The first thing to ask yourself when you are purchasing new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help you answer most of the following questions you’ll have before making your ultimate 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 – Installing new rain gutters can significantly affect the appearance of your home, improving its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Building a home comes with a constant stream of choices about both appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are one of them. Deciding on the gutters that go on your house is important because they should last at least 15 years or more.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has suffered damage, the gutters might need to be replaced, too. Or, they might simply be deteriorating and need to be replaced.
You know why you are replacing the gutters on your home, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate without spending too much money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will often give you 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 major questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about choosing new rain gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable materials that hold up well in most scenarios, other than cold climates, where they can become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in nearly every region of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are both attractive and durable. Both of these materials are available in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and are not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) are able to 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 Charleston who purchase these materials 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 will offer both of these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, most homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means more sections where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a professional contractor because they require specialized tools. They are more expensive to order 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 far more popular because they look excellent with every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. And, they are easy to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters by themselves.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they recommended for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they provide homes a regal, classic appearance. However, more modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, being lightweight and functional. Half-Round gutters are a lot harder to install, but much easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will dictate a lot about what gutters you should purchase. As we already mentioned, some types of materials don’t hold up in cold climates.
The most important climate factor to think about is how much work the gutters will need to do. In other words, how much rain or water are the gutters going to have to handle?
Professional gutter installers in Charleston can take a lot of factors into consideration to determine the size and the type of gutters that are going to work best for your home.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional 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 weather statistic is available online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also find 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 standard roofs. However, you will have 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. Knowing your roof-pitch factor is going to help to estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to consider the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows regularly in your state, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which can really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the final question is probably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work on your own, or if you are going 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 labor, to ensure that the installation will be done right. An added bonus of hiring Charleston Gutter Solutions to install the gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you are able to find the best style and type.