The number one thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer most of the questions you’ll have before making your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners might be in the market for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can really affect the appearance of your home, enhancing its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Building a new home comes with a lot of of decisions about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters included. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last approximately 15-20 years.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has suffered damage, the gutters might need to be replaced, too. Or, they could simply be aging and need to be replaced with new ones.
You will know why you are replacing the gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate without spending a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being 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 choose a less expensive product.
Here are the questions you’ll want to consider when it’s time to install new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part of installing new gutters is picking out the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your preference.
These are the options you will have, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable choices that are durable in most cases, besides extremely cold climates, where they can wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in nearly every region of the country, and they are available in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced materials are stylish and durable. Both of these materials are available in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will withstand rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Huntersville who choose these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter materials above offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easier to install. In fact, many 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 sections where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a contractor because they need special tools. They’re more expensive to order and to install, but 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 excellent with every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This attributes to their popularity. Plus, they are not hard to install. Many 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 complement rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they provide homes a luxurious, classic appearance. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but they are easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in may determine a lot about which gutters you should purchase. As we already mentioned, certain materials don’t hold up in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to think about is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much water are the gutters going to have to withstand?
Professional gutter contractors in Huntersville are going to take many factors into account to get a good idea of the size and type of rain gutters that are going to work the best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional roofing contractors use is no 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 find the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the maximum amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for basic roofs. But, you will have to factor in all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A roof that is steep will collect more wind-blown rain than a roof that is less sloped. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor will help to calculate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your city, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which might really damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re willing to try to do the work on your own, or if you are going to pay a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the installation will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Huntersville Gutters & Exteriors to install the new gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you are able to find the best style and type for your home.