Gutters are often the unsung heroes of your home, silently protecting it from an array of damage that could wreak mayhem in several ways.
If you have been getting a feeling that it's time to buy new gutters, and you're still determining which one is the right option for your home, you've come to the right place.
While you could save money and install your gutters yourself, having a professional install them will ensure it is done correctly and can save you thousands in future water damage.
When assessing your gutter needs, professionals will look at the following factors to determine what will be the best fit for your home and its gutter needs:
- Your roof’s size, shape, and slope
- The local climate
- The condition of your eaves and fascia
- Your budget
- Your desired aesthetic for your home
As with any home design choice, you want to balance the quality and function you need with cost. Some houses will need more of a gutter investment than others.
For example, if you live in a heavy rain area with strong winds, you'll need more durable material than if you live somewhere that doesn't experience many exciting weather events.
Here are some of the choices you have for types of gutters:
When picking out gutters, you'll come across two roads you can take, sectional vs. seamless gutters.
Sectional gutters are a good choice for those who want to take a DIY approach, as they can be built by putting together individual pieces and attaching them to your home. However, the downside is that more seams mean more places for future leaks at the joints.
Professionals always suggest customized seamless gutters that are more durable since each section is one continuous piece with no seams for failure. They are specifically built with your home's unique needs in mind.
There are three sizes gutters commonly come in:
5" - This size is recommended on older homes that already have gutters so that the new gutters match the look of what was already there. However, about 20 years ago, everyone moved to 6" gutters because they hold more water.
6" - This is the most popular size for gutters because of the increased ability to hold more water and do the job well.
7" - This is the most popular choice for commercial buildings. It is not recommended for residential homes because it looks odd on smaller buildings. However, on commercial roofs, this works the best because larger roofs throw a lot more water off the side, creating the need for more oversized gutters.
So how do you choose your gutters? Keep these six tips in mind.
- Check local regulations - What? Really?! Well you know those HOAs. They can be a doozy. Each area has its own set of rules, so before you spend any time picking out the perfect gutters, check with your municipal and HOA laws for restrictions related to gutter installations.
- Keep rainfall rates in mind - Depending on how much rainfall you get and the size of your roof, you may either be able to get minimally protective gutters or need to go all out on a durable one. Getting the proper materials and size is essential to prevent serious damage.
- Opt for Seamless Gutters - While DIY-ing your gutters might seem like a good idea at the moment, you won't think the same thing when you start experiencing significant leaks that can happen with self-installed sectional gutters. Remember, whatever you choose for your gutters must support full rain, snow, and heavy ice. Yes, even for you southerners. All it takes is once.
You don't want this to be you in a few months:
Make sure to install gutter guards to ensure that your new gutters are free of debris and perform to the best of their ability.