What to Expect When you are Installing New Gutters
If only things would last forever… It’s a sentiment that is often brought up when it comes to exterior home repair projects. Harsh weather causes gradual yet extensive damage, even to something as basic as a gutter system.
Letting your defective gutter system remain in that condition is a bad idea for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the water, instead of being directed away from the home, will run down the side of you house, ruining an otherwise perfect paintjob or wearing down your siding. This means you’ll have a gutter project as well as a siding and/or painting project on your hands very soon.
Also, you have to consider the foundation of the home; the longer your downspouts are funneling water straight to the ground around the base of your house, the more likely you are to have flooding and a damaged foundation, which is incredibly costly to repair.
Eventually it comes time to replace them, so here are a few tips to get your through this process.
1) Look for signs of damage
Your gutters might look perfectly fine from the ground, so look around to other areas for mildew on the house. Mildew is not only unsightly, it is smelly and dangerous, and it could be caused by your gutters allowing water to run down the side of the house.
Look for signs of rot, especially around your windows. If water cascades down the side of the house long enough, the wood around your windows will soak it up and begin to rot.
2) Cracked gutters
They aren’t always easy to see. If you have binoculars in your house, use them to get a close look at the entire length of the gutters and downspouts. A crack is as significant as a hole in a water bucket. Some cracks might be obvious while others will only reveal themselves when a big rainstorm hits.
If you spot them, immediately have them repaired and ask your contractor for a thorough inspection and recommendation on replacement.
3) Choosing gutters
If it has been determined that you’re due for a replacement and this is your first time shopping for them, you’re in for a shocker – there are a number of options from which to choose.
The most popular materials are copper, aluminum, steel, galvanized steel, zinc and vinyl. However, aluminum is probably the most often installed due to being lightweight, cost effective and resistant to corrosion.
Zinc gutters are known for their strength, but also for their propensity to rust. You might go with steal gutters for their strength and have them coated aluminum/zinc concoction to remedy the rust problem, but you’ll pay for it. Copper is also costly, but offers an upscale look that fits nicely with older, classic homes.
Vinyl gutters are a popular option when the budget is extremely thin. However, vinyl gutters don’t provide the durability of metal and exposure to sunlight will assist in breaking them down over time. Many of these systems are joined at the seams with a rubber material that has been known to become brittle and crack, allowing water to leak out.
4) Leafless and other options
The majority contractors will recommend a seamless aluminum system that has a thickness of no less than .025 inches. They might also recommend a topper, which is a piece of material that covers the top of the gutter, but has a rounded edge that allows water to curl under and drop into the gutter. This topper keeps leaves out, which means no climbing on ladders every spring to remove pounds and pounds of rotting leaves.
There is also shape to consider. Hands down, the most popular are the “K” style gutters, which are also referred to “ogee” style. These are five-inches (sometimes six inches) in width across the top, made of aluminum and pressed into a crown molding appearance.
Depending on the architecture of your home, you might find a half-round gutter system more fitting. As the name would imply, it’s a half circle that allows water (and anything else) to go from the roof to the gutter. Unfortunately, these aren’t as deep as the K style, and can’t handle the same volume of water as the K style in a serious downpour.
New gutter installation contractor
At VIS Exterior, we specialize in installing heavy-gauge aluminum, seamless gutters and downspouts. We have extensive experience in installing roofing systems and gutters, and we’ll work with you to get the right style and color that fits your home. We work with material that is at least .032 inches thick, which means you’re getting a quality, tough and dependable product that will protect your house and last a long time. Contact us today and let’s plan an inspection.