The job that gutters perform in homes is quite straightforward: they gather all water on the roof and direct it towards the ground through a downspout. This system is important because, by channeling the water to the desired location, you can avoid flooding your basement, causing damage to your foundation, and damaging the walls of your home. Downspouts generally have a splash block at their base to further move water away from the house. At universalrfg.com, you can read more on the importance of gutters and how they are designed to protect your home from damage caused by water and rain.
Why are gutters important?
A house with no gutters risks unimaginable damage from water intrusion and moisture since water will always find a way to enter even the newest houses. By having a gutter system, you have a way for water to be collected from the roof and diverted to a spot where it will cause the least harm. Otherwise, water will result in mold, rot, and a generalized deterioration of the home’s structure.
When water is allowed to pool unchecked against the foundation of a house, it will provoke erosion, resulting in a weakening of the entire structure and flooding of the basement. Even when the property has gutters, it is crucial to ensure they are not completely clogged with leaves and other debris because this will not allow gutters to do what they are meant to. Water will overflow and damage the side of the home.
Gutters that are not properly maintained can be misaligned after heavy winds or storms; they may end up breaking and stop performing their important job of maintaining the home’s integrity.
How can leaves damage a roof?
Leaves look so innocent and light that it is difficult to comprehend how much damage they can cause to a home. However, when they are allowed to remain in your gutters until they are fully clogged, they can cause untold damage to the property.
During the winter months, leaves inside a gutter will act as an ice dam, causing water to back up and pool on the roof. Water allowed to sit on a roof will find a way to seep between the shingles and into the home. Not only will your roof deck be damaged and compromised, but dealing with water intrusion in the home can result in a series of very different problems. You will soon be dealing with mold, mildew, and bacteria; you may have to change parts of the drywall, and the finishes in your home will be ruined, such as paintwork, wallpaper, and even carpeting.
You Know You Need Gutters. Where do you start?
Your first step should be to familiarize yourself with the types of gutters available to determine which type will work best with the style of your home and the type of roof you have installed. Some common measurements related to gutters are:
- Gutters can either be U- shaped or have a K style.
- Gutter channels can be 4, 5, or 6 inches in diameter.
- Generally, matching downspouts are 2-by-3-inch or 3-by-4-inch rectangular or 3- or 4-inch round pieces.
Selecting the Gutters
Vinyl gutter systems are the most popular among homeowners who like to DIY. They can be found at any home improvement store. If you want to go this route, you should have some experience with construction because you know that poorly installed gutters will result in many of the issues described above.
Aluminum gutters are your best option when set on a particular color since they can be found in over 25 different colors. You may also choose galvanized sheet metal. This material is quite a bit more durable than aluminum and offers you the flexibility of being able to be painted in the color of your choice.
Your professional gutter installer can also offer you the option of going with seamless gutters which do not get any leaks by not having seams. You can get these gutter systems in either copper, aluminum, or factory-painted steel.
How much can you expect to pay for gutter installation?
It has been estimated that the average home under 2,400 square feet can expect to pay around $3,000 for the installation of gutters and downspouts by a professional. This translates into $20 per linear foot for aluminum gutter systems, the most popular one among homeowners nowadays.
You can expect to pay more for seamless gutters or galvanized sheet metal systems. However, remember that going without gutters can have you facing much steeper costs when it comes to repairing the damage that water can cause to your home.
How can you go about finding a reliable gutter installer near you?
The best way to find a professional gutter installer is through word of mouth. Talk to your neighbors who have recently had this job done, let them show you the final result, and hear what they have to say, including whether the job was completed on time and on budget.
If your neighbors or friends have not had gutters installed recently, you should go online and look for reviews. Read what customers have to say and how many stars they give them. Once you have 2 or 3 names, have them stop by your home, detect the problem you have, and offer you an estimate. Compare the estimates but do not necessarily select the most economical one. It is also important to work with someone with experience who also is licensed and insured and has plenty of experience in your area.
If possible, have them take you to homes where they have recently installed gutters and get an idea of the type of installation they have performed. Talk to the homeowners and get their input. If your gutter installer is unwilling to let you see samples of their work, think twice about working with them. You do not want to be the guinea pig to someone with no experience.