Are your walls and fascia moldy, starting to look old, and heavily discolored? If that’s the case, you might want to check your gutter downspouts because there’s a high chance they’re clogged. If this is a recurring problem at home, it’s time to install gutter leader heads.
- What Are Gutter Leader Heads?
- How Do Gutter Leader Heads Work?
- Gutter Leader Heads Installation
What Are Gutter Leader Heads?
Gutter leader heads, also known as conductor’s heads, collector’s heads, or rain collectors, are gutter components installed at the top of a downspout to prevent water overflow. They act as funnels and introduce better airflow to avoid clogging and vacuum locks. Aside from the added protection, they make a decorative statement to your home.
How Do Gutter Leader Heads Work?
Gutter Leader Heads functionality is pretty straightforward. Water flowing through the gutter will likely carry fallen leaves and other debris. These can put too much pressure on your downspouts, causing leaks and other problems.
That’s where this component comes in. Since a gutter leader head acts as a funnel, it’s the perfect place for you to add a filter. The large filtered opening can knock big debris such as broken branches and twigs that would otherwise cause clogs and unnecessary pressure on your downspouts.
Gutter Leader Head Customizations
There are large gutter leader heads designed to receive more than one downspout. Some homeowners design their gutters to meet into a single leader head to avoid clutter. Gutter systems can get messy quickly, especially if you have a large house with multiple floors.
As a bonus, if you just want to improve your home’s aesthetic, you can choose to have decorative gutter leader heads installed.
Another one of their uses is collecting rainwater (that’s why they’re also known as rain collectors). You can incorporate them into your rainwater harvesting system by directing the water into your collection tank. Don’t forget to have a leaf guard or filter to avoid dirt in your rainwater.
Gutter Leader Head Benefits:
- Prevents overflow
- Introduces airflow into the downspout
- Allows you to reduce the number of downspouts
- Improves your property’s aesthetics
Gutter Leader Heads Installation
Before installing a gutter leader head, assess your gutter system before anything else. Here is a quick guide to help you prepare and choose the right material for your gutter leader head installation or repair project.
Selecting a Gutter Leader Head
1. Find one that matches your house’s gutter material and color
Skipping this step will cause problems since some materials are incompatible with others. For example, pairing new copper gutters with existing steel or aluminum gutters is not a good idea. Copper will cause both of your gutters to rust prematurely. And, of course, different colored gutters will ruin your property’s curb appeal. Choose colors that match and work together.
Ideally, you want your gutter leader head material to be the same as your gutters. Here are the common types of gutter materials:
- Galvanized steel
If you are going for a cheaper option, polyethylene gutter leader heads are a great alternative as they are affordable, durable, and incredibly light in weight.
2. Ensure you know what size you need for your gutter head
Measure your gutter and downspout before buying a gutter leader head. Remember that this component goes on top of the downspout, so if you buy one that doesn’t fit, you will end up wasting time and energy returning it to the store.
Now that you know what gutter leader head you want, it’s time for installation.
How to Install Gutter Leader Heads
- Locate where you want to install your gutter leader head
- Clean the installation area
- Install onto the wall using fasteners or bolts
- Attach the downspout to the gutter leader head
- Make sure everything is secured
Once you install the gutter leader head, try pouring water down your gutter to check for leaks. If there are any, double-check to ensure everything is secured or apply a waterproofing sealant. If you’re not comfortable doing it on your own, call an expert.
Should You DIY Gutter Leader Heads
Gutter leader heads are not overly complicated to install. We would not recommend this as a DIY project, though, if you do not possess the right tools. For starters, you need to have a durable ladder, safety harnesses, a battery-powered electric drill, and other gutter repair and installation equipment.
Fair warning: it will be a near impossible task to install a gutter leader on your own without the proper tools. Plus, you will want extra hands for assistance to help retrieve components and equipment while you work from the top of a ladder. Frequently traveling up and down a ladder increases the risk of injury should you slip and best to be avoided by enlisting help.
If you have no experience in this type of work, it’s best to hire an expert to do it for you. The Grand Haven gutters experts at Shepherd Shoreline are here to help you!
Hire a Grand Haven Gutters Expert
Don’t hesitate to hire reliable and experienced contractors to do these jobs for you. Here at Shepherd Shoreline, we offer different kinds of gutter-related services, from quality gutter leader heads and covers installation to garage doors and door openers. Call us at (231) 780-2847 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.