The first thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help to answer many of the questions you’ll have before purchasing your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners will be in the market for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can significantly impact the appearance of your house, increasing its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a lot of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Gutters are one of them. Choosing the gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 15 years.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof has experienced damage, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they might just be aging and need to be replaced with new ones.
You obviously know why you are installing new rain gutters, but the reason usually has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will help to provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know what features are must-haves or if you can go with a less expensive product.
Here are the questions you’ll want to consider when it’s time to purchase new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about choosing new rain gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your personal preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable choices that are durable in most scenarios, other than extremely cold climates, where they will wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in most regions of the country, and they are available in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced materials are both stylish and durable. Both materials come in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly lightweight and not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) withstand rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most eye-catching as well. Homeowners in Wheaton who choose these options are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s just what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter options above will offer both of these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the less expensive choice, and they are made with more seams, which means more areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters need to be installed by a contractor because they require special equipment. They’re more expensive to order and to install, but they are less likely to leak or wear down than sectional gutters.
K-STYLE OR HALF-ROUND GUTTERS
K-Style – K-Style gutters are far more popular because they look great with virtually any style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. And, they are easy to install. Most homeowners are capable enough to install their own K-Style gutters by themselves.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they are recommended for rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they provide homes a luxurious, classic appearance. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are harder to install, but much easier to clean out, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the city you live in will determine a lot about what gutters you can have contractors use is not a secret. Here are the pieces of specific information you will need to decide how large your gutters should be:
Average Rainfall – This weather statistic is available online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also check the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the maximum amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for standard roofs. However, you need to figure all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A steep roof will collect more wind-blown rain than a roof that is less sloped. Determining your roof-pitch factor is going to help you determine how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be included in average precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows often in your region, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which can really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the final question is probably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to do the work yourself, or if you are going to hire a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, knowing that the job will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring TLC Gutter Cleaning to install the gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you are able to find the perfect style and type for your home.