Seamless Gutters and Gutter Protection: Your Guide to a Sturdier Home
Most homeowners barely give a glance to their gutter system, instead turning their full attention to their roofing. Given the huge role that the roof plays in keeping the harshest elements at bay, this is understandable. Gutters do seem more like the sidekick than the superstar, but without them, preventing extensive water damage to your home would prove a difficult task.
Your gutters in Syracuse, NY, catch the water running down your roof, where it flows through the gutter system and out away from the house where it can’t do damage. Their draining performance helps ensure rainwater doesn’t seep into your home’s structure. Constant exposure to water can weaken the structural integrity of your home, causing cracks to its foundation. With reliable gutters, however, you no longer have to worry as much about this issue.
To give you a much better idea of their significance, here are some of the ways your gutter system benefits you:
Prevents basement flooding and soil erosion so you can keep your beautiful landscaping intact
Protects your home’s foundation from forming cracks caused by flowing water
Preserves exterior wood doors, including garage doors
Prevents unsightly water stains and streaks along your siding
Inhibits the growth of mold and mildew while preventing the accompanying health risks
Protects against rot in your home’s structure
Ensures your sidewalks, patio and/or driveway won’t set or crack due to running water
But what if your existing gutters show indications of age or failure? Like most exterior home components, your gutters are exposed to extreme weather conditions day in and day out. You’ll want to invest in a new system when you notice these warning signs:
Cracks and holes in the system. These can be dealt with using sealant, but larger openings will require a better solution. Holes and cracks in your gutters defeat the purpose of the system, allowing rainwater to spill through them instead of being directed away from your home.
Nails and screws on the ground. The gutters are fastened to the fascia with nails and screws, but sometimes they can loosen and fall to the ground. If this happens repeatedly, your gutters may already be worn out, which could lead to an eventual collapse. Before this occurs, it’s best to invest in a new gutter system from a reliable contractor.
Gutters pulling away from your roof. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the system itself may be clogged, adding to its weight and causing it to pull away from the house. Another cause could be rot in the fascia boards. Gutter replacement will fix both issues, along with giving you a better, sturdier system.
Clogged gutters and pooling water. Even if you don’t notice water spilling over the sides of your gutters when it rains, you’ll see evidence of it in the dirt channels they leave on your exterior. When you see signs of spillage, check to see if there’s still a large amount of water remaining inside the system. The combination of gutter congestion and pooling water can cause extensive water damage to your home. Normally, this can be fixed with professional gutter cleaning, but in some cases a replacement may be the best idea when confronted with these issues.
Once you’ve decided to invest in a gutter replacement, it’s time to choose which type of system best suits your needs.
Should You Go for Sectional or Seamless Gutters?
The traditional option is sectional gutters, which come in separate pieces and segments. The sections are then fastened together along the edge of your roof, each piece connected to the other with sealant. Because of their design and installation method, sectional gutter pieces can be mass produced–they can be cut and sealed together, allowing them to fit any home or roofline. That’s a good thing in one respect, but sectional gutters are also more prone to leaks because of all the seams they have.
Seamless gutters are a much better alternative. Unlike the former option, they’re molded and installed using a single, continuous piece of metal. Because they only have seams at the corners, the result is a straight line of unmarred aluminum for the most part. In addition, seamless gutters are custom-made to fit your home, and require the specialized installation skills of a trusted contractor. This will give you greater peace of mind knowing your new system will be installed properly and efficiently.
Choose Your Style
Don’t overlook appearance when you invest in seamless gutters in Manlius, NY. Here are some of the most popular gutter styles available today:
- Half Round. While this option is typically found in more upscale homes, the rise of aluminum gutters has made it available for those on a budget. Half round gutters are recognizable by their elegant open design and curved shape, making them a lasting favorite among homeowners.
- Five- and Six-Inch K-Style. With their distinctive shape and resemblance to crown molding, five- and six-inch K-style gutters remain one of the most popular gutters styles to choose from. The difference between the two is the amount of water each can hold. Six-inch K-styles can handle nearly twice the volume compared to their five-inch counterparts. However, five-inch K-style gutters are more cost-effective. Your choice should ultimately be based on the size of your roof and your area’s weather patterns. Six-inch K-style gutter systems are typically found on larger homes and in regions that are prone to rainstorms.
Consider the Material
Your choice of material will determine how long your gutters last and how well they perform. The most common option is aluminum because it’s cost-effective and rust-resistant. It comes in a wide selection of colors, and can be even made to emulate the rich appearance of aged copper or zinc. Aluminum seamless gutters can last up to 25 years when installed and maintained by a trusted gutter contractor.
Other material options include steel, which is available in galvanized, stainless and galvalume options. Zinc is a rarer choice, allowing for strong, rust-free performance. It also wears to a lovely matte gray over the years. For something more premium, choose copper, which never rusts or fades but instead develops a distinct patina over time. They can be usually found on historic homes because of their elegance and longer life span.
Don’t Forget About Gutter Protection
Seamless gutters are already a good investment, but you can ensure more reliable draining performance and extend their service life by adding gutter guards in Fayetteville, NY. Their function is to prevent leaves, pine needles and other loose debris from entering your gutters, allowing only rainwater into the system.
There are many types of gutter protection systems available, including:
Foam Fillers. Made of a porous polyurethane substance, foam filler gutter guards are known for their flexibility. They fit easily and perfectly into your gutters, blocking almost any kind of debris from settling inside the system.
Bottle Brushes. Bottle brush guards are the easiest and most cost-effective gutter protection option. They work by catching debris on top of their large upright bristles, while letting only water through.
Screens. This protection system serves to filter out leaves and debris–even particles of sand–leaving them on top of the gutters as the water drips down into the gutters. Screen guards are usually made of stainless steel and are installed under the roofing shingles.
- Reverse-Curve Gutter Guards. Unlike other options, reverse-curve gutter guards come with a solid cover. They follow the natural slope of the roof and, with their curved lip, keep debris out while directing water into the gutter system. This option might be the best of the bunch when it comes to clog-free performance. In fact, one of the leading gutter protection brands, Gutter Helmet®, has even improved upon this design.
Gutter Helmet guards come with a patented nose-forward design that effectively sheds off leaves, pine needles and other loose debris, while allowing rainwater to flow smoothly into the gutter system. Sturdy construction improves tensile strength, and a ribbed surface provides better surface tension, ensuring these gutter guards can effectively withstand heavy rainfall, snow loads and high winds.
One important tip to remember: always work with a reliable gutter company for the installation of your gutters and gutter guards. Look for someone with the necessary licenses, bonds and insurance, including workers’ compensation and liability coverage. Choose an experienced contractor so there’s less potential for mistakes and property damage. Additionally, don’t overlook the importance of solid warranty coverage. This helps protect you and your investment against material defects and sloppy workmanship. Once you’ve considered these essentials, you’re ready to invest in seamless gutters and a gutter protection system so you can enjoy long-lasting draining performance and a sturdier home.