The number one thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help to answer the questions you’ll have before purchasing your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can really affect the appearance of your house, improving its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a new home comes with a lot of of choices about both appearance and functionality. Rain gutters included. Choosing the first gutters that go on your house is important because they should last at least 15-20 years or more.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home been damaged, the gutters might need to be replaced, too. Or, they could just be wearing down and need to be replaced.
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 but not spend too much money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will often provide direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know what features are important or if you can go with 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 installing new rain gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options you will have, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical materials that hold up well in most scenarios, besides cold climates, where they can wear down. 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 reasonably priced materials are both attractive and durable. Both materials come in a variety of colors too. They are fairly light and not difficult to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) are able to resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Erie who decide on these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter options above will offer these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easier to install. In fact, homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters need to be installed by a contractor because they require special tools. They’re more expensive to order and to install, but they are less likely to leak 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 are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This one of the reasons for 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 usually made of copper and steel, and they are best for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a regal, classic curb appeal. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but much easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region may dictate a lot about which gutters you should purchase. Like we mentioned, some materials will not hold up in extremely cold climates.
The most important climate factor to think about is how much work the gutters will have to do. In other words, how much rain or water are your gutters going to have to withstand?
Professional gutter contractors in Erie are going to take a lot of factors into consideration to get a good idea of 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 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 can be found online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also look into the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the max amount of rain that will occur within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for standard roofs. But, you need 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 estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely 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 severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the final question is probably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re going to do the work yourself, or if you want to hire a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the job will be done right. An added bonus of hiring Elite Erie Gutters to install your new gutters is that we can help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type.