Most homeowners know they need gutters, but most don’t know exactly why it’s so important. Gutters and downspouts direct water away from your home to prevent damage that could result in costly repairs.
The earth that holds you foundation in place expands and contracts due to weather. In the dry seasons the dirt contracts and pulls away from the foundation leaving a void. During the rainy season this void fills with water and can expand or wash away. To limit foundations cracks and settling it is critical to channel as much rain water away from the foundation as possible. A fully functioning gutter and downspout system will greatly reduce the amount of expansion and contraction around the foundation helping to prevent costly failures.
Your home is made of many different materials. Most of those materials are wood based can not withstand waters ability to penetrate and rot them from the inside out. Coating your siding, eave, fascia and soffit with paint is only the first step for its longevity. Directing the water away from areas so the watersheds as quickly as possible will extend the life of those products and help to prevent algae and mold.
Shedding the rainwater from your roof into a gutter system keeps overflowing water from cutting a groove in the landscaping beneath them. The dirt from the groove created by overflowing gutters causes dirt to splash onto the siding or foundation causing stains and premature failure.
Without a proper guttering system on the edge of the roof, your landscaping will be damaged during heavy rain and thunderstorms. This damage also causes dirt and mulch to retain too much moisture causing a host of problems including mold, algae, fungus and insect problems.
We will evaluate your needs and provide you with the best gutter system solution for your home.
Seamless gutters are superior systems to sectional gutters. They are designed to minimize water leaks and blockage from debris and are much easier to clean. The uniform appearance will also improve the look of your home.
Gutter guards and gutter helmets come in a variety of designs and styles. While gutter guards are not maintenance free, they make your gutters much easier to clean and with less frequency. Gutter guards also prevent birds and rodents from building nests which can cause backups and become a breeding ground for insects.
Attic ventilation is important to your home. Soffits are designed to increase airflow. They allow outside air to enter the attic at the underside of the eave, keeping your home cooler and reducing air conditioning costs. Ventilation is also important in the winter as it decreases moisture and heat in the attic which can lead to mold and wood rot.
Fascia is installed behind your gutter system and creates a barrier between the outside and the edge of your roof. It is an important part of a well constructed roof and gutter system.
It’s easy to overlook the importance of keeping your gutters clean and in good working condition. Preventative maintenance will help you avoid costly problems and expensive repairs.
Gutter cleaning is essential to the health of your gutter system. We recommend cleaning your gutters twice a year to prevent unnecessary problems.
An inspection of your entire gutter system once a year by a trained professional will allow your system to last a lifetime. Inspection of the gutter guards, downspouts and drainage pipes are required ensure the whole system is working properly.
Many times a full gutter replacement is not necessary. We offer downspout replacement, gutter guard replacement, and individual runs of seamless gutters.
New gutters and downspouts come in a wide range of colors to accent the color scheme on your home or building. However, the gutter coil is not made by the same manufacturer as siding colors. Many of the colors are close but they are not an exact match.
It is possible to take the metal coil made by siding manufacturers and fabricate seamless gutters out of it matching your siding exactly but it is not recommend. We have found that the gutter manufacturers color coating is superior to the siding manufacturers and will last a lifetime. Many times the siding manufacturers metal comes of out fabrication with visible blemishes and paint peeling before installation on the home.
New gutters installation time frame is determined by the difficulty of the building. A one story ranch home can have all new gutters and downspout installed in a few hours. A 3 story home with a steep roof could take an entire day of installation. A typical time frame to install gutters is 3 – 6 hours on a residential home.
Gutter styles are divided into 2 categories, residential and commercial. Residential gutter systems are available in seamless and non-seamless. Seamless can be misleading as all gutter systems have inside and outside corners which create a seam. Gutters for the residential market are typically seamless and come in 5 or 6 inch widths.
Commercial gutters are referred to as “box gutters” and are custom fabricated at different widths in 8 – 12 foot lengths per the architects or engineers plans.
The wood behind your gutters is critical to the function of the gutter system. The gutters should be attached to not only the facia board (the wood directly behind the gutter) but into the rafter tails too. The fascia board helps to support the gutter when it is full of water snow and ice.
If the wood behind your gutters is rotten the gutter must be removed and new fascia board installed.
Gutter guards are extremely effective if you have chosen the correct style for each roofing slope. Many times one gutter guard system will not work on the entire home if the pitch of your roof slopes are different. A steep roof slope can send the water over the top of the gutter guard that a low slope would not. A gutter professional will be able to offer you different styles for the specific needs of your home.
The age of your gutters is a key factor in determining replacement. The older the gutter the more likely replacement becomes. Gutters systems older than 15 years and not made from aluminum or are non-seamless are prime candidates for replacement.
Having a gutter professional review your entire system is recommended if you are not sure if you need new gutters or downspouts.
Gutters that have gutter guards installed need to be cleaned once a year. This cleaning is to ensure that animals have not made nest in your gutters or downspouts and that the gutter guards are functioning properly. This type of “cleaning” is inexpensive if no further work is required.
How often you clean your gutters depends on the location of the home or building. If the surrounding area has no trees or debris that can be blown into the gutter then once a year is recommended to make sure animals have not built nest or caused any damage to the entire system.
Most homes should have their gutters cleaned twice a year. Once after the leaves have fallen but before winter has set in. The gutters should be cleaned again before the spring rains begin.