The number one thing to ask yourself when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer 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 will be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can really affect the curb appeal of your home, improving its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Designing a home comes with a constant stream of decisions about appearance and functionality. Gutters are one of them. Deciding on the gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 15-20 years.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has had damage, the gutters might need to be replaced, too. Or, they may simply be deteriorating and need to be replaced with new ones.
You obviously know why you are installing new gutters on your home, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate without spending a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are must-haves 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 will blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options you will have, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable options that are durable in most cases, except in extremely cold climates, where they will wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are attractive and durable. Both of these materials are available in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and are easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) are able to resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Lynchburg who purchase these options are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter options above offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters come 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 are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a contractor because they require specialized equipment. 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 great with every 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.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they recommended for rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they provide homes a regal, classic appearance. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are much harder to install, but they are easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the city you live in will determine a lot about which gutters you can have. As we already mentioned, certain materials will not hold up in cold climates.
The most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much rain or water are your gutters going to have to handle?
Professional gutter companies in Lynchburg will take several factors into account to determine the size and type of rain gutters that will work the best for your house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional home exterior 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 statistic can be found online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also find the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the max amount of rain that will occur within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a basic length times width calculation for basic roofs. But, you will want 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 roof that is less sloped. Knowing your roof-pitch factor will help you estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is factored into precipitation calculations, but you also want to consider the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your city, you should seek professional guidance concerning 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 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 are going to hire a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the job will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Lynchburg Gutters to install your gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about gutters so that you are able to find the perfect style and type for your home.