The number one thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help to answer the following questions you’ll have before making your 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 really impact the exterior style of your home, enhancing its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New House – Designing a home comes with a constant stream of choices about appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Choosing the first gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last approximately 20 years or more.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has suffered damage, the gutters may need to be replaced, too. Or, they may just be wearing down and need to be replaced.
You know why you are installing new gutters on your home, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate without spending too much money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will often provide direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know if certain 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 installing new gutters is picking out the style. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that are durable in most scenarios, besides extremely cold climates, where they will wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in nearly every region of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are stylish and durable. Both of these materials are available in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will withstand 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 attractive as well. Homeowners in Kansas City who decide on these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter options above offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, most homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means more areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a contractor because they require specialized tools. They are more expensive to buy 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 popular because they look great with virtually any 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.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they give homes a regal, classic curb appeal. However, more modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much 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 may determine a lot about which gutters you can have. As we mentioned, some types of materials don’t hold up well in cold climates.
The most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will need to do. Basically, how much rain or water are your gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in Kansas City will take several 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 gutter 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 maximum amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for standard roofs. However, you have 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. Determining your roof-pitch factor is going to help you estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be included in average precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows regularly in your state, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, 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 are going to pay a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the job will be done right. An added bonus of hiring KC Gutter Cleaning to install your gutters is that we are able to help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type.