The gutters on any home are absolutely integral to keeping everything safe, dry and in proper working order. Roofs are graded for a reason, and the amount of angle your roof is manufactured to can make all the difference when it comes to drainage and runoff. Needless to say, any obstruction in your home’s drainage system and you could be looking at a potential source of flooding and mildew – hardly the kind of visitors you want. There was a time when most homes were made simply to drain water off the leading edges, but today a variety of gutter technologies have arisen to handle this precipitation head on.
For several decades in a row, most gutters were manufactured the same way. Steel pieces were soldered together using welding torches and other professional machinery – not a project homeowners could undertake without assistance. All that changed with the advent of aluminum gutters that required little more than snap-on fasteners and elbow grease to go up. The great advantage of solutions such as these is that they could be installed without difficulty, often in the space of an afternoon. The disadvantage, however, when was that such convenience also brought with it a new problem: leaking.
It may seem counterintuitive to worry about gutters leaking – after all, draining water is what they do!The problem, of course, is that gutters are made to drain in specific ways, through their downspouts, and not into the walls and foundation of your home. Little leaks like these can quickly lead to major problems at the structural level, defacing your home’s exterior and adding significantly to the chances for rot. Even minor leaks may eventually erode the fasteners that hold those gutters to the roof, creating a hazard that could fall without warning on family members or visitors. It is for this reason that the home experts unanimously recommend regular gutter maintenance to ensure everything stays intact.
Probably the greatest advantage to seamless gutters is that they minimize the amount of maintenance you need to perform every season. Depending on the configuration you’ve chosen – adding filters above