Installing rain gutters on your home can be a great investment for the health of your home and to help shed water from your roof productively, but anyone who has had gutters knows that there are some drawbacks to having rain gutters. Whether it’s installing or cleaning your gutters, owning rain gutters is known to be a difficult and potentially dangerous part of owning a home. However, some options make owing gutters much safer, simpler, and easier to maintain.
While every gutter system requires some level of awareness and maintenance, new gutter systems and screens make installing gutters and cleaning them much more simple. Many roofing contractors offer some great and affordable options to help maintain gutters through effective screens that require less attention than traditional gutters.
Sectional vs. Seamless
Rain gutters come in two main variations and several different sizes. Sectional gutters come in stock size and are made for self-installation while seamless gutters are professionally installed on-site and created to fit your home. At first glance it may seem like sectional gutters are the better option, but once you factor in the cost of caulking, materials, and tools to install the pre-fabricated gutters the end cost between sectional and seamless gutters is much closer than you might think.
Along with the close end cost, seamless gutters come with additional benefits. Seamless gutters are more resistant to leaks because they don’t have any joints along the roofline, they are professionally installed, and they also typically come with a warranty period. These benefits mean less risk for yourself as a homeowner as well as more peace of mind and better performance shedding water from your roof.
There are a wide variety of gutter protection systems on the market and while none of them make gutters maintenance-free, some are more effective at protecting your gutters from accumulating debris and leaves than others. Most at-home installed gutter protection systems are either difficult to install or frankly not that effective. Self-installing a screen system can be a time-intensive and difficult process and if you skimp on the fixtures the result can end up being ineffective. Systems where you place a guard inside the gutter such as foam fillers, bottle brushes, and nylon systems are easy to install, but due to their light weight, they can often be blown out of the gutters by strong winds.
Professionally installed gutter systems are typically either reverse curve and screen or mesh systems and while these systems both come with their pros and cons they can still make managing your gutters a simpler process. These professionally installed systems can be a great option for keeping your gutters clean and with routine inspection can alleviate the need to clean your gutters of debris.
Reverse curve gutters are advertised as a great method to keep gutters clean and they are effective in light to normal rain storms but become less effective in heavy rainstorms as their collection systems aren’t designed for heavy rainfall. Reverse curve systems are also very difficult to clean if they do become clogged. Meanwhile, screen systems remain effective in heavy downfall but some screens can still allow small particles and debris into the gutters which can still dam up and reduce gutter effectiveness.
Although professionally installed gutter systems are not flawless they can still reduce the need to clean gutters and a well-installed system can make your gutters less of a headache. It is still a good idea to clean your roof and gutters of heavy debris and to inspect your gutters periodically to maintain their effectiveness.
Many contractors such as Rooftek offer free assessments and quotes on gutter systems and offer a variety of options for installation. If you end up having a professional install your gutters make sure to ask how long the warranty on the gutters you purchase lasts and what it covers. If you decide to install gutters yourself make sure to research the instructions before you purchase to ensure you are up to the job and have the necessary tools to keep yourself safe and install the gutters properly. Above all, good gutter maintenance depends heavily on observation, periodically checking your gutters for clogs and buildup or proper cleaning in the fall will improve the performance of your gutters and keep your home safe.