Having gutters on your home is a good thing. Gutters can prevent water damage to your foundation and landscaping from heavy drip edge flows. But how do you choose the right ones? Whether your home has never had gutters or the existing gutters need replacement, the tips here will ensure that your money is being well spent. Read this before calling in your local gutter installers to be sure you are informed.
Proper sizing is key to proper gutter installation
Gutter installation is not rocket science, but it is something that does require some basic engineering. A single run along the lower edge of a shed roof with a corner downspout is about as simple as it gets.
Homes with multiple roof lines, various degrees of pitch and multiple gables add a level of complexity that requires a plan. The key factor in developing this plan is to scale the system based on the square footage being served and factoring in your potential for heavy downpours. The downpour factor is based on weather data and varies by region.
A 5-minute “burst” of rain in Oregon is rated at only 2.1 inches per hour, while the same “burst” in Georgia is 8.3 inches per hour. A 5” K style gutter is rated to move about 5500 sq feet, while a 6” version can handle over 7500 sq feet. An Oregon roofer will install different gutters than a roofer in Georgia. Knowing what Mother Nature can throw at you will allow you to plan accordingly.
Pitch and downspouts
Gutters make up half of the roof’s collection system. The downspouts make up the rest. Sizing here also can make the system perform properly. A basic 2 x 3-inch rectangular downspout is rated for about 600 sq feet, while a 3 x 4-inch spout can handle 1200 sq feet.
One way to squeeze some more performance out of the system is to increase the slope of the gutter. Normal installs are typical at about ¼” of slope in 10 feet, with downspouts needed about every 40 linear feet. As an example: if you have a 50-foot run, a downspout should be installed at both ends. For proper flow, the pitch should be centered from the middle out to the spouts.
Gutters require a gentle slope to function effectively. Water runs down the slope to the downspout. If the slope isn’t set up right originally or the gutters have sagged over time, either due to the aging of the home or being too full of debris, water pools in the gutter. Over time, gutters begin to corrode, and rust and you’ll end up with a leak. Your gutter installer can check the slope of your gutters and adjust as necessary.
Gutter guards or open?
Here are the big questions many homeowners face when it comes to gutter installation: Do I need gutter guards? Do they work? Are they worth the extra money?
Many gutter companies will insist that you need these. This is where you need to consider your local environment, maintenance schedule, and DIY ability. If your home is in a forest that sees leaf or needle drop, you are more likely to need a gutter guard system.
Only the best gutter guards for steep roofs will ensure you don’t ever deal with clogged gutters. If your gutters are overflowing, chances are good you have clogged gutters. Although clogged gutters aren’t always leaking gutters, they are a big reason gutters end up with leaks. A gutter was not meant to handle the weight of wet debris and standing water. The excess weight can cause seams to fail, and gutters to sag and pull away from the home – all of which lead to what appears to be a leaking gutter.
Make an informed decision
Your choice to install guards should be based on your local situation. Despite the claims of gutter companies, many gutter guards will still require a little periodic cleaning. Individual designs make this process far worse than an open top system so the benefit can be nonexistent. Get recommendations and multiple quotes from professional gutter installers to help you make an informed decision.
Platinum Roofing is one of the most professional companies in the area. We have years and years of experience in all manner of gutter repairs and replacement jobs. If you need to get the job done, give us a phone call. You can also fill out the contact form on this site and let us know whatever you’re looking to get done. There’s no reason to live without adequately installed and maintained gutters. Get Platinum Roofing on the job today and enjoy results that last.