The number one thing to consider when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer many of the subsequent questions you’ll have before making your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new gutters can significantly impact the exterior style of your home, increasing its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New House – Designing a home comes with a lot of of choices about appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your house 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. Or, they may simply be wearing down and need to be replaced.
You obviously know why you are installing new rain gutters on your home, but the reason usually has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are important 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 fun part of installing new gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your personal preference.
These are the choices you will have, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical materials that are durable in most cases, except in cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in nearly every region of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are both attractive and durable. Both materials come in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly lightweight and are not difficult 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 available, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Schenectady who purchase these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter materials above offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, most homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the more affordable choice, and they are made with more seams, which means more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a local contractor because they need specialized equipment. 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 far more popular because they look excellent with every style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This attributes to their popularity. Plus, they are easy to install. Most 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 are best for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they provide homes a regal, established curb appeal. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will dictate a lot about what gutters you should purchase. As we mentioned, some types of materials don’t hold up well in cold climates.
The most important climate factor to think about is how much work the gutters will have to do. In other words, how much water are the gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter contractors in Schenectady are going to take a lot of factors into consideration to determine the size and the type of gutters that will work best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional roofing contractors use is no secret. Here are the pieces of specific information you will need to decide how large your gutters should be:
Average Rainfall – This statistic is available on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also find the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the max amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard 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 less sloped roof. Knowing your roof-pitch factor will help to calculate how much rainfall will actually 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 consider the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your city, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which could really damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re willing to do the work on your own, or if you want to enlist the services of a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for professional labor, knowing that the installation will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring All Pro Gutters to install the new gutters is that we can help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type.