The very first thing to consider when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help you answer most of the subsequent questions you’ll have before making your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners might be in the market for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can really affect the appearance of your home, increasing its look in a more subtle way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Building a new home comes with a lot of of choices about both appearance and functionality. Gutters included. Choosing the gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last approximately 15 years or more.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home been damaged, the gutters might need to be replaced, too. Or, they may simply be getting too old and need to be replaced.
You know why you are installing new rain gutters, but the reason usually has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending too much money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will help to provide direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know if certain features are must-haves or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll need to ask when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about purchasing new rain gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home exterior, 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, other than cold climates, where they will become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in nearly every region of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are stylish and durable. Both of these materials come in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Spokane Valley who purchase these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter types above offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, most homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the less expensive choice, and they are made with more seams, which means there are more sections where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a contractor because they require special equipment. They’re more expensive to buy 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. And, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are proficient 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 provide homes a regal, classic appearance. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, being lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are harder to install, but they are easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will determine a lot about the gutters you should install. Like we already mentioned, certain types of materials don’t hold up well in extremely cold climates.
The single most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will need to do. Essentially, how much water are your gutters going to have to handle?
Professional gutter companies in Spokane Valley can take a lot of factors into consideration to get a good idea of the size and the type of gutters that will work the best for your house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional 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 on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also check the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the maximum 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. However, you will need 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 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 be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows regularly in your region, you need to seek professional guidance concerning the type of rain gutters that best prevent ice dams, which might severely damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re willing to do the work yourself, or if you are going to enlist the services of a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure maximum efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the job will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Spokane Valley Gutters to install your new gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type for your home.