Have you ever purchased a home without a gutter system? If so, you likely recognized the hassle that not having one can be. Rain gutters are a critical part of any roof system. They direct water falling from your roof away from your home’s foundation, helping to keep it dry and structurally sound. Because gutters are so important, it’s imperative to buy the right ones for your home. There are many factors to consider when purchasing a new system – like styling, materials, and guards. With a little knowledge about what is available, you can choose just the right gutters for your home.
Does my home need gutters?
Not every home requires a gutter system. If you live in an area that experiences very little rainfall every year, then gutters are completely unnecessary. If you live in Washington, D.C. area, though, then your home needs them badly. We see an average of over 40 inches of rain every year. Without gutters, that water can damage your roof, siding, and foundation.
Gutters offer many advantages to homeowners. They can:
- Protect concrete slabs from sinking and cracking
- Direct water away from sidewalks, patios, and your home’s foundation
- Prevent erosion around your home
- Block dirt from splashing up onto siding or windows
- Keep water lines from discoloring brick or concrete
- Lengthen the life of your stained wood decks, doors, and garage doors
- Add curb appeal and value to your home
How do I choose a gutter system?
When selecting a gutter system, you need to consider what style and material will work best for you and your home – and your budget.
Gutter materials include:
- Aluminum – The most commonly-used gutter material, aluminum is available in traditional or seamless varieties.
- Copper – A beautiful option for historic homes, copper gutters are extremely durable. Unfortunately, they are also quite expensive and complicated to install.
- Steel – Galvanized steel gutters are also a pricier choice, but they can be painted to match your home. Like copper, they are long-lasting and sturdy.
- Vinyl – A very affordable gutter option, vinyl gutters are often used by homeowners looking to replace their own system. While they are easy to install, their lightweight nature often leads to sagging and faster wear and tear.
Gutter styles include:
- K-style – A K-style gutter consists of a flat back and bottom with decorative front – which is meant to mimic crown molding. K-style gutters can hold significantly more water than half-rounds, and they are also considerably less expensive. Most of today’s home construction uses this type of gutter system.
- Half-round – This type of gutter is shaped like a semi-circle and has rounded edges. It is often found in historic homes and is typically utilized when homeowners are trying to maintain the vintage feel of their home. Half-round gutters cost more than their K-style counterparts and are not as readily available. Depending on the style of your home, though, the half-round gutter may be the perfect fit.
Do I need gutter guards?
A gutter guard is a screen installed over your existing gutter system that keeps out debris and leaves while still allowing water to run-off from the roof and into your gutter. If your home has gutters that are two or more stories high, a guard system is a smart investment. It will reduce the frequency of cleaning and keep you safely on the ground.
Not every gutter guard is created equally, though, so be sure to do your homework before investing in one. At DryHome, we use E-Z-Guard steel screen products. They are extremely effective and durable, and they work with any type of gutter system.
Can I install gutters myself?
Even the biggest do-it-yourself proponents should seriously weigh the pros and cons before deciding to install their own gutter system. Although supplies are available at any local hardware store, the job may be larger than you think – and gutter installations require quite a bit of skill.
Gutters must be inclined at just the right angle to keep water flowing to downspouts. If the angle is too sharp, water will gush over the downspouts and down the side of your home. If the pitch is too gentle, then water will pool and eventually make the gutters sag. Many gutter installations also require repairs to rotting fascia board and damaged shingles.
Experienced gutter professionals can spot roof damage, complete jobs quickly, and guarantee that gutters are properly installed. They also take the risk of working on ladders into their own hands – which is well worth the installation price.
New Gutters for Your Home
While purchasing a new gutter system for your home may not seem as exciting as new kitchen countertops, it will prove to be a crucial step in your journey as a homeowner. If you’re thinking of taking this step, please give DryHome a call. We’ll guide you through the purchase process and help you find the perfect gutter system to protect your biggest investment – your home.