Do you worry endlessly about flooding in the basement or water pounding on your roof and spilling over the eaves whenever bad weather strikes? If so, it’s about time you take action and install high-quality gutters along with an effective gutter protection system in Hamilton, NY, for your home!
If you’re anxious about how your home will weather the next storm, the smartest thing you can do is upgrade your gutters.
Many homeowners are unaware of the critical role gutters and gutter covers in Syracuse play in terms of keeping the home protected against water damage. Water that runs off the roof should ideally drain away from the house — keeping your siding, windows, doors and foundation protected and free from any water damage.
Ideally, gutters ought to be installed at the same time as your roof to ensure proper coordination between the two systems. But if that didn’t happen, it’s not too late–you can still invest in effective gutters and gutter protection now.
Some homes are designed with broad roof overhangs capable of casting runoff away from the home. Together with proper grading and drainage, these roofs allow rainwater to be carried safely away without the need for gutters.
If your home lacks both gutters and an overhang, however, you have a problem. There are loads of different gutter systems to choose from, ranging from common options like vinyl, sheet metal and aluminum to much more sophisticated choices such as seamless, continuous and copper systems. All these and more are available through professional installers or a good gutter contractor in Dewitt, NY.
To help you decide on the type of gutters and mounting system that’ll best suit your home, read through the options we’ve summarized for you here.
Buying Rain Gutters: What You Need to Know
Leaky gutters can do as much damage to your home as a leaky roof, so having a functional rain gutter system is essential to protecting your home from water damage.
Choosing a rain gutter system can be confusing. There are many different gutter styles and materials to choose from, and prices can range from an affordable $1 per foot for inexpensive vinyl to as much as $12 per foot for high-end ornamental copper.
Let’s break this down a little to give you a clearer picture of what you need to consider:
First off, let’s look at the variety of materials to choose from so you can better determine which one is right for you. Vinyl is the least expensive choice, but this material is not very durable. It has a tendency to become brittle and break in cold climates and also suffers from premature wear and tear due to sun exposure.
Possibly the most popular material, aluminum is a great choice for gutters because it’s lightweight, inexpensive and available in many colors. It’s also rust-proof, which is a big advantage.
Galvanized steel is likewise durable and, unlike ordinary steel, is capable of resisting rust for over 20 years! A particularly strong material, galvanized steel is the perfect option for homes in climates that experience extreme weather.
Traditional homes sometimes call for the use of wood gutters. Made of premium grade cedar, historical gutter profiles are often made-to-order and can cost a pretty penny, but they can certainly add beauty and functionality to your home’s exterior.
Another popular choice for period homes, copper acquires a greenish patina as it ages, but it’s one of the most durable gutter materials available. Properly installed, a copper gutter system should last 75-100 years. If you like copper’s natural patina, however, aluminum colored “copper” (Copper Penny Aluminum) is another option, which retains the shiny look of new copper throughout its lifespan. Note that during installation, copper needs to be handled carefully to prevent discoloration from your skin’s oils.
Copper and stainless steel are high-end materials that lend strength and a classic appeal to installations, while wood is often preferred by architectural purists. Whichever material you choose, make sure to opt for professionally installed seamless gutters that are customized right onsite.
Gutters are available in several profiles and sizes. Which type is right for you? “U” and “K” style are the standard profiles, both of which provide good drainage for your home, so the choice is mostly aesthetic. The main difference is that K-style gutters come in a trough shape, while U-shaped gutters are half-round gutters.
K-style gutters are considered more modern and make up the majority of rain gutters found today. Boasting a more traditional look, half-round gutters work well in homes where historical accuracy is important.
Sizing Your Gutters
How can you determine which size gutters you need? Consider this: an inch of rain falling on a 1000 square feet of roof amounts to 550 gallons of water pouring down onto your roof. So how big do your gutters need to be? As a rule of thumb, you should base gutter size on the maximum expected rainfall where you live. If you live in an area that experiences microburst storms, for instance, you need a larger gutter system than you might need in an area where rain is more frequent but less intense. Roof pitch should also be factored into the equation. Steeply-pitched roofs collect more water — a roof with a 45-degree (12/12) pitch will collect about 30 percent more rain than a flat roof, for instance.
Gutter channels are typically between 4” to 8” in diameter, with the 5″ to 6″ K-style gutters the most popular. The more intense the storms are where you live, the more you’ll benefit from wider gutters. For downspouts, 2″-by-3″ or 3″-by-4″ rectangular or 3″ or 4″ round (often corrugated) pipes are also highly favored. Consider also a splash block to catch splatter coming out of the downspout.
Keep in mind that while larger gutter systems will cost more, they will also be less likely to clog — which makes them a wise choice that justifies the additional expense.
Sectional vs. Seamless Gutters
The decision between sectional or seamless gutters should be fairly straightforward.
Sold in pieces through home improvement retailers, these gutters come in sections that are glued or snapped together to form the length of gutter you need. While inexpensive, these gutters are notorious for developing leaks at the joints over time.
Extruded from metal “coil” stock, seamless gutters consist of a single gutter that is custom-sized to fit your roof. Professionally installed and formed using a special extruding machine used by gutter fabricators to cut gutters of nearly any length, they have fewer seams so that leaks are less likely to occur.
In addition, seamless gutters typically have extra-long troughs that are mounted along the eaves and joined at corners—both inside and out—using special connecting components and downspout outlets. While they’re usually made from aluminum with a baked-on finish, you can also opt to have them made from copper or factory-painted steel.
Aluminum gutters are inexpensive and will never rust. Steel gutters are sturdier, but aren’t advisable in conditions where there are high winds, trees or other factors that could cause undue wear and tear. Most homeowners opt for seamless aluminum gutters, which is why they’re currently the most popular option for new homes.
Having a high-quality gutter system is only part of the equation; you also need gutter protection. A gutter guard helps to keep out debris such as leaves, seeds and even pests, and can simplify maintenance.
Called gutter screens, gutter guards, leaf guards and gutter helmets, these protection systems make gutter maintenance virtually effortless, ensuring your gutters can do their job properly at all times, no matter what the weather brings.
Before we conclude, let’s compare two popular types of gutter guards — screens and surface tension — to help you decide what’s best for you.
Easy to install
The most common type of gutter guard
Available in different shapes and materials
Good at filtering out leaves
Bad at filtering out seeds and pine needles
Don’t totally eliminate gutter chores
Debris gets entangled, which requires the screens themselves to be cleaned
Keeps out the big stuff as well as leaves and other small debris
More colors available
Needs little or no maintenance
Water clings to the rounded nose of the guard and flows into the gutter
Small debris washes out of the downspouts without a problem
Guard is installed at an angle similar to the slope of the roof
Professionally installed, ensuring good performance
Surface tension gutter guards are the superior choice, guaranteeing long-term performance with minimal maintenance requirements.
When investing in gutters and gutters guards, keep in mind how important their role is in ensuring your home’s health and longevity. Be smart about your choices, and your investment will go a long way!