The number one thing to ask yourself when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help to answer many of the subsequent questions you’ll have before purchasing your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can significantly impact the exterior style of your home, improving its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New House – Building a home comes with a constant stream of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are no exception. Deciding on the gutters that go on your house is important because they will need to last at least 15-20 years.
A Renovation – If your roof is damaged, the gutters may have to be replaced. Or, they could simply be deteriorating and need to be replaced with new ones.
You obviously know why you are replacing the rain gutters on your home, 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 getting ruined by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are must-haves or if you can go with a less expensive product.
Here are the major questions you’ll want to consider when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part of purchasing new rain gutters is picking out the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your preference.
These are the options you will have, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable options that hold up well in most scenarios, besides extremely cold climates, where they will wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are stylish and durable. Both of these materials come in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Cuyahoga Falls who purchase these options are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter types above will offer both of these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, most homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the less expensive choice, and they are made with more seams, which means there are more areas where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters need to be installed by a contractor because they require specialized tools. They are more expensive to purchase and 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 excellent with almost any style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This speaks 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 are best for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, classic 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 a lot harder to install, but much easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in will determine a lot about what gutters you can have. As we mentioned, some types of materials don’t hold up in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to think about is how much work the gutters will need to do. In other words, how much water are the gutters going to have to withstand?
Professional gutter companies in Cuyahoga Falls are going to take a lot of factors into account to get a good idea of the size and the type of rain gutters that will work the best for your house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional roofing 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 can also check the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. 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 basic roofs. But, you will want to figure all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A steep roof will collect more wind-blown rain than a less sloped roof. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor is going to help to calculate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in average precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your state, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams, which might severely damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re willing to try to do the work yourself, or if you are going to enlist the services of a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation ensures 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. An added bonus of hiring CF Gutters Inc. to install your gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you find the best style and type.