The number one thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help to answer many of the following questions you’ll have before purchasing your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new gutters can drastically affect the curb appeal of your house, enhancing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Designing a home comes with a lot of of choices about appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Choosing the first gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last at least 15-20 years or more.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof been damaged, the gutters might need to be replaced, too. Or, they could just be deteriorating and need to be replaced.
You obviously know why you are replacing the gutters, but the reason typically 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 give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know what features are worth spending your money on or if you can choose a less expensive product.
Here are the questions you’ll want to consider when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about purchasing new rain gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical options that are durable in most scenarios, other than extremely cold climates, where they will wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in almost every region of the country, and they are available in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are attractive and durable. Both materials are available in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Terre Haute who choose these options are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter options above will offer both of these options:
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. 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 should be installed by a professional contractor because they need specialized tools. They are more expensive to purchase and install, but they are less likely to leak than sectional gutters.
K-STYLE OR HALF-ROUND GUTTERS
K-Style – K-Style gutters are popular because they look great with every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This attributes to their popularity. And, they are easy to install. Most homeowners are capable enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they provide homes a regal, established curb appeal. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are harder to install, but they are easier to clean out, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region may determine a lot about the gutters you should purchase. Like we mentioned, certain types of materials will not hold up well in extremely cold climates.
The most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will need to do. Essentially, how much water are your gutters going to need to handle?
Professional gutter installers in Terre Haute are going to take many factors into account to get a good idea of the size and the type of gutters that will work best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional 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 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 max amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for basic roofs. However, you will need to figure all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A roof that is steep will collect more wind-blown rain than a less sloped roof. Determining your roof-pitch factor will help you calculate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is factored into precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to consider the potential for ice dams. If it snows regularly in your state, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which could severely damage your roof.
Of course, the last question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work on your own, or if you want to pay a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the installation will be done right. An added bonus of hiring Total Gutters, Inc. to install the gutters is that we are able to help you answer all of your questions about gutters so that you find the best style and type for your home.