Did you know that on average, gutters last for about 20 years? Different gutters might have a longer or shorter lifespan compared to others. The lifespan also has to do with how well you take care of your gutters and how well they’re installed.
When it comes to gutter installation, you will want to make sure you do a great job so you won’t have to worry about your gutters ever again (or at least not for a couple of decades). But there are many things to consider when it comes to this task. For example, what kind of gutters should you choose?
What size should the gutters be and what about the pitch? If you miscalculate any of these factors, you could end up having a lot of annoying problems with your gutter right after installing them. This can be especially frustrating since the repair costs can end up being quite expensive.
There are a few tricks that you can learn about to minimize the chances that your gutter installation endeavor will go totally wrong. Keep reading and learn more about the details of installing gutters below.
Why Do You Need Good Gutters?
Residential roofing and commercial roofing both need good gutters to rely on. But you might be wondering why gutters are important in the first place. After all, they can be a pain to install and not to mention that they’re expensive.
Can’t your building go without gutters for a while? While this might sound like a simple solution to all of your gutter problems, it is actually a horrible idea. Buildings have gutters for a reason, after all, and that reason is very important.
Gutters aim to collect rainwater and flush it away from your home or business. The slant of your roof will be able to guide the rain into the gutters. Then, the slant of the gutters will send the water rushing off downwards until the water ends up on the ground.
Where the water ends up is usually some ways away from your house so the water doesn’t pool too closely to your home’s foundation.
Without good gutters, your property could start suffering from all sorts of problems due to the poor drainage of water. You can even start suffering from these problems even if you still have gutters. For example, when gutters get filled with leaves or other debris, they can no longer drain water as well as they’re supposed to.
When this happens, overfilled gutters can be as bad as having no gutters at all. But the problems don’t end there. If you don’t unclog those gutters, the clog can actually end up damaging the gutters over time.
This can lead to all sorts of issues such as needing to replace part of the gutter due to holes and rust. In some cases, you might even need to replace a whole swath of your home’s gutter which isn’t cheap.
What Will Happen If You Don’t Have Functioning Gutters?
As mentioned before, many bad things can occur if you don’t have functioning gutters, but what kind of problems can happen exactly? The main problem has to do with poor water drainage around your house. If you don’t have good gutters placed near the edge of your roof, the water is going to slide from the roof and fall onto the ground surrounding your home.
This might sound harmless at first. After all, it’s a bit of rain. But the problem comes from the fact that water can be quite damaging, especially if it keeps impacting the same spot.
This is not to mention that when rain falls from your roof onto the ground, it is falling from quite a high height. This gives the water more of a chance to tear up the ground around your home, especially during a heavy downpour. When this happens, the rain can end up breaking down the earth, except that the water can end up seeping into your home’s foundation and creating even more damage.
Foundation damage is one of the most expensive home repairs that you can possibly make. That’s because the foundation of your home is also one of the most important aspects of your home. Without it, your home would start shifting and, after some time, it might even collapse.
The same problem can happen if you have clogged gutters. Because the water cannot flow as it should through the gutters, the water will overflow and drip out over the gutters onto the earth below. This is not to mention that clogged gutters can cause rust and other issues in the gutters themselves which can get pretty costly when it comes to repairs.
So, what should you do to solve the problem?
How to Choose the Right Gutters
Choosing the right gutters for your home renovation or business can be difficult, especially if you’ve never done it before. After all, there are so many options to choose from. Are larger gutters better than smaller gutters?
How do the different types of metal compare? What about wooden gutters? All of these questions are important, but you might not need to ask them all depending on a variety of factors.
One of the first things you will want to consider is the climate you live in. Do you live in a climate with relatively mild weather throughout the year? Or do you live in a region that often gets hit with severe storms or even hurricanes?
Or you could live in a region that has long winters that gets several feet of snow on a regular basis. By taking a closer look at the climate you live in, you will be able to make a smarter decision when it comes to your new gutters. For example, if you live in a stormy region or a region that involves a lot of melting snow, you might want to invest in gutters that are especially durable.
