What Your Gutters Do and What Kinds to Get

Gutter cleaning

Gutter systems for a home are probably not the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning. Attaching gutters to a roof is likely something none of us have actually ever done, and if you are like most Americans you don’t think a whole lot about your gutters. Yet clogged gutters are the number one cause of certain important household problems, such as basement water issues. Many of us are neglecting our gutter cleaning, which should be done at least twice every year, and that also contributes to problems with gutter maintenance. If you’ve been neglecting your gutters, here are a couple tips about why you may need good ones, and what choices to consider.

Your Roof And Your House Need Your Gutters.

Just one inch of rainfall can cause the average roof to collect over 600 gallons of water. Even if the rain is only one eighths of an inch, that is still enough to fill a 54 gallon rain barrel. That’s a tremendous amount of water, and you depend on the right gutter system to relieve the pressure on your roof and to channel all of that water well away from the house. A gallon of rainwater weighs approximately eight pounds, so gutter systems for a home that are insufficient or are badly clogged could be holding thousands of pounds of weight.

Choose Your Style: Seamless or Seamed

There are essentially two types of rain gutter systems. One type is lightweight and pre-cut. Non-professionals can put these rain gutter types in fairly easily. The main downside of pre-cut gutter systems for a home are the possibilities of separation and leaks. The other main type of gutter systems for a home are seamless gutter systems. These are installed by a professional and the sections are tailor cut to match the size and shape of your house. All the seams are also carefully sealed. This type of gutter system is more expensive and requires more maintenance than pre-cut gutters, but looks more attractive and is less likely to leak.

Choose Your Materials

The most popular gutter material is aluminum. It is easy to install, inexpensive, and reasonably resistant to weather. The downsides of aluminum are that they require more maintenance than some other systems, are vulnerable in high winds, and are more likely to develop leaks. Copper is another good choice for gutters, and copper gutters offer great durability as well as a sophisticated look. It’s far more expensive per foot then aluminum, but they contribute a lot to home’s curb appeal. Stainless steel gutters are unusual for residential use, but they offer great durability. If properly maintained, stainless steel gutters will last a lifetime, and the cost of installing splits the difference between copper and aluminum. The reason stainless steel gutters are not more popular, however, is their look. Most people do not think it contributes to house’s curb appeal.

Vinyl gutters are also very popular and come in a wide variety of colors. The colors are also not likely to fade. However, vinyl is prone to damage in high winds and extreme temperatures can make it crack. One final type of gutter material is wood. It is rare for someone to choose a wood gutter system. They are relatively expensive and difficult to install. Wood gutters also require constant maintenance. The main reason to get wood cutters is usually solely aesthetics.

Make Sure You Have Enough Downspouts

Most people do not like the look of downspouts, but downspouts are just about the most crucial element of your home gutter system. At a minimum, you should have one downspout for every 30 to 40 feet of gutter. The capacity of the gutter system depends entirely upon the number of downspouts. It is also crucial that your downspouts take the water at least 1.8 m from the foundation and towards the back yard or the road: not the neighbor’s house.

Your gutters are essential to the structural integrity of your home, preventing soil erosion in the yard, and even to your property’s curb appeal. Get the right gutters for your home, and then take care of them!

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