The first thing to consider when you are purchasing new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help to answer most of the subsequent questions you’ll have before making your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners will 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 more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Designing a home comes with a lot of of choices about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are one of them. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last at least 15 years.
A Renovation – If your roof has experienced damage, the gutters might need to be replaced. Or, they might simply be wearing down and need to be replaced.
You will know why you are installing new gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending a lot of money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will give you direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know if certain features are must-haves or if you can choose a less expensive product.
Here are the major 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 rain gutters is choosing the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable choices that hold up well in most scenarios, besides cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in nearly every region of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are stylish and durable. Both materials come in a variety of colors too. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most eye-catching as well. Homeowners in Akron who choose 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 types above offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easier to install. In fact, most homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the more affordable choice, and they are made with more seams, which means there are more areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a professional contractor because they require special tools. They are 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 are better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This speaks to their popularity. In addition, they are easy to install. Most homeowners are proficient 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 regal, classic curb appeal. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, because they are lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but much easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the city you live in will determine a lot about the gutters you should install. Like we already mentioned, some types of materials don’t hold up well in cold climates.
The most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will have to do. Essentially, how much rain or water are the gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in Akron are going to take several factors into account to determine the size and the type of gutters that are going to work the best for your house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional home exterior 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 on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also find 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 simple length times width calculation for standard roofs. However, you will need to figure all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A steep roof will collect more wind-blown rain than a roof that is less sloped. Knowing your roof-pitch factor will help you calculate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be factored into average precipitation calculations, but you also want to consider the potential for ice dams. If it snows a lot in your city, you need to seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which might really damage your roof.
Of course, the last question is possibly 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 pay a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure 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 AllClean Akron Gutters to install the new gutters is that we can help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you are able to find the perfect style and type.