This way, you won’t have to worry too much about your new gutters breaking in the middle of a storm. On the other hand, if you live in a mild, dry climate, you might be able to save some money by opting for some cheaper gutters. Cheap gutters aren’t necessarily low-quality gutters, but they might not be as durable as other types.
But if your region doesn’t receive a lot of severe weather, you won’t have to worry too much about it anyway. But what kind of material should you choose when it’s time to choose the best gutters for you and your climate?
Vinyl gutters are, by far, the most popular type of gutter out there. Why might that be, you ask? It has to do with the fact that vinyl gutters are not only very affordable but very durable as well.
Most gutters that you see on homes and businesses will likely be made out of vinyl. Another benefit of vinyl gutters is that they are very easy to install both for gutter and roofing services as well as DIY jobs. The reason that they’re so easy to install is that each segment of a vinyl gutter effortlessly clicks together.
This is ideal if you want to save on time and money, whether you plan on installing the gutters yourself or hiring a professional to do it. You won’t have to wait days and days for your gutters to be finished because they practically come together on their own. The only downside is that vinyl gutters come in a limited variety of different colors.
They usually only come in simple colors such as white, gray, tan, or black. This can be a problem if you want your gutters to match the color of your house. However, the good thing is that you won’t have any trouble painting your new vinyl gutters if you really want to.
Vinyl gutters are also very durable even if they might look flimsy. Because they are made of thin sheets of vinyl, they are actually very flexible and can withstand strong winds and storms. Not only that, vinyl gutters won’t end up full of rust like some older types of gutters like steel.
Vinyl gutters should last around 20 years. They might become brittle if the temperatures drop significantly, but this shouldn’t be a problem until the gutters get older.
Aluminum gutters are almost as popular as vinyl gutters and they share many of the same traits. The only difference is that aluminum gutters can be a little bit more expensive than vinyl, sometimes by several additional dollars per foot. However, aluminum gutters make up for this price increase by having a few benefits that vinyl gutters don’t have.
For example, the most obvious benefit is that aluminum gutters come in all sorts of colors, unlike vinyl which only comes in a few basic shades. This variety of colors can be ideal if your home is an unusual shade such as blue, green, or yellow. It can also be ideal for homes that have materials of different shades such as stone or brick exteriors.
Some aluminum gutters even have special looks that mimic aged copper. This can be ideal if you have an older house and you want your gutters to match your home’s overall aesthetic. Aluminum gutters also have a long lifespan much like vinyl gutters, although aluminum gutters tend to last a bit longer, sometimes as long as 25 years.
Of course, the gutters will only be able to reach their full lifespan as long as you take good care of them and make sure that they don’t stay clogged for months or years at a time. Aluminum gutters also have more variety than vinyl when it comes to the installation process.
That’s because aluminum gutters can come either in sections that are sealed with caulk and screws or they can come completely seamless. Seamless gutters are often a great idea since they tend to be less vulnerable to certain types of damage and leaks. The downside of aluminum gutters is that they are not as durable as vinyl (they are more likely to dent and bend).
Zinc gutters are not as common as the other two previously discussed gutters, but that does not mean that these gutters are not worth investing in. The main reason why zinc gutters tend to not be a popular choice is that they can be quite expensive. Some zinc gutters might cost around $10 for every foot.
This is not including the cost of professional installation which can easily cost you hundreds of more dollars. But if money is not a concern for you, there’s no reason not to get zinc gutters. That’s because these gutters come with some unique benefits that don’t apply to the previous two types of gutters.
For example, zinc gutters are one of the most durable and long-lasting gutters you can possibly buy. In some cases, they can last as long as 50 years. For that reason, the high price of buying and installing the gutters is actually worth it in the long run.
You might even end up saving money because you won’t have to worry about gutter repair costs. However, zinc gutters are not invincible and there are some things that they are vulnerable to. For example, you shouldn’t get zinc gutters if your home or business has cedar roof shingles.
That’s because when it rains, the cedar shingles will release some acidity into the water. Once this water hits the zinc gutters, the gutters can end up sustaining damage over time. There is another downside to zinc gutters: they are not a good option if you want to try installing gutters yourself.
