The number one thing to consider when you are purchasing new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help to answer the questions you’ll have before purchasing your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can drastically affect the appearance of your home, enhancing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a new home comes with a constant stream of decisions about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are one of them. Choosing the gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last at least 20 years.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof has suffered damage, the gutters might need to be replaced. Or, they might simply be wearing down and need to be replaced with new ones.
You will know why you are replacing the gutters, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate without spending a lot of money.
Your landscaping is getting 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 go with a less expensive product.
Here are the major questions you’ll need to ask when it’s time to install new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part of choosing new gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable options that are durable in most cases, other than cold climates, where they will become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in most regions of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are both stylish and durable. Both materials come in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will 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 the most eye-catching as well. Homeowners in Bethlehem who purchase these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter options above offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, many homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the less expensive 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 local contractor because they need specialized equipment. They’re more expensive to purchase and to install, but less likely to leak than sectional gutters.
K-STYLE OR HALF-ROUND GUTTERS
K-Style – K-Style gutters are far more 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 traditionally made of copper and steel, and they are best for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, established appearance. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are harder to install, but easier to clean out, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in will determine a lot about the gutters you should install. Like we mentioned, certain materials will not hold up well in cold climates.
The most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much water are the gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in Bethlehem are going to take many factors into account to get a good idea of the size and the type of rain gutters that are going to work best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional roofing 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 should 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. But, you have to factor in 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. Knowing your roof-pitch factor is going to help you estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
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 forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your state, you should seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which might really 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 going to do the work on your own, or if you want to hire a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, compared to 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 Better Bethlehem Gutters to install your gutters is that we are able to help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you find the best style and type.