The number one thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer the 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 in the market for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the rain gutters can significantly affect the exterior style of your house, improving its look in a more subtle way than painting or new landscaping.
A New House – Building a new home comes with a lot of of choices about appearance and functionality. Rain 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 has experienced damage, the gutters might need to be replaced. Or, they might simply be wearing down and need to be replaced with new ones.
You know why you are installing new gutters, but the reason usually 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.
Determining your “Why” will give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know what features are important or if you can go with a less expensive product.
Here are the questions you’ll have when it’s time to install new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about choosing new gutters is picking out the style. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that hold up well in most cases, besides cold climates, where they can deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are both attractive and durable. Both of these materials are available in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly light 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 the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Richmond who purchase these options are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s just what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most 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 easier to install. In fact, most homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters. 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 require specialized equipment. They’re more expensive to buy and install, but less likely to leak than sectional gutters.
K-STYLE OR HALF-ROUND GUTTERS
K-Style – K-Style gutters are popular because they look great with every style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. Plus, they are easy to install. Most 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 are best for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they provide homes a luxurious, established curb appeal. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, being lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are a lot 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 the gutters you can have. As we already mentioned, certain materials will not hold up in extremely cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to think about is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much water are your gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter contractors in Richmond can take many factors into account to get a good idea of the size and type of rain gutters that will work the best for your house.
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 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 occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for residential roofs. However, you will want to factor in all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A steep roof will collect more wind-blown rain than a less sloped roof. Determining your roof-pitch factor is going to help to determine how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be included in average precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows a lot in your state, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which can severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work yourself, or if you are going to hire 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 right. An added bonus of hiring WeClean Richmond Gutters to install the gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about gutters so that you find the best style and type.