The very first thing to consider when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help to answer many of 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 might be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new gutters can really affect the appearance of your house, improving its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Designing a home comes with a lot of of decisions about appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Choosing the first gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last approximately 20 years.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has suffered damage, the gutters may need to be replaced. Or, they could just be deteriorating and need to be replaced with new ones.
You know why you are replacing the rain gutters on your home, but the reason usually 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.
Determining your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know what features are important 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 of choosing new rain gutters is picking out the style. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that are durable in most scenarios, except in cold climates, where they can become brittle. 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 reasonably priced materials are both stylish and durable. Both materials are available in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly light and are easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Berkeley who decide on these options are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter options above will offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, most 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 can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a professional contractor because they require specialized tools. They’re more expensive to buy and to 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. And, they are easy 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 provide homes a regal, established appearance. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are lightweight and functional. Half-Round 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 may determine a lot about what 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 weather statistic can be found 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 occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for standard roofs. However, you will want to factor in 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. Determining your roof-pitch factor is going to help you calculate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be factored into precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your region, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of rain gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which can severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the final question is probably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to do the work on your own, or if you are going to pay a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the installation will be done correctly. Another bonus of hiring Berkeley Gutter Service to install your new gutters is that we can help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you are able to find the perfect style and type.