisture is building up in your home. Improper installation of your gutter system is just one of the many reasons why you have water damage and rotting wood. The sooner you call a professional to inspect your home for moisture damage, the sooner you can fix the problem and avoid serious structural damage as well as health problems brought on by mold in your home. Swift Stucco Inspections has over 30 years of experience specializing in EIFS, stucco and stone inspections for all of Colorado, including Mountain Communities. Schedule an inspection today. Don’t wait until it is too late.