The very first thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer the following questions you’ll have before making your final 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 – Installing new rain gutters can really impact the appearance of your house, improving 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 appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Deciding on the gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last approximately 20 years.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home is damaged, the gutters may need to be replaced, too. Or, they might simply be getting too old and need to be replaced.
You will know why you are replacing the rain gutters, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are important or if you can choose a less expensive product.
Here are the major questions you’ll need to ask when it’s time to install new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part of choosing new rain gutters is picking out the style. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable materials that hold up well in most cases, besides extremely cold climates, where they will become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are both stylish and durable. Both of these materials come in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and are easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Springfield who decide on these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s just what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter options above will offer 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 more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a professional contractor because they need 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 popular because they look excellent with virtually any style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This one of the reasons for 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 usually made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they provide homes a luxurious, classic appearance. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly 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 will determine a lot about which gutters you should purchase. Like we mentioned, some types of materials don’t hold up in extremely cold climates.
The single 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 have to withstand?
Professional gutter contractors in Springfield can take a lot of factors into consideration to get a good idea of the size and the type of gutters that are going to work best for your home.
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 statistic can be found online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also check 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 standard length times width calculation for residential roofs. However, you will want 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. Knowing your roof-pitch factor will help you estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is factored into average 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 concerning the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which could severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the final question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to do the work on your own, or if you want to enlist the services of a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure maximum efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for professional labor, knowing that the installation will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Springfield Gutter Specialists to install your new gutters is that we can help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you are able to find the best style and type.