The first thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer the following questions you’ll have before purchasing your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can significantly impact the curb appeal of your home, increasing its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a new home comes with a lot of choices about appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Choosing the first gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 15 years or more.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof has experienced damage, the gutters may need to be replaced. Or, they might just be aging and need to be replaced.
You will know why you are installing new gutters, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending too much money.
Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters.
Determining 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 go with a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part of purchasing new gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable options that hold up well in most scenarios, besides extremely cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in almost every region of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are both attractive and durable. Both materials are available in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly light 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 cost the most, but the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Baltimore who choose these options 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 below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, most homeowners decide 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 sections where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a local contractor because they require specialized equipment. They’re more expensive to purchase and 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 almost any style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. In addition, they are easy to install. Most 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 recommended for rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they provide homes a luxurious, classic curb appeal. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are harder to install, but they are easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will determine a lot about the gutters you can have. As we already mentioned, certain types of materials will not hold up in extremely cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to consider 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 Baltimore will take a lot of factors into account to determine the size and type of rain gutters that are going to work best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional gutter 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 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 can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a basic length times width calculation for standard roofs. But, you will want 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 is going to help you estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be factored into average 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 need to 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 arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re willing to try to do the work yourself, or if you want to hire a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for professional labor, knowing that the job will be done correctly. Another bonus of hiring Better Baltimore Gutters to install your new gutters is that we are able to help you answer all of your questions about gutters so that you are able to find the best style and type.