The number one thing to ask yourself when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help you answer the subsequent questions you’ll have before purchasing your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners might be in the market for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can really affect the exterior style of your home, improving its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Building a home comes with a constant stream of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Rain gutters included. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last at least 20 years.
A Renovation – If your roof been damaged, the gutters may need to be replaced, too. Or, they could just be getting too old and need to be replaced.
You know why you are replacing the 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 getting ruined by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will give you direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know what features are must-haves or if you can go with a less expensive product.
Here are the questions you’ll want to consider when it’s time to purchase new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about choosing new rain gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your personal preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable options that are durable in most scenarios, besides cold climates, where they can wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are stylish and durable. Both materials come in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will withstand rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most attractive as well. Homeowners in St Paul who decide on these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s just what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter materials above offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, homeowners choose 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 areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a contractor because they need specialized tools. They’re more expensive to order 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 almost any style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This attributes to their popularity. Plus, 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 recommended for rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they give homes a regal, established curb appeal. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and highly 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 which gutters you can have. As we mentioned, certain types of materials will not hold up well in extremely cold climates.
The most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. Essentially, how much water are your gutters going to have to withstand?
Professional gutter companies in St Paul are going to take several factors into consideration 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 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 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 occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a basic length times width calculation for basic roofs. But, you will 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. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor is going to help you estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to consider the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your state, you should seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which can severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is probably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work on your own, or if you want to enlist the services of a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the installation will be done correctly. Another bonus of hiring St. Paul Gutter Solutions to install the gutters is that we can help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you find the best style and type for your home.