The first thing to consider when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help to answer the subsequent questions you’ll have before purchasing your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can really affect the appearance of your house, enhancing its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a constant stream of choices about appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 15 years or more.
A Renovation – If your roof is damaged, the gutters may need to be replaced, too. Or, they could simply be aging and need to be replaced.
You will know why you are replacing the gutters, 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 help to give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are must-haves or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about choosing new rain gutters is choosing 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 economical options that are durable in most cases, other than cold climates, where they can wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in nearly every region of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are both stylish and durable. Both of these 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) fend off 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 attractive as well. Homeowners in Edison who purchase these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter types above offer both of these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easier to install. In fact, many homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a contractor because they require specialized equipment. They’re more expensive to buy and install, but they are less likely to leak 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 far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. Plus, they are easy to install. Many homeowners are capable enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, established curb appeal. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, because they are lightweight and functional. Half-Round gutters are harder to install, but they are easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region may determine a lot about what gutters you should install. As we mentioned, some materials will not hold up in cold climates.
The most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. In other words, how much rain or water are your gutters going to have to handle?
Professional gutter contractors in Edison can take several factors into account to determine the size and the type of gutters that will work best for your roof.
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 weather statistic can be found online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also look into the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the maximum amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for standard roofs. But, you have to figure 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. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor will help you estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be factored into average precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows regularly in your city, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which might severely damage your roof.
Of course, the last question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re going to do the work on your own, or if you are going to enlist the services of a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, knowing that the installation will be done right. An added bonus of hiring EZ Edison 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.