Tips for choosing the right gutter system for your home

Choosing a gutterSo, you’re ready to invest in new gutters for your home. That’s great, because a solid working gutter system can help keep you home safe from damage rainwater can cause.

Gutters keep your home’s paint from molding and cracking after rainwater curls under the eaves. And if rainwater pools on the ground by your foundation it can flood your basement.

With this kind of damage that can happen to your house without gutters – or a gutter system that isn’t working properly – it makes purchasing new gutters perfect sense.

Before you buy, you’ll need to consider a few things, like what type of material your gutter should be made from to work best for your home. And you’ll also need to think about the gutter shape and whether or not you need to have the gutters installed by a professional.

To help take the guessing work out of gutter purchasing, here are answers to common questions you may have before purchasing your gutters.

Remember: With the right gutters, your home’s foundation can stay free of leaks which can lead to costly plumbing repairs.

What material should I choose for my gutters?
When it comes to choosing a gutter material, you’ve got several options.

Gutter Materials II

Vinyl gutters are very popular thanks to their low-cost and because they are easy to install. In fact, if you have a one-story home, you may be able to install them yourself. These gutters are best for homes in mild climates, because they are prone to breakage in extreme cold weather. Still, vinyl gutters are better than no gutters and they work fine if you’re watching your pocketbook. 

Aluminum gutters are light-weight and are weather-resistant, making them some of the most popular types of gutters today. They are easy to paint and can withstand very cold weather. 

Another popular type of gutter are made from zinc. These are affordable, and extremely durable. Over time, they form a patina – similar to the patina copper gutters form – that offer protection to the outer layer of the gutter. 

Steel and copper gutters are also growing in popularity, especially galvanized steel gutters. These are stronger than aluminum gutters and will withstand damage from things like tree branches better than aluminum gutters. 

Copper gutters are the most expensive, typically. But they are the most durable and look great on older homes. 

What gutter shape should I choose?
Two of the most poplar shapes are K style and half-rounded gutters. K style gutters are the most popular on homes and feature a shape that looks a lot like crown molding. 

Half round gutters have a curled front side, and typically drain water better than K style gutters. 

Do I need gutters professionally installed?
That depends. If you’re adding sections of gutters made from vinyl or aluminum that you bought at a home improvement store it is perfectly fine to install them yourself, although if your home is more than two stories we recommend you get help from a professional who can install them safely. 

For steel or copper gutters, and for seamless gutters, you’ll need to contact a professional who can custom cut the gutters to fit your home. 

How often do I need to replace my gutters?
This depends on the type of material you chose. Aluminum and vinyl gutters will need to be replaced every few years while copper and steel gutters can last a lifetime. 

How often do I have to clean my gutters?
You’ll need to clean your gutters at least once a year, however, we recommend cleaning them more if you live under trees or in an area with a lot of natural debris. 

With just a little planning, you can choose a gutter system that works great for your home and keeps costly plumbing problems at bay. 

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