They’re not the most glamorous home improvement you can make, but gutters are a real workhorse for your home. They’re essential for steering roof runoff away from your home. Installed properly, gutters will keep basements and crawlspaces dry, preserve topsoil, protect siding from backsplash stain and rot, shield windows and doors from water infiltration and damage. They protect your home by keeping it dry.
If you’d like to eliminate worry about your gutters leaking, pulling loose, clogging or overflowing, then you’ve found the right company. After inspecting your home and your specific requirements we will recommend the best gutter system to fulfill your needs. Within every style there are variations in quality and we only use the most highly rated products available. Additionally, our unique installation methods guarantee years of leak-free, leaf-free operations. Every job is tested before we leave and inspected by a supervisor to verify that the work was completed to our high standards.
Gutters are generally made out of aluminum, vinyl, galvanized steel, stainless steel and copper.
Aluminum is the most popular choice for gutters. It is a low cost, easily maintained solution for today’s homes. It will not rust and has a lifespan of approximately 30 years and is available in more than 25 colors.
Wood is also an option, but is generally not used except in historical restoration work.
Copper is another material usually reserved for classic restoration. Both of these options are elegant and sophisticated, never rust or need painting, but they cost two to three times more than aluminum, and therefore aren’t used as often for normal household applications.
Stainless Steel gutters are strong and rust-free and maintain their high sheen for many years, but, as with many other high end custom materials, they are extremely expensive, being more than four times the cost of aluminum. For this reason, galvanized steel and aluminum are the most commonly used materials for gutters.
Galvanized steel gutters are the most economical. They can stand up to ladders and fallen tree branches better than aluminum, but even thick galvanized steel will eventually rust through.
Vinyl gutters are impervious to rust and rot, and are the easiest to cut to size, but vinyl can become brittle with age and exposure to the elements.
All gutters are either sectional or seamless. Sectional gutters are sold in pieces and installed as component systems. Connectors that snap into place join gutter sections to each other and to downspouts. All sectional systems have end caps, joiner pieces and drop outlets for connecting to downspouts. The drawback to sectional systems is that all of those seams can eventually invite leaks.
Seamless gutters are the best choice because there are no sectional seams to leak. Sections join only at inside and outside corners and at downspout outlets. They are stronger because there are no seams within the run. That’s why they are the most popular configuration. Seamless gutters are extruded to custom lengths on-site using a portable machine.
When buying any metal gutters, choose the thickest you can afford – optimally .032 inch. Though .027, .025 and .019 inch thick gutters are available, they won’t hold up as well. When purchasing aluminum gutters, insist on primary aluminum, which is the thickest and most consistent kind. Avoid secondary aluminum, which is a recycled product that is often plagued by inconsistent thicknesses. Until the technology improves, recycled is not a better option.
Size and Shape
Gutters come in several sizes and shapes called profiles. These include “U” shapes as well as “K” configurations, in which the ogee front looks like the letter K. Gutter channels are available in 4”,5” or 6” diameters. The 5 inch K shape is the most common. You will also find downspout choices that include 2×3 inch or 3×4 inch rectangular shapes as well as 3 or 4 inch round pipes. In leafy areas, it is recommended that you use larger downspouts to minimize clogs.
Aluminum gutters come in more than 25 colors, which is ideal for matching trim and house colors. Color is baked on right at the factory. Vinyl typically comes in brown or white. White typically holds up better in intense sun. Copper is prized for its natural color and comes unpainted. Over time, it will develop a gorgeous patina.
Clogged gutters are most often caused by leaves, twigs or needles from overhanging trees. Sometimes they are the result of a misplaced tennis ball or roofing or chimney work. Gutters should be cleaned out twice a year as a part of routine maintenance on your home.
There are many systems available to keep your gutters clean. Gutter covers and screens help block leaves and other debris from entering and clogging your gutters. While these systems are not expensive, the absence of them can lead to expensive consequences. If you don’t have the time or ability to regularly check and clean your gutters, having one of these systems in place can be very beneficial. Screens are the oldest and the most popular form of gutter protection. They have been in use since the early 1900s and work well to keep gutters clean. Gutter covers and toppers also work well and are available in many colors and styles to match your existing gutters.