The first thing to consider 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 making your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new gutters can significantly affect the appearance of your house, improving its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Building a home comes with a constant stream of choices about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters included. Choosing the first gutters that go on your house is important because they will need to last at least 20 years or more.
A Renovation – If your roof is damaged, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they might just be aging and need to be replaced.
You will know why you are replacing the gutters on your home, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending too much money.
Your landscaping is getting ruined by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will help to give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are worth spending your money on 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 best part about purchasing new gutters is choosing the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical materials that hold up well in most scenarios, besides extremely cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in nearly every region of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are both 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 withstand 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 O’Fallon who purchase these options are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter types above offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easy 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 have more seams, which means more areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a contractor because they require special tools. They’re more expensive to buy 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 every style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This attributes to their popularity. In addition, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are capable enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they recommended for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, classic curb appeal. However, more modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are a lot harder to install, but they are easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the city you live in may determine a lot about which gutters you should purchase. As we already mentioned, certain materials don’t hold up in extremely cold climates.
The most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will need to do. Essentially, how much rain or water are your gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in O’Fallon can take a lot of factors into account to determine the size and type of rain gutters that are going to work the best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional 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 can be found on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also find the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the maximum amount of rain that will occur within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for basic roofs. But, you need 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 will help to calculate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be included in precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows regularly in your city, you need to seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which might really damage your home’s 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 hire a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the job will be done correctly. Another bonus of hiring A+ Gutters of O’Fallon to install your new gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about gutters so that you are able to find the best style and type for your home.