The first thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help to answer most of the following questions you’ll have before purchasing your final 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 significantly impact the exterior style of your house, increasing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Building a new home comes with a lot of of decisions about appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Choosing the gutters that go on your house is important because they should last at least 20 years.
A Renovation – If your roof has suffered damage, the gutters may have to be replaced, too. Or, they might just be wearing down and need to be replaced.
You obviously know why you are replacing the 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 ruined by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know what features are worth spending your money on or if you can go with a less expensive product.
Here are the questions you’ll need to ask when it’s time to purchase new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part of choosing new gutters is choosing the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical materials that hold up well in most cases, except in extremely cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in most regions of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are both stylish and durable. Both materials are available in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly lightweight and are not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) are able to fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Sacramento who decide on these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter materials above offer both of these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, many homeowners choose 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 should be installed by a professional contractor because they need special tools. They’re 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 every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are more common. This attributes to their popularity. In addition, they are easy to install. Many 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 recommended for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they provide homes a luxurious, established curb appeal. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are harder to install, but they are easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the city you live in will determine a lot about which gutters you should install. Like we mentioned, some materials will not hold up well in cold climates.
The single 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 the gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in Sacramento can take a lot of factors into consideration 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 is available on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also check the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the maximum amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for residential roofs. However, you need to figure 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 you determine how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be included in average precipitation calculations, but you definitely 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 rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which might severely damage your roof.
Of course, the last question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re willing to try to do the work yourself, or if you want to hire a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, versus 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 Sacramento Gutter Service to install your gutters is that we can help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you find the best style and type.