The number one thing to ask yourself when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help to answer most of the subsequent questions you’ll have before making your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the rain gutters can significantly impact the curb appeal of your house, improving its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Designing a home comes with a lot of of decisions about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are no exception. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your house is important because they will need to last at least 15 years or more.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof is damaged, the gutters might need to be replaced, too. Or, they may simply be wearing down and need to be replaced with new ones.
You know why you are replacing the rain gutters, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate but not spend too much money.
Your landscaping is getting ruined by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are must-haves or if you can go with a less expensive product.
Here are the major questions you’ll want to consider when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about choosing new rain gutters is choosing 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 cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that hold up well in most cases, other than extremely cold climates, where they can become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are stylish and durable. Both of these materials are available in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and 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 cost the most, but the most eye-catching as well. Homeowners in Arlington Heights who decide on these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter types above will offer both of these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, most homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the more affordable choice, and they are made with more seams, which means more areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a professional contractor because they require special equipment. They’re more expensive to purchase 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 far more popular because they look great with every style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are far 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.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they recommended for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they provide homes a regal, classic curb appeal. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are a lot harder to install, but easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will dictate a lot about which gutters you can havecontractors 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 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 want 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. Knowing your roof-pitch factor is going to help to calculate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be included in average precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to consider the potential for ice dams. If it snows regularly in your region, you should seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which could really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is arguably 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 are going to enlist the services of a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the job will be done right. Another bonus of hiring AllClean Arlington Heights Gutters to install your gutters is that we are able to help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you are able to find the perfect style and type.