An Introduction to Gutters
Gutters provide important functions for home protection by collecting and diverting runoff water from your roof and safeguarding its foundation. Without a proper guttering system, your home could be exposed to leaks and premature wear of decks and siding.
When selecting gutters for your next home renovation project, you’ll have an assortment of materials, shapes, and guard options to choose from, each with their own pros and cons.
Does my home need gutters?
Gutters might not bring a homeowner as much curb appeal as other renovation projects and create less than exciting chores — a Saturday spent cleaning the gutters isn’t exactly a weekend highlight — leaving some to consider if they’re necessary at all.
Depending on the shape of your roof and house, omitting gutters might be a viable solution for some homeowners. However, there are a host of benefits to having a gutter system that you should consider.
Without gutters collecting and diverting rain runoff, water can drain towards the home causing erosion. This can result in damage to the foundation, cracked walls, and siding, basement flooding, or uneven floors — which can cause far worse headaches and financial setbacks than a day spent cleaning gutter debris.
Additionally, if you have put time or money into landscaping, gutters can help protect this investment.
Homes in dry or drought-prone environments are less likely to require gutter systems, and the same is true for homes in which the ground slopes away from them, such as on a hill.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of gutters?
For the majority of homeowners, the benefits of gutters include lengthening the life of your roof, preventing or reducing flooding, protecting the home’s foundation, maximizing siding investments, and helping to maintain the beauty of landscaping.
Even for homes less inclined to require gutters, there are few drawbacks from such a project. However, faulty installation, improper maintenance or failure to effectively clean gutter systems can lead to problems down the road.
The pros at Modernize can help you find trusted contractors for your gutter project to ensure installation is seamless and you’re educated in the best cleaning and maintenance techniques for whatever system you choose.
Are there multiple gutter types to choose from?
There are two primary categories for homeowners to consider— material and shape.
When considering materials, homeowners will primarily be presented with gutters made from aluminum, vinyl, copper, or steel. Aluminum is one of the most popular choices thanks to easy installation, low cost, a range of available colors, and resistance to corrosion. Vinyl is another low-cost option but comes with some durability shortfalls. While copper and steel are highly durable and more costly.
Homeowners will also have the options of K-style shaped gutters, which are the most common and can move high volumes of waters; and half-round gutters, which are an inexpensive alternative, but move a lower capacity.
Additionally, there are a range of gutter guard options — including screen guards, fine mesh guards and surface tension guards — that provide respective pros and cons at different price points.
How expensive are gutters?
The average cost of installing gutters is largely dependent on the size of your home, the anatomy of the gutter system needed and on the materials selected. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, though the national average range is $900–$5,000, with most homeowners spending about $1,225.
Once you have conquered the initial installation costs, most gutter systems can last several decades with proper cleaning and occasional maintenance upkeep. This can be an especially worthwhile investment when you consider the costs of repairing your home’s foundation from water damage or remedying erosion.
How much maintenance is required?
In order to make sure your gutters run properly and you aren’t faced with roof damage, it is recommended that you clean your gutters twice per year (more if you have overhanging trees).
In order to streamline the regular maintenance, the gutter guards discussed above can prevent debris buildup, reduce cleaning times, and prevent you from needing a complete gutter replacement.
Should I invest in gutters?
Guttering is a great way to protect your home’s foundation and ensure other home elements like walls, siding, flooring, and landscaping are kept safe from water damage.
Let Modernize help you find a trusted, local contractor who can help you understand your home’s gutter needs and move you one step closer to a gutter system that protects your family — and your home — from the elements.