The first thing to ask yourself when you are purchasing new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help you answer many of the subsequent questions you’ll have before making your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can drastically impact the curb appeal of your home, increasing its look in a more subtle way than painting or new landscaping.
A New House – Building a home comes with a constant stream of choices about both appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Deciding on the gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 15 years or more.
A Renovation – If your roof has experienced damage, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they might just be aging and need to be replaced.
You know why you are installing new gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are worth spending money on or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll want to consider when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about choosing new gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home exterior, 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 choices that hold up well in most scenarios, other than extremely cold climates, where they will become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are stylish and durable. Both materials are available in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly light and not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Carmel who purchase these options are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter options above offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, many homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the less expensive choice, and they are made with more seams, which means more sections where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a local contractor because they need specialized equipment. They’re more expensive to buy and to 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 great with every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are more common. This attributes to their popularity. And, 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 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, because they are both lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but much 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 the gutters you can have. As we already mentioned, certain materials don’t hold up in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. Essentially, how much rain or water are your gutters going to need to handle?
Professional gutter companies in Carmel can take a lot of factors into account to get a good idea of the size and the type of rain gutters that will work the best for your home.
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 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 the city you live in. This is the max amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a basic length times width calculation for standard roofs. However, you will have to factor in all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A roof that is steep will collect more wind-blown rain than a roof that is less sloped. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor will help to calculate how much rainfall will actually 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 be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows regularly in your city, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which can severely damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is arguably 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 want to enlist the services of a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, to ensure that the job will be done right. Another bonus of hiring Carmel Gutter Specialists to install the gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type for your home.