The very first thing to consider when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help you answer the questions you’ll have before making your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the rain gutters can significantly affect the appearance of your house, improving its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Building a home comes with a lot of of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are no exception. Choosing the gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 15-20 years or more.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has suffered damage, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they might simply be deteriorating and need to be replaced.
You know why you are installing new rain gutters, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate without spending too much money.
Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are must-haves or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll need to ask when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about installing new gutters is picking out the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options you will have, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that are durable in most scenarios, other than extremely cold climates, where they will deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in almost every region of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are both stylish and durable. Both of these materials come in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) withstand rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Portland who decide on these options are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s just what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter options above will offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the less expensive choice, and they have more seams, which means more areas where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a local contractor because they need specialized equipment. They’re more expensive to purchase and to install, but they are less likely to leak than sectional gutters.
K-STYLE OR HALF-ROUND GUTTERS
K-Style – K-Style gutters are popular because they look great with every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. In addition, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they give homes a regal, classic appearance. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but they are easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in may dictate a lot about what gutters you can have. Like we already mentioned, certain types of materials will not hold up well in extremely cold climates.
The most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will have to do. Essentially, how much rain or water are your gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in Portland are going to take several factors into account to determine the size and type of rain gutters that are going to work best for your house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional roofing contractors use is no 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 look into the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the max amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for standard roofs. But, you have to factor in all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A steep roof 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 rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows regularly in your state, you should seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which can severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the final question is possibly 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 want to hire a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the installation will be done right. Another bonus of hiring Portland Gutter Solutions to install your gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type for your home.