Most houses are meant to have gutter systems installed. Without them, your home’s foundation and siding are more likely to deteriorate and fall apart. Given the importance of your home’s foundation, it is imperative to keep it dry and structurally sound. Understanding the importance of gutters is only part of the problem. With so many options to choose from, you might be unclear as to what system is most effective for your building or home. Let us help you in this article:
Do You Even Need Gutters?
You might find this surprising, but not every house or building even needs to have gutters installed. While yes, they do offer a lot in the world of water diversion, not all areas of the country are that exposed to heavy rainfalls throughout the year. Some areas see an average of 40+ inches of rain throughout the year, while others see less than 10 just like San Diego. Heavy rain areas must have gutter systems, or you will risk the structural integrity of your home.
Even if you own a building in San Diego and you think you don’t need gutters, here are some of the advantages:
- Gutters and downspouts divert water away from areas like your foundation, patios or sidewalk.
- They can help to prevent erosion of these structures from eliminating the presence of damaging water.
- Keeps pooling water from discoloring concrete and masonry.
- Will aid in limiting cracking and sinking of concrete slabs around the house.
- Will prevent dirt from splashing onto foundation, siding and windows.
- They add value to your home.
- Can extend the life of doorways, garages and decks.
Which Gutter System Is Right For Me?
Making a choice like this is two-fold. You have to base your decision on the material that you think is best for the project, as well as the projected budget that you have to get the work done. Some of the common materials used are:
- Vinyl: This is the cheapest of all the common materials used for gutters. While they are inexpensive, they are also far more prone to wear, tear and sagging over time.
- Aluminum: Aluminum is also a fairly inexpensive choice. It is likely the most common of all of the materials listed here, as it is available in traditional gutter systems as well as the seamless designs.
- Steel: This material is very durable, and can be painted to match your house’s color scheme more precisely. While this is a little pricier material to use, it is very durable and will stand a lot more years of use than the aluminum or vinyl.
- Copper: This is a great, stylish option for older homes. This is a vintage look that also is very practical in how long-lasting and durable it is. The downside is that this material is easily one of the most expensive of all of your options.
Styles of Gutters To Choose From
This is the more common of the two for newly constructed homes. The K-Style has a wider frame, allowing it to hold far more water than the alternative style. In addition, this choice is far less expensive than the half-round option.
Much like its name would suggest, the half round makes a semicircle with the shape of its body. This is more of a dated choice, and it can be a good option for those that are looking to maintain the vintage look to their home, or replace old gutters on an old home and attempting to match the former style. These are less available than the K-Style options, making them more expensive and harder to find in specific colors/materials.
What Is a Gutter Guard? Do I Need One?
A gutter guard is basically a variation of a screen that rests on the top of your gutters where water would be entering it. This is meant to keep debris and other things from getting into the actual gutter and preventing the flow of water. For those with houses that have more than one story, or have gutters that can be tricky to get to, this might be something worth considering.
It is important to consider all of your options though, as there are some products out there that simply are not that good. Take your time to research the best gutter guards before you make your decision.
Is It Easy To DIY Install?
There is a lot that goes into putting up gutters successfully that people don’t realize. While the literal hanging of the equipment might not seem all that tricky, there is a serious science and skill involved in getting it right.
For example, gutters have to be installed at a specific angle in order to function properly. If this angle does not pitch hard enough, the water will pool and not flow to the downspout as it should. If this degree of decline is too steep on the other hand, water will be too forceful to funnel into the downspout and will instead spill over the end of the gutter.
Experienced installers can ensure the quality of their work, as well as spot other potential problems and correct these issues before the job is completed. Also, for their own assumed liability for working on the ladders on your property, you will find that any installation cost is a good value.
New gutters for your home or building don’t have to be a headache. Now you are more familiar with the materials and styles that you can choose from, which can help you to make a more informed decision about the best option for your house.