The very first thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help you answer many of the subsequent questions you’ll have before purchasing your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new gutters can significantly impact the exterior style of your home, improving its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Building a new home comes with a lot of of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are no exception. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your house is important because they will need to last approximately 20 years or more.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has experienced damage, the gutters may have to be replaced. Or, they may simply be getting too old and need to be replaced.
You know why you are replacing the rain gutters, but the reason usually has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are must-haves or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll want to consider when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about installing new gutters is picking out the style. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your home, 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 choices that are durable in most cases, other than extremely cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are both stylish and durable. Both of these materials are available in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly light and not difficult to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) are able to fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most eye-catching as well. Homeowners in Cleveland who purchase these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter options above offer these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, many 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 can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a professional contractor because they need specialized equipment. They’re 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 popular because they look excellent with almost any style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are more common. This speaks to their popularity. Plus, they are not hard to install. Most homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters by themselves.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they recommended for rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they provide homes a regal, established appearance. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round 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 will dictate a lot about the gutters you should purchase. Like we already mentioned, certain materials will not hold up in extremely cold climates.
The most important climate factor to think about is how much work the gutters will need to do. Essentially, how much rain or water are your gutters going to need to handle?
Professional gutter contractors in Cleveland can take many factors into consideration to determine the size and type of rain gutters that are going to work best for your house.
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 can be found online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also find the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the maximum amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for standard roofs. But, you 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 less sloped roof. Knowing your roof-pitch factor is going to help you estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be factored into average precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your region, you should seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which can really damage your home’s 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 on your own, or if you want to pay a professional to install your 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 correctly. Another bonus of hiring Clean Cleveland Gutters to install the new gutters is that we are able to help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you are able to find the perfect style and type for your home.