The number one thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help you answer the questions you’ll have before purchasing your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners might be in the market for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can really impact the curb appeal of your house, increasing its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a constant stream of choices about both appearance and functionality. Gutters included. Deciding on the gutters that go on your home is important because they should last approximately 15-20 years or more.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home is damaged, the gutters may have to be replaced. Or, they may simply be aging and need to be replaced with new ones.
You obviously know why you are installing new rain gutters, but the reason usually 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.
Determining your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are worth spending money on or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about choosing new gutters is choosing the style. 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 lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable materials that are durable in most cases, besides cold climates, where they can deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in nearly 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 materials are available in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly light 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 gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Des Moines who choose 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 options above offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easier to install. In fact, most homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the more affordable choice, and they are made with more seams, which means there are more sections where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a contractor because they need special equipment. They are more expensive to order 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 far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. Plus, they are easy to install. Most homeowners are capable 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 prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, established curb appeal. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are harder to install, but much easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in will dictate a lot about the gutters you can havecontractors 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 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 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. But, you want 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. Knowing your roof-pitch factor will help to estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be included in average precipitation calculations, but you also want to consider the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your state, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which can severely damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re willing to try to do the work on your own, or if you want to hire a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the job will be done right. An added bonus of hiring Des Moines Gutter Service to install the new gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you find the perfect style and type for your home.