All homeowners want to better the appearance and function of their home, and a home’s gutter system is one way to do this. Gutters that are in good working order permit rainwater to drain easily away, but this requires an investment in a quality gutter system and gutter protection. Often homeowners think of gutter leaf guards as being too costly, when in reality, they save a great deal of money over time.
Gutter cleaning is the most obvious savings you will notice after installing a gutter cover, whether you did the job yourself or paid someone else to do it. But this isn’t the only expense you’ll no longer need to worry about; a properly functioning gutter system also reduces or eliminates a number of other expenses associated with water damage.
- Gutter cleaning ($150 to $400 per year). A professional gutter cleaning service averages $165 per visit, and many gutter systems require cleaning twice per year.
- Flooded basement (up to $10,000). If your home has a basement, gutter backups can lead to water seeping in through walls and windows. This can cause a variety of damage to walls, flooring, furnishings and more, in addition to the cost of removing water from the basement.
- Exterior damage (up to $5,000). Leaky gutters can cause damage to siding and fascia as they drip and splash over the exterior. For wood siding, this leads to dry rot and peeling paint. Other types of siding may demonstrate staining and mold growth.
- Mold and mildew removal (up to $4,000 per wall). Small areas of mold and mildew caused by water seeping into a home can sometimes be addressed with cleaning supplies and elbow grease. However, when mold develops in ductwork, attic spaces, walls and crawlspaces, the expertise of a professional will be required to prevent threats to your family’s health.
- Damaged landscaping (up to $10,000). When gutters clog and spill over the side, plants and shrubs are ruined and soil erosion ensues.
- Foundation repair ($3,000 and up). Water pooling around a home’s foundation can lead to structural damage such as buckling, shifting and cracking. Costs to repair a damaged foundation range into the tens of thousands of dollars.
If you are considering gutter leaf guards for your home, think of them as insurance against more costly repairs rather than an expense. To learn more about Gutter Helmet®, please call (800) 916-7344 for a free, no-obligation quote.
Most homeowners know that their rain gutters should be regularly cleaned of leaves and other debris to prevent water runoff from backing up. When this happens, the heavy weight of water can pull the gutters away from the fascia or water may spill over the edge, causing potential damage to siding, windows and door, landscaping and the foundation.
You should inspect and clean your gutter and downspout system twice per year to be sure it’s not clogged. If you want to spend less time cleaning your gutters, gutter guards are a great option to consider. Just don’t expect that all gutter guards will be maintenance-free.
Even if you don’t have trees in your own yard, some wind-blown debris will inevitably collect on top of your gutter guards. This situation is preferable to cleaning handfuls of soggy leaves, twigs and dirt out of clogged gutters. However, some gutter guards are more difficult to clean than gutters themselves! Case in point: the gutter screen.
Different gutter screens feature either a louvered (slotted) metal cover, a perforated metal cover or a mesh screen that fits under shingles. This type of cover is generally effective at blocking leaves and large debris from entering the gutter, but seedlings, pods and pine needles will either penetrate the screen or become stuck in the openings – rendering the gutter screen useless. This may also leave you with the unpleasant dilemma of how to clean thousands of seeds or needles out of the gutter screen installation.
Choose your gutter guard system wisely. Your gutter guard should make your job easier, not create another problem to solve. That’s why Gutter Helmet® has been America’s gutter guard of choice for more than 30 years. Its patented solid cover allows rainwater to flow freely while keeping out all types of debris to give you peace of mind – and clean gutters.
If you are curious about the structure of typical house gutters, here is a basic outline of how a traditional rain gutter system fits together.
Gutters are formed in a number of shapes and profiles, but the key components and the way those parts fit together are generally the same. Most gutters are fabricated on-site by a professional contractor with a metal-forming machine. This ensures that gutters are seamless (which greatly reduces the chance of leaks) and custom-sized for the home. At the end of the gutter, at the corner of the house, the downspout connects to the gutter through a drop outlet. An end cap is placed on the end of the last section of gutter to give the system a finished look and to channel water down the downspout. The drop outlet connects to two downspout elbows, which allows the gutter downspout to curve around the edge where your house meets the roof. Downspout straps are placed every few feet to secure the downspout to your house.
If you’re thinking about skipping residential gutters, you need to understand what happens when you don’t have gutters. Instead of water running into gutters and being propelled away from the home, water instead curls around your roof edge and runs down the side of your home. This can cause all sorts of problems that gutters would otherwise prevent. Homes without gutters often find rainwater running directly down the siding, into the basement or penetrating at the roofline and going into the attic. These can be very expensive problems to fix, so make sure you have the right type of house gutters for your home.
You know you’ve got to get some roof gutters up, but you’re not sure what you need to do. Don’t worry: we’ve got a complete overview of roof gutter solutions, from figuring out how to install gutters, how material much you need, and how to keep it clean when it’s up.
There are two considerations when designing roof gutter systems on paper: the length of the gutter itself, and how wide it needs to be. The first part is fairly simple: you and a friend use a measuring tape to figure out the length of the roof along each slope.
But how about the width? That’s a little more involved. First, check local zoning laws; it’s very possible some official has already determined the gutter size you need. You’ll need to figure out the square area of your roof, which is just some basic math, and note the average rainfall of the area you live in. The bigger your roof and the more rain you get, the bigger the gutters you’ll need. The most common residential gutter size is five inches. For downspouts, a good rule is one for every 40 feet of gutter.
Then you’ll need to choose material. All materials have their benefits and drawbacks; as a general rule, choose the most durable material you can afford, in the thickest size it comes in.
If you’re installing them yourself, first lay out your roof gutters in front of the part of the house where you’ll be installing them. Weld on any end caps and cut any holes for downspouts you may need. Then go up and install your hangers, keeping safety in mind.
Install your hangers on architectural supports, such as rafters, and space them closely together. This keeps the gutters from sagging, which can lead to stagnant water, or being ripped off your house in high winds. Hang the gutters so there’s a slight pitch towards the downspout; one to two inches every forty feet will do fine. Weld together any corners and attach the downspouts with welding or zip screws.
Maintaining your roof gutter is fairly straightforward: every three months or so, go up and take a look. Clean out any debris if you don’t use a gutter protection system; there are dozens of tools on the market to help with that. Keep an eye on your gutters. Look for signs that they’re not draining, such as icicles or water dripping over the sides. Patch any holes as soon as possible.
For a permanent solution to gutter cleaning, call for professional installation of Gutter Helmet® gutter guards along with Helmet Heat® heated gutters. Do all that, and you’ll have a roof gutter that’s long-lasting and keeps you dry, even in the worst weather.