Gutters may not be the largest or most conspicuous part of your home, but they play an important role in protecting your roof, sidings, and basement from the potentially costly effects of water damage. In fact, flashing and roof leaks are among the leading causes of home insurance claims.
On average, gutter systems have a lifespan of a few decades, after which the gutters might begin to break, sag, or leak. Replace old gutters as soon as possible to prolong the life of your roofing and even prevent soil erosion during the rainy season.
If you are in the market for a new gutter system, read on to learn more about selecting the right replacement gutters for your home.
Gutters come in many different materials. Aluminum is a popular choice for replacement gutters because the material is lightweight, durable, paintable, and corrosion-resistant. Aluminum gutters also come in many colors.
Other options include steel, which is heavy and strong. Galvanized steel can resist rust for several years, but this material tends to be comparably pricey. Opt for copper if you are looking for a high-end look. Copper is rust-resistant and has minimal maintenance requirements.
Vinyl gutters are generally the least expensive. Although vinyl is largely maintenance-free, these gutters do not stand up well to weather elements, have a shorter lifespan, and may require replacing in a few short years.
The right size gutters prevent any chance of rainwater seeping into the roof or flashing, or trickling down the siding. Sizing is also important to prevent rainwater overflow.
A lot goes into determining gutter sizes. Your contractor will consider factors such as the roof slope, roof area, type of roof, and expected amount of rainfall in your area to identify the right size gutters.
The two common styles of gutters are K-style and half-round gutters. Your choice will depend on design preferences, budget, and gutter capacity.
Most modern homes feature K-style gutters. From a side view, the shape of this gutter resembles a K with a flat back and bottom. The front side of the gutter has a decorative curve for aesthetic appeal.
Half-round gutters resemble cylindrical tubes cut in half along a horizontal plane. These gutters are common in older homes, and although they are less pricey, half-round gutters are prone to clogging and overflowing.
Consider buying gutters that complement your home's exterior. Select gutters in the same color as the roof so the gutters will seem like an extension of the shingles. Neutral colors such as black, gray, brown, and brown might be good options.
Alternatively, pick gutters that blend well with the color of your home's walls. The colors do not have to be similar but should not be too contrasting to make the gutters stand out. A popular trend is matching the gutters with the home's trim as a way to give the house a neat and distinct outline.
Gutter systems are available either as seamless or sectional. Sectional gutters come in separate panels, which you can assemble on site during installation. While transporting smaller gutter panels might be easier, sectional gutters are prone to leaking at the joints, requiring replacement after a few short years.
A seamless gutter system, on the other hand, offers better value for money in terms of quality, performance, and longevity. These gutters come as long sheets of metal that the contractor customizes to meet the needs of your home.
Replacing gutters can be a significant investment. To get a good return on your investment, prioritize quality over costs. This will pay off in fewer maintenance requirements and gutters that will serve you for many years.
At AAC Building Materials, we would be glad to assist you in selecting the right gutter system for your home. Call us today to discuss your needs.