Gutters may be an afterthought to many people, and we don’t truly appreciate them until there are problems. While gutters seem pretty straightforward, there is actually a lot that goes into properly planning and installing gutters correctly, all while using the correct materials and components.
Catch the water that is coming down your roof
Flow this water to a downspout
In order to accomplish all 3 of these aspects, we plan each job before we begin installation. Planning is really the most important part of any gutter system.
To catch as much water as possible, you need the appropriate gutter for your home. We recommend seamless gutters for every job! Read more about why seamless gutters are the best and the benefits.You also need to choose between 5-inch and 6-inch gutters.
You can have the best gutters on your home, but if they are not installed correctly, the water could just sit there and overflow (in a worst case scenario). Gutters need to be pitched to the appropriate side to allow for proper water flow towards a downspout. This is a crucial step in the planning phase of our gutter installation process.
In order to divert the water, we need to install downspouts (the vertical, pipe-like devices connected to gutters, installed along the side of buildings), which redirect water and safely lead it away from your home and towards a designated drainage area.
But how many downspouts should your home have and where should they be placed? This is where experienced gutter companies shine – they have the expertise to plan this accordingly based on your home.
Not all seamless gutter systems are made using the same materials. The saying “you get what you pay for” is accurate in this instance. Using premium materials is key to make sure your gutters last a lifetime, and this is why we offer a lifetime warranty on all our gutter systems. Below are all of the different components and materials that make a great seamless gutter system:
If you live in a area that experiences winters (like Chicago), using thicker aluminum is a must. We recommend and use .032″ thick aluminum compared to .028″ which a lot of other companies like to use. Thicker aluminum makes sure your gutters last longer by providing structural integrity that won’t make the gutters warp or bend. This helps especially in the winter months with snow and ice.
Gutter hangers are what hold your gutters in place. You can use generic hangers that are thin and flimsy, or you can use premium hangers that are thicker and fastened securely to help mitigate the risk of being ripped off due to wind, hail, snow, or ice. Another aspect is how far apart the gutter hangers are spaced apart. We install our hangers every 24 inches, as opposed to the standard 36 inches.
You might think that every sealant is the same, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you use generic sealant to seal all end caps, corners, gutter drops, etc. this will work… for a few years. If you live in a climate that has both summers and winters, your seamless gutters will expand and contract. This means you also need a sealant that will expand and contract as well. Premium sealants cost more, but are something that shouldn’t be an afterthought.
Gutter aprons ensure that water goes into your gutters, and not behind them. When we replace gutter systems, we always make sure to install a gutter apron if one doesn’t already exist. If your home doesn’t already have one, be sure to ask if this is something that will be installed when getting estimates from gutter companies.
Yup, even the screws used shouldn’t be overlooked. You can have thick gutters and premium hangers, but that all goes out the window if they are secured using short or lackluster screws. We recommend and use screws that are rust-free and longer than the industry average.
While gutters seem like an afterthought, there are many key details your contractor should consider when planning and installing a gutter system for your home. As you have read above, going with the cheapest quote might not be the best decision if you want to have a seamless gutter system that lasts a lifetime.
To find out what a custom seamless gutter system for your home would cost, please fill out our free estimate form.
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