The number one thing to ask yourself when you are purchasing new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer most of the subsequent questions you’ll have before purchasing your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can significantly affect the curb appeal of your house, improving its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Designing a home comes with a constant stream of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Rain gutters included. Deciding on the gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last at least 15 years.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has suffered damage, the gutters may have to be replaced. Or, they might just be aging and need to be replaced with new ones.
You obviously know why you are replacing the rain 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 ruined by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will give you direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know which features are important or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll want to consider when it’s time to purchase new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about installing new gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your house, 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 affordable options that hold up well in most scenarios, besides extremely cold climates, where they can wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in almost every region of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced materials are attractive and durable. Both of these materials are available in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) are able to withstand rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Lake Oswego who purchase these options are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s just what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter materials above offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, many homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means there are more areas where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a contractor because they require specialized tools. They’re more expensive to purchase and to install, but less likely to leak or wear down than sectional gutters.
K-STYLE OR HALF-ROUND GUTTERS
K-Style – K-Style gutters are far more popular because they look excellent with virtually any style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This attributes to 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 recommended for rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, classic curb appeal. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are much harder to install, but much easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will dictate a lot about what gutters you can have. Like we mentioned, certain materials don’t hold up well in extremely cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to think about is how much work the gutters will need to do. Essentially, how much rain or water are the gutters going to need to handle?
Professional gutter companies in Lake Oswego can take many factors into account to determine the size and the type of rain 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 weather statistic is available online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also find the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the maximum amount of rain that will occur within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for residential roofs. But, you will 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 less sloped roof. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor will help to estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows regularly in your state, you should seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which can severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the final question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need 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, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the installation will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Lake Oswego Gutter Service to install your new 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 for your home.