The very first thing to ask yourself when you are purchasing new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help you answer most of the questions you’ll have before making 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 significantly affect the exterior style of your house, increasing its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New House – Building a new home comes with a lot of of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Gutters are no exception. Choosing the gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last approximately 15 years or more.
A Renovation – If your roof has had damage, the gutters might need to be replaced. Or, they could just be getting too old and need to be replaced.
You will know why you are replacing the rain gutters on your home, but the reason usually has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are worth spending money on or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll have when purchasing 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, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options you will have, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical materials that hold up well in most scenarios, other than cold climates, where they will wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in nearly every region of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are stylish and durable. Both materials come in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly light and are not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) fend off 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 attractive as well. Homeowners in Atlanta who decide on 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 types above offer both of these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, many homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the less expensive choice, and they have more seams, which means more areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a local contractor because they need specialized equipment. They are more expensive to purchase and install, but they are less likely to leak than sectional gutters.
K-STYLE OR HALF-ROUND GUTTERS
K-Style – K-Style gutters are 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. Plus, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are proficient 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 before 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, classic curb appeal. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are much harder to install, but they are easier to clean out, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region may determine a lot about what gutters you should purchase. Like we already mentioned, some types of materials don’t hold up in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will need to do. Essentially, how much water are the gutters going to have to withstand?
Professional gutter contractors in Atlanta can take a lot of factors into account to get a good idea of the size and type of rain gutters that are going to work best for your home.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional 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 statistic is available 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 can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for standard roofs. But, you need 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 roof that is less sloped. Knowing your roof-pitch factor will help you calculate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your region, you need to seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which can really damage your roof.
Of course, the final 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 are going to hire a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, knowing that the job will be done correctly. Another bonus of hiring ATL Gutters, Inc. to install the gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you find the best style and type for your home.