Preparing for Gutter Installation
A very common item that is addressed when either updating your home or making repairs to it is the gutter system. It’s important to make sure your gutters are installed properly, as their role in directing water away from your home and foundation is incredibly important in the longevity of your house.
If you are preparing for a new gutter installation, there are a few items to keep in mind regarding the before, during, and after. Now, you could DIY your gutter installation. However, installing gutters is not only dangerous but particular work. So, we’re going to assume that you are having gutters installed by a professional roofing and gutter contractor.
Gutter Materials Selection
Before the installers arrive, it’s important to make sure that all the details are discussed first. Will you be going back to the same material of your current gutters? Or, if you did not already have gutters, which material would you prefer?
Gutter Material Options
This is a very popular, cost-efficient option. Aluminum gutters are lightweight; they won’t rust, and come in a wide range of colors. You also have the option of painting them.
Seamless Aluminum Gutters
Although slightly more expensive, these are a great option. Reducing the seams in your gutters can allow them to last longer, as there are fewer areas for water to leak through. These gutters are made on-site by the installer (the gutter installation team will bring the aluminum in a truck and fabricate the needed amount).
While beautiful, copper gutters are expensive. You will not likely be painting them, as the natural copper color is part of the appeal. These are usually installed on historic homes, but could be a fitting accent to particular home styles.
Steel gutters are very strong; however, they can begin to rust over time, usually after 5 to 10 years. Steel can be painted to match your home, but they are slightly more expensive than the aluminum option.
If you choose to go with vinyl gutters, you will be exchanging the cost efficiency for quality. Yes, they are lightweight and easy to install, but vinyl gutters can crack in cold weather, fade in the sunlight, and have a limited color selection.
It’s important to weigh these factors when choosing the style of gutter to install. As for the size and shape of the gutters, you will generally see a 5-inch or 6-inch gutter, and your options are k-style, which have a flat back and bottom and front that looks like crown molding; or a half-round shape, which is a rounded, half-circle. The k-style gutter is the most popular of the two.
Once you have decided on the style and color that best matches your home, you can work with your installer to make sure the gutters and downspouts are installed in the best areas and lengths for optimal water directing. The gutters will need to be installed at a slight slope to ensure the water flows to the downspouts. You can work out the math on your own, but hiring a professional who understands the best practices is usually the way to go. The last thing you want is an unproperly pitched gutter that overflows and could ultimately cause foundation issues.
Gutter Installation Preparation
When we begin preparing for your gutters to be installed, we will take down your old gutters in plenty of time to examine your fascia boards. If there are any rotten boards, this is the perfect time to get those replaced.
For a helpful way to prepare for the professionals to come in and install your gutters, make sure that any areas of your yard where they will need to place ladders or be able to get to are clear of any debris or outdoor decorations or furniture. This will help expedite the process on the day of installation, and it ensures that your personal property will not be accidentally damaged.
Gutter Maintenance and Upkeep
There are some natural disasters that can cause damage to your home and gutters, which you have no control over. However, if you want your gutters to last as long as possible, work their best, and continue to look nice on your home, make sure you are taking care of them. Clean debris such as leaves and dirt out of your gutters on a regular basis.
If you’d like a way to help prevent debris in your gutters, you should think about adding gutter guards. This can be a screen, or mesh, which is installed over the top of your gutters to allow the water to flow through while preventing the mess you would normally have to clean out.
All that being said, your gutter installation is typically going to be a fairly easy and quick process. If you have any questions, be sure to ask ahead of time. Otherwise, you could be wasting time and money having them redone.