The number one thing to consider when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help you answer most of the following questions you’ll have before making your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners will be in the market for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new gutters can drastically impact the curb appeal of your home, improving its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Building a home comes with a lot of of decisions about appearance and functionality. Gutters are one of them. Choosing the gutters that go on your house is important because they should last approximately 20 years.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof has suffered damage, the gutters may need to be replaced, too. Or, they could simply be deteriorating and need to be replaced with new ones.
You know why you are installing new rain gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are must-haves or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about choosing new rain gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable materials that are durable in most scenarios, other than cold climates, where they will become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are stylish and durable. Both of these materials come in a variety of colors too. They are fairly lightweight and not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) are able to fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Lansing who choose these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter materials above offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, most homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the less expensive 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 professional contractor because they need specialized equipment. They are more expensive to buy and install, but less likely to leak 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 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 usually made of copper and steel, and they are best for rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, classic curb appeal. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are a lot harder to install, but much easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the city you live in may determine a lot about which gutters you should purchase. Like we mentioned, certain types of materials don’t hold up well in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much rain or water are your gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in Lansing are going to take several factors into consideration to determine the size and the type of gutters that will work the best for your home.
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 is available on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also check the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the maximum amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for basic roofs. However, you 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 roof that is less sloped. Determining your roof-pitch factor will help you determine how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in average precipitation calculations, but you also want to consider the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your city, you should seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which might really damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is probably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work on your own, or if you are going to enlist the services of a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, to ensure that the installation will be done correctly. Another bonus of hiring Lansing Gutters Unlimited to install your gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you are able to find the best style and type.