The first thing to consider when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help to answer many of the following questions you’ll have before making your ultimate 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 really impact the exterior style of your home, enhancing its look in a more subtle way than painting or new landscaping.
A New House – Building a home comes with a lot of of decisions about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters included. Choosing the gutters that go on your house is important because they should last at least 15 years.
A Renovation – If your roof is damaged, the gutters may need to be replaced. Or, they might simply be getting too old and need to be replaced with new ones.
You will know why you are installing new rain gutters on your home, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is getting ruined by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are must-haves or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll need to ask 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 personal preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that are durable in most scenarios, besides extremely cold climates, where they can deteriorate. 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 of these materials are available 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 resist 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 eye-catching as well. Homeowners in St Louis who decide on these materials are searching 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:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters come in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, homeowners decide 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 should be installed by a contractor because they need specialized tools. They are more expensive to buy 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 every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. Plus, they are easy to install. Most 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 are best for rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they give homes a regal, classic curb appeal. However, more modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are harder to install, but easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in will determine a lot about what gutters you can have. Like we already mentioned, some materials don’t hold up well in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will need to do. In other words, how much rain or water are your gutters going to have to handle?
Professional gutter installers in St Louis are going to take many factors into account to determine the size and type of rain gutters that will work best for your roof.
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 on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also look into the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the maximum 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. However, you need 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. Knowing your roof-pitch factor will help to determine how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in average precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to consider the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows regularly in your city, you need to seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams, which could severely damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work yourself, or if you want to pay a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for labor, to ensure that the job will be done right. Another bonus of hiring St. Louis Gutter Solutions to install the new gutters is that we will help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you find the best style and type for your home.