That’s because zinc gutters tend to shrink and expand depending on the temperature. If you don’t account for this expansion, your gutters could easily end up breaking and you could lose a lot of money.
Choose the Right Size Gutter for Your Installation
Once you choose the right type of gutter for your home or business, it’s time to think about the logistics of installing your new gutters. One of the most important things you will want to consider is the size of the gutter. You might wonder why this is important.
After all, any size gutter will function to drain water away from your house, right? Not necessarily. Again, you will want to consider what kind of climate you live in.
Small gutters can only do so much when it comes to draining water away from your home. If you live in an area that often (or even occasionally) experiences heavy downpours, a small gutter will not be ideal. It might drain the water to a certain extent, but at some point, there will be too much water for the gutters to handle.
When this happens, the excess water will spill over the gutters and land on the earth below. As mentioned before, this can be terrible for your home’s foundation and it can tear up the ground as well. On the other hand, you won’t want to get a large gutter if you live in a relatively mild climate.
If you did this, it would be a waste of money. Besides the climate in which you live, you will also want to consider the slope of your roof. If your roof has a steep slope, that means that rain is going to rush down the roof and into the gutter at a faster rate. In this case, you might want a larger gutter to catch all of this rain.
On the other hand, if your roof has a shallow slope, the water will drizzle down the roof at a much slower rate.
Consider the Space of the Gutters When Installing Them
If you plan on installing your new gutters yourself, you will absolutely not want to forget about the gutter hangers. The gutter hangers, as the name suggests, are little hangers that support the gutters and allow them to hang from the edge of the roof. What many people forget when installing gutters, especially for the first time, is to space the hangers in the right way.
You should space the hangers evenly apart, usually around 2 to 3 feet. This amount of spacing will keep the gutters balanced and will ensure that the water will be able to flow through the gutters without any problems. But what happens if you don’t space the gutter hangers correctly?
If you space the hangers farther than 3 feet apart, the main problem that you will notice is that your gutters will start to sag. This is because the weight of the water in the gutters will be too heavy for the gutters to support. It might not be a problem at first, but over time, the gutters will get weaker and weaker due to the sagging effect.
This will cause serious damage to the gutters. Leaks might start to form between the gutter seams. In some cases, a whole segment of the gutter might come apart and it might even fall away from the roof. This can end up costing you a lot of money in repairs.
Placing the hangers too close together isn’t a great idea either. While it won’t lead to severe problems like sagging and breaking, you could end up losing money by wasting the hangers. Putting gutter hangers any closer than 2 feet apart won’t really accomplish anything.
Mainly, you would be wasting hangers that you could be using on other parts of the gutters.
Keep the Pitch of the Gutters in Mind
The pitch of the gutters is another very important factor to keep in mind when installing them. Without understanding the pitch you need for your gutters, your gutters won’t actually work. That’s because gutters need to have a certain slope in order to drain water.
If you aren’t able to achieve that slope, you will find that you will soon be having many different gutter problems on your hands. For example, suppose that when you install the gutters, you install them in a way that puts them in a horizontal position. While the gutters will still be able to catch the water from your roof, the water will not be able to go anywhere fast.
That’s because the gutters don’t have the right pitch. Instead of allowing the water to flow down and away from the house, the water instead will flood the gutters and sit there. In a storm, the gutters would likely overflow and cause all sorts of damage to your home or business.
But a steeper pitch is not necessarily a good thing either. If the pitch of the gutters is too steep, it could also cause problems. The trick to installing your gutters is to have a moderate slope.
This will ensure that the water will not drain too fast or too slow. This is important to consider, otherwise, you might have to deal with water damage to your foundation and even your roof. But what is the ideal slope to accomplish this?
A ¼ inch slope per 10 feet is often ideal. This slope will allow the water in the gutters to glide downwards. The water won’t end up rushing away and it won’t end up stagnating in the gutters either.
Your Complete Guide to Gutter Installation
Gutter installation can be a tricky task if you’ve never done it before. First, you will need to consider what kind of gutter you need, then you will need to think about the price, the slope, the spacing, and more. While installing gutters yourself is fine, you can save yourself a lot of time by hiring a professional to do the job instead.To learn more, contact us here.