Gutters and Downspouts:
Hung Gutters and Downspouts Basics

Description: Hung copper gutters are typically supported by brass or copper brackets or hangers, spaced a maximum of 30" O.C. in snow areas, or 36" O.C. in non-snow areas. Brass or copper straps, used in conjunction with a gutter bead stiffening brass bar, are recommended for gutter widths greater than 6" or where severe ice or snow conditions exist. Table 4.4.1.1 shows the recommended width and thickness for brass brackets and straps. Braces, to stiffen the gutter, are made of 20 oz. copper.

Table 4.4.1.1. Recommended Sizes for Gutter Brackets and Straps
Gutter GirthSize
Up to 15" 1/8" x 1"
15" to 20" 1/4" x 1"
20" to 24" 1/4" x 1 1/2"

An alternate support method uses brass straps, fastened to 32 oz. copper braces, spaced a maximum of 30" O.C. A brass stiffening bar is required in the gutter bead. This method does not require the use of brackets.

Regardless of the support method, gutters must be hung to intercept the flow of water off the roof. This usually means that the surface to which the gutter is attached is vertical.

Special Conditions: The details shown are based on gutters with rectangular shapes. Half round gutters are also available but are usually supported by straps with spring clips or by special brackets.

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A. Gutter Brackets Brackets are attached to the exterior wall at intervals of 30" to provide the support needed for the gutter. They are fastened by two brass screws in lead sleeves or two brass wood screws if a wood fascia exists. Brackets are formed into various shapes to fit the profile of the gutter. In high wind areas, brackets should be fastened to the face of the gutter. (see Table 4.4.1.1 for recommended bracket dimensions)

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B. Gutter Straps Where gutter width exceeds 6" or in areas with severe ice or snow conditions, straps are used in conjunction with brackets to provide additional support. Table 4.4.1.1 shows the recommended dimensions for the straps.

Gutter straps should be spaced 30" apart and extend 6" up onto the roof. Brass screws are used to secure the straps onto the roof sheathing. The end of the strap is fastened to the gutter at the bead. A continuous 3/4" x 3/16" brass stiffening bar is inserted into gutter beads to stiffen the gutter edge and allow better fastening of the strap.

When copper roofing is used, areas around screws and straps should be soldered for watertightness.

Brass gutter straps can also be used in conjunction with heavy (32 oz.) copper braces to support the gutter. (see typical description above)

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C. Gutter Brace Gutter braces are made of 20 oz. cold rolled copper. Gutter braces are soldered, riveted or bolted to the top edge of the gutter to prevent lateral movement.

Where the braces are used as hangers to support the gutter, they should be made of 32 oz. cold rolled copper.

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D. Gutter Spacer Gutter spacers made of 1" x 1/16" (minimum) flat-stock copper are installed in gutters to provide additional strength. Gutter spacers are fastened to the back of the gutter at the top edge and to the front of gutter at the bead.

Strap or bracket hung gutters are preferred.

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