The number one thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help to answer most of the questions you’ll have before making your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners might be in the market for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new gutters can drastically impact the appearance of your home, enhancing its look in a more subtle way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a new home comes with a lot of of decisions about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters included. Deciding on the gutters that go on your house is important because they will need to last approximately 15 years.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof has suffered damage, the gutters may need to be replaced. Or, they may simply be getting too old and need to be replaced.
You obviously know why you are installing new gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate but not spend too much money.
Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will help to give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are important or if you can choose a less expensive 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 of choosing new gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable choices that hold up well in most cases, except in cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in almost every region of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are attractive and durable. Both materials come in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly light and are easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Southfield who decide on these options are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter materials above will offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters need to be installed by a local contractor because they require special tools. They’re more expensive to order and to 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 excellent with virtually 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 easy to install. Most 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 are best for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, classic appearance. However, more modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but easier to clean out, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will dictate a lot about what gutters you should purchase. As we mentioned, some types of materials don’t hold up well in cold climates.
The most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. In other words, how much water are your gutters going to need to handle?
Professional gutter installers in Southfield will take several factors into consideration to determine the size and the type of gutters that are going to work the best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional gutter 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 can be found on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also look into 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 basic roofs. But, 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 roof that is less sloped. Knowing your roof-pitch factor is going to help you estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows regularly in your city, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which could severely damage your roof.
Of course, the final 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, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the job will be done right. An added bonus of hiring Southfield Gutters to install the new gutters is that we are able to help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you are able to find the best style and type.