The very first thing to consider when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help you answer the following questions you’ll have before purchasing your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners might be in the market for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can drastically affect the appearance of your house, increasing its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a constant stream of decisions about appearance and functionality. Gutters are one of them. Choosing the gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 15 years or more.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home is damaged, the gutters might need to be replaced. Or, they may just be deteriorating and need to be replaced.
You 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 ruined by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will often provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are must-haves or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll want to consider when it’s time to purchase new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about installing new gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal preference.
These are the choices you will have, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable choices that hold up well in most cases, besides extremely cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in nearly every region of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are both stylish and durable. Both of these materials are available in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly lightweight and are not difficult to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) withstand rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Birmingham who purchase these options are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter materials above offer these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, most homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the less expensive choice, and they have more seams, which means there are more areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a contractor because they require special tools. They’re more expensive to order and to install, but 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 are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. In addition, they are not hard to install. Most 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 are best for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a regal, established appearance. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are much harder to install, but they are easier to clean out, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in will dictate a lot about what gutters you can have. As we already mentioned, certain materials will not hold up well in extremely cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will need to do. In other words, how much rain or water are the gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter contractors in Birmingham will take many factors into consideration to get a good idea of the size and type of gutters that will work best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional home exterior 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 is available on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also look into the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the maximum amount of rain that will occur within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for standard roofs. However, you will 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 determine how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics.
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 often in your city, you should seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which can 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 are going to hire a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the installation will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Birmingham Gutter Service to install your new gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you find the best style and type for your home.