The first thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help to answer the questions you’ll have before making your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the rain gutters can really impact the appearance of your house, increasing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a lot of of choices about appearance and functionality. Gutters included. Deciding on the gutters that go on your home is important because they should last approximately 15 years.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has had damage, the gutters may have to be replaced, too. Or, they could simply be deteriorating and need to be replaced with new ones.
You know why you are installing new rain gutters, but the reason usually has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are important or if you can choose a less expensive product.
Here are the major questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part of purchasing new rain gutters is picking out the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your personal preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that hold up well in most cases, besides extremely cold climates, where they will become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are stylish and durable. Both materials come in a variety of colors too. They are fairly light and not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) are able to withstand rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Virginia Beach who choose these options are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter materials above will offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easier to install. In fact, many homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the less expensive choice, and they have more seams, which means there are more areas where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a local contractor because they need special equipment. They are more expensive to order and install, but less likely to leak or wear down than sectional gutters.
K-STYLE OR HALF-ROUND GUTTERS
K-Style – K-Style gutters are popular because they look excellent with every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are more common. This attributes to their popularity. In addition, they are easy to install. Many homeowners are capable 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 provide homes a luxurious, established curb appeal. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but much easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the city you live in may determine a lot about what gutters you can have. As we mentioned, some types of materials will not hold up well in cold climates.
The most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much water are the gutters going to need to handle?
Professional gutter companies in Virginia Beach are going to take several factors into account to determine the size and type of rain gutters that are going to work the best for your house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional gutter contractors use is not a secret. Here are the pieces of specific information you will need to decide how large your gutters should be:
Average Rainfall – This statistic can be found on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also check the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the maximum amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for basic roofs. However, you will need to factor in 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. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor will help you determine how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be included in average precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows a lot in your city, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which can severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is probably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work on your own, or if you are going to pay a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure maximum efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, to ensure that the job will be done right. Another bonus of hiring Virginia Beach Gutter Solutions to install the gutters is that we will help you answer all of your questions about gutters so that you are able to find the best style and type for your home.