The first thing to consider when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help to answer 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 will be in the market for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the rain gutters can significantly affect the exterior style of your house, enhancing its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Building a home comes with a constant stream of choices about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters included. Choosing the first gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last at least 15 years or more.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof has experienced damage, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they might just be wearing down and need to be replaced with new ones.
You will know why you are replacing the rain gutters on your home, 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 being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will help to provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are important or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll need to ask when it’s time to purchase new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about choosing new rain gutters is choosing the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your preference.
These are the options you will have, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical options that are durable in most scenarios, other than extremely cold climates, where they can wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in almost every region of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced materials are stylish and durable. Both of these materials come in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and not difficult to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most eye-catching as well. Homeowners in Lexington who purchase these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter materials above will offer these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, most homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the less expensive choice, and they are made with more seams, which means more sections where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters need to be installed by a contractor because they need special tools. 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 attributes to their popularity. Plus, they are easy to install. Many homeowners are capable enough to install their own K-Style gutters by themselves.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, classic curb appeal. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but easier to clean out, 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 materials will not hold up well in extremely cold climates.
The single most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will need to do. Basically, how much water are the gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter companies in Lexington are going to take many factors into account to get a good idea of the size and type of rain gutters that are going to work best for your house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional home exterior 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 online 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 occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for standard roofs. However, you will need 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 determine how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows a lot in your city, you need to seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams, which can really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re willing to try to do the work yourself, or if you want to pay a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for labor, to ensure that the installation will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring LikeNew Lexington Gutters to install your gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you are able to find the perfect style and type for your home.