The number one thing to consider when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help you answer most of the subsequent questions you’ll have before purchasing your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the rain gutters can really impact the exterior style of your home, increasing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Designing a home comes with a constant stream of choices about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are one of them. Deciding on the gutters that go on your house is important because they should last approximately 15-20 years.
A Renovation – If your roof has suffered damage, the gutters might need to be replaced. Or, they may simply be aging and need to be replaced.
You obviously know why you are replacing the gutters on your home, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate but not spend too much money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know what features are worth spending your money on or if you can choose a less expensive product.
Here are the questions you’ll have when it’s time to install new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about choosing new rain gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that are durable in most scenarios, other than cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are stylish and durable. Both materials come in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and are not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) withstand rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most eye-catching as well. Homeowners in Chicago who decide on these options are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter materials above offer these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, 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 can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a contractor because they require special equipment. They’re 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 are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. Plus, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they are best for rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they provide homes a luxurious, classic curb appeal. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are harder to install, but easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region may dictate a lot about which gutters you should purchase. As we already mentioned, some materials will not hold up in extremely cold climates.
The single most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will need to do. Essentially, how much rain or water are your gutters going to have to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in Chicago can take several factors into account to get a good idea of the size and type of rain gutters that will work the best for your house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional roofing 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 is available 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 max amount of rain that will occur 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 steep roof will collect more wind-blown rain than a roof that is less sloped. Knowing your roof-pitch factor will help you estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your city, you need to seek professional guidance concerning the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which can really damage your roof.
Of course, the last question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re willing to try to do the work on your own, or if you want to enlist the services of 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, knowing that the installation will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Chicago Gutters Plus to install the new gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you are able to find the perfect style and type for your home.