The first thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help you answer the questions you’ll have before purchasing your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new gutters can really affect the curb appeal of your house, enhancing its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a new home comes with a constant stream of choices about both appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Deciding on the gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last approximately 15-20 years.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof has experienced damage, the gutters may have to be replaced, too. Or, they could just be wearing down and need to be replaced.
You know why you are installing new gutters on your home, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate but not spend too much money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will often provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know what features are important or if you can go with a less expensive product.
Here are the questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about choosing new rain gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable choices that hold up well in most scenarios, except in extremely cold climates, where they will wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are both attractive and durable. Both of these materials are available in a variety of colors too. They are fairly lightweight and are not difficult 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, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Oakland who decide on these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter types above offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, most homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the more affordable choice, and they are made with more seams, which means more areas where leaks can 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 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 speaks to their popularity. And, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are capable enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they provide homes a regal, classic curb appeal. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, because they are lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are harder to install, but much easier to clean out, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will dictate a lot about what gutters you should purchase. Like we mentioned, some types of materials don’t hold up in extremely cold climates.
The most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much water are your gutters going to have to withstand?
Professional gutter contractors in Oakland can take many factors into account to get a good idea of the size and the type of rain gutters that will work 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 online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can 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 standard length times width calculation for standard roofs. But, you have to figure all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A steep roof will collect more wind-blown rain than a less sloped roof. Determining your roof-pitch factor is going to help to determine how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is factored into average precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows often in your state, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which could really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the final 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 yourself, or if you are going to enlist the services of a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure maximum efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for labor, to ensure that the installation will be done right. An added bonus of hiring Oakland Gutter Service to install the new gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type for your home.