The number one thing to consider when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help to answer most of the following questions you’ll have before purchasing your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can drastically affect the appearance of your house, enhancing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Designing a new home comes with a lot of of choices about both appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are no exception. Deciding on the gutters that go on your house is important because they should last at least 20 years or more.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof has experienced damage, the gutters may need to be replaced. Or, they could simply be aging and need to be replaced.
You will know why you are installing new gutters on your home, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will give you direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know if certain features are must-haves or if you can choose a less expensive product.
Here are the major questions you’ll have when it’s time to install new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about installing 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 choices for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable options that are durable in most cases, other than extremely cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they are available in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are attractive and durable. Both materials come in a variety of colors too. They are fairly lightweight and not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners inWashington who purchase these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter materials above offer these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, most homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means there are more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a local contractor because they need special equipment. They’re more expensive to purchase and install, but 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 one of the reasons for their popularity. Plus, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters by themselves.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they give homes a regal, established appearance. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are harder to install, but easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will determine a lot about what gutters you should purchase. As we already mentioned, some materials will not hold up in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much water are your gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in Washington are going to take a lot of factors into account to determine the size and type of gutters that are going to work best for your house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional roofing 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 online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can 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 simple length times width calculation for residential roofs. But, 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 less sloped roof. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor will help you estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be included in average precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to consider the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your city, you should seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which might really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the final question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work on your own, or if you want to pay a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure maximum efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the installation will be done right. Another bonus of hiring DC Gutter Service to install your gutters is that we are able to help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type.