The number one thing to consider when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help to answer most of the subsequent questions you’ll have before making your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can significantly affect the appearance of your home, increasing its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Designing a new home comes with a constant stream of choices about both appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are one of them. Choosing the first gutters that go on your home 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. Or, they may simply be deteriorating and need to be replaced.
You know why you are replacing the rain gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate without spending a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know what features are must-haves or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll need to ask when it’s time to purchase new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part of installing new gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options you will have, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that are durable in most cases, except in extremely cold climates, where they can deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced materials are both attractive and durable. Both of these materials come in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly light and are 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 rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Albany who choose these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter options above will offer both of these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, most homeowners decide 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 special 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 far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. And, they are easy to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters by themselves.
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 offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and functional. Half-Round gutters are harder to install, but they are easier to clean out, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in may 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 think about 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 withstand?
Professional gutter companies in Albany are going to take several factors into consideration to determine the size and type of rain gutters that are going to work the best for your house.
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 can be found 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 max amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for basic roofs. However, you need to figure 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. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor will help to estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be factored into precipitation calculations, but you also want to consider the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your city, you need to seek professional guidance concerning the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which might severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to do the work yourself, or if you want to enlist the services of a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure maximum efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the installation will be done right. An added bonus of hiring ABC Albany Gutters to install the new gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you find the best style and type for your home.