The number one thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help to answer most of the questions you’ll have before purchasing your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners will be in the market for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can really impact the appearance of your home, increasing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a constant stream of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Gutters included. Choosing the gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last approximately 15-20 years or more.
A Renovation – If your roof has experienced damage, the gutters might have to be replaced, too. Or, they could just be getting too old and need to be replaced.
You will know why you are replacing the gutters, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending too much money.
Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know what features are important or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part of purchasing new gutters is picking out the style. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your preference.
These are the choices you will have, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable options that hold up well in most cases, other than cold climates, where they can deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in nearly every region of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced materials are stylish and durable. Both of these materials come in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Mobile who choose these options are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter materials above offer these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, many homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the more affordable choice, and they are made with more seams, which means more sections where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a contractor because they need special tools. They’re more expensive to purchase 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 every style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. In addition, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they recommended for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they provide homes a luxurious, established curb appeal. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and functional. Half-Round gutters are harder to install, but they are easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region may determine a lot about which gutters you can havecontractors 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 statistic is available online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also check the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the max amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a basic length times width calculation for standard roofs. However, you want 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 estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to consider the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your state, you should seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams, which could really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is possibly 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 new gutters. Professional installation will ensure maximum efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, to ensure that the installation will be done right. Another bonus of hiring Mobile Gutter Service to install the gutters is that we are able to help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you find the best style and type.