While roof replacement is a significant investment, it’s important to avoid getting too preoccupied with the cost. Focus instead on how you can maximize your return on investment. One way of maximizing the ROI is to include upgrades that help protect it from the elements and extend its lifespan.
Here are some of the upgrades you may want to consider:
Your gutters form part of your roof’s first line of defense against the elements, which is why you should consider upgrading them if you’re replacing your roof. Instead of conventional or sectional gutters, you might want to consider installing seamless gutters.
What’s wrong with installing conventional gutters? The problem with conventional gutter systems is their seams, which are a weak point of standard gutter and roofing systems. If too much debris accumulates on your gutters and the weight load becomes too much for your gutters to handle, sections of your gutters might start to pull apart at the seams, causing leaks. Also, debris can get stuck between the gutter joints, making gutter maintenance extremely onerous.
As the name suggests, seamless gutters lack seams or joints, which means they’re more durable than conventional gutters and small debris can flow to the drains, along with rainwater, without getting stuck between gutter joints. Unlike conventional gutters, seamless gutters are custom-made, so they’ll always be a great fit for your home. And thanks to their streamlined design, they also look sleek and elegant from the curb, boosting your home’s visual appeal.
Tips on Choosing the Right Gutter Material
In general, seamless gutters are more leak-resistant and last longer than conventional gutter systems. However, their durability is affected by the material they’re built with. As such, it’s important to choose a gutter material that can handle your area’s climate.
Most gutter systems are made from aluminum, but it’s always good to research all your options. Here’s an overview of the most common gutter materials:
- Aluminum – There’s a reason why aluminum is the most widely used gutter material. It’s lightweight, easy-to-install, corrosion-resistant and is in general quite cost-effective. If you live in an area that frequently experiences heavy snowfall, we’d recommend installing aluminum gutters with .032- or .027-gauge thickness to make sure your new gutters can handle the extra weight load from snow.
- Zinc – Zinc gutters are a more durable alternative to aluminum gutters. In general, zinc gutters can last twice as long as aluminum gutters. Their exceptional durability can be attributed to the coating or patina that begins to form over zinc gutters as they’re exposed to moisture and carbon dioxide. This coating shields zinc gutters from natural wear and tear, increasing their durability as they age. Of course, zinc isn’t without its disadvantages. It does cost more than aluminum, but given its exceptional durability, many find it worth the investment.
- Steel gutters – If you find zinc gutters too pricey, you might want to consider steel gutters instead. Steel gutters aren’t as durable as zinc gutters but they are more durable than aluminum gutters. There are two varieties: galvanized and stainless steel. The former can resist corrosion for 20 to 25 years, while the latter is completely resistant to rust.
- Vinyl – Homeowners on a tight budget might consider installing vinyl gutters, but they’re not the best choice if you’re looking to maximize your ROI. Yes, vinyl gutters are lightweight, easy-to-install, resistant to corrosion and are the most affordable option on the market. However, they don’t last very long, become brittle in sub-zero temperatures, warp or sag in high temperatures and can’t support heavy weight loads for long. As such, the cons of vinyl gutters often outweigh the pros.
Having trouble choosing a gutter material? It’s best to consult a local gutter installation contractor. Since they’re familiar with the local climate and building codes, local contractors can make better recommendations.
Thanks to their lack of seams, seamless gutters are in general less leak-prone and have fewer maintenance needs than sectional gutters. However, low-maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance. Even seamless gutters may start to sag if they aren’t cleaned regularly. Remember: routine maintenance is a must if you want to keep your gutters in good condition.
How often do you need to clean your gutters? Most contractors recommend cleaning your gutters at least twice a week, ideally at least once in spring and fall. However, you may have to clean your gutters more frequently depending on your area’s climate and your home’s proximity to trees.
Don’t have the time for gutter maintenance? You might want to consider installing gutter guards as part of your roof upgrade. Gutter guards prevent leaves, twigs and other debris from entering and clogging your gutters, reducing maintenance needs. Keep in mind gutter guards can only reduce, not eliminate, your gutter’s maintenance needs. That is except for Gutter Helmet®, the only gutter guards on the market with a Never Clean Your Gutters Again® guarantee.
How Does Gutter Helmet Work?
Gutter Helmet takes advantage of surface tension to direct the flow of water to your gutters. Surface tension happens when water molecules stick to each other because they have nowhere else to cling to. You can see the principle of surface tension in action when water in a glass gathers into a dome right before it spills over. When rainwater hits Gutter Helmet’s textured surface, water is directed to the gutter covers’ patented nose-forward design, which allows water to enter the gutters while keeping leaves, twigs and other debris out.
Gutter Helmet is designed to withstand harsh weather: it’s made of durable aluminum and is sturdy enough to handle heavy snow and rainfall. For added protection, Gutter Helmet has a Permalife™ finish that resists fading from natural wear and tear as well as corrosion from saltwater and acid rain. To make sure you take advantage of all of the benefits Gutter Helmet has to offer, only an experienced contractor should handle the gutter installation.
Gutter Heating System
While they’re considered gutter accessories, heated gutter systems are more of a necessity for homes in snowy climates. How does a gutter heating system protect your home? It prevents ice dams from forming on your gutters by increasing the temperature of the gutters to just above freezing. Ice dams are problematic because they prevent thawed ice from reaching your gutters and cause snowmelt to back up to your roof, increasing the risk of leaks. Also, they add to the weight load your gutters have to support, potentially causing sections of your gutters to sag.
Why Install Helmet Heat®?
Helmet Heat is fully compatible with Gutter Helmet and won’t disrupt your home’s exterior design. Helmet Heat is installed under the Gutter Helmet gutter guards, keeping roof clips and exposed wire out of sight and making sure your home’s exterior design remains consistent.
Why choose Helmet Heat over other gutter heating systems? Helmet Heat features a self-regulating heat cable that automatically warms up as needed depending on the roof’s temperature, so there’s no need to worry about overheating issues. The self-regulating heating cable ensures your gutters are warm enough to prevent ice dams from forming but not too hot that it becomes hot to the touch. To make sure your new heated gutter systems protect your roof from ice dams in winter, only qualified contractors should handle their installation.
Looking for gutter contractors near you? Here’s a vetting tip: The number of years a contractor has been working in the industry should give you a good idea of their level of expertise.