The very first thing to consider when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer the questions you’ll have before making 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 – Installing new rain gutters can significantly affect the curb appeal of your home, improving its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a constant stream of choices about appearance and functionality. Gutters included. Choosing the first gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last at least 15-20 years or more.
A Renovation – If your roof has had damage, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they may just be wearing down and need to be replaced with new ones.
You know why you are replacing the rain gutters, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending a lot of money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will often provide direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know what features are worth spending your money on or if you can choose a less expensive product.
Here are the major questions you’ll need to ask when it’s time to purchase new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about choosing new rain gutters is choosing the style. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical options that are durable in most scenarios, besides extremely cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are both stylish and durable. Both materials come in a variety of colors too. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most eye-catching as well. Homeowners in Charlotte who choose these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter materials above will offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of gutters come in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, many homeowners decide 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 local contractor because they require specialized tools. They’re more expensive to order and install, but they are 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 great with every style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. In addition, they are not hard to install. Many 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 prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, established appearance. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are a lot harder to install, but much easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the city you live in may dictate a lot about what gutters you can have. Like we mentioned, certain materials don’t hold up well in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will need to do. In other words, how much water are the gutters going to have to handle?
Professional gutter contractors in Charlotte are going to take a lot of factors into consideration to determine the size and type of rain gutters that will work the best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional home exterior 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 should also check the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the max amount of rain that will occur within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for residential roofs. But, 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. Figuring out 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 included in precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your city, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which could really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work yourself, or if you want to pay a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, knowing that the job will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Charlotte Gutter Solutions to install the 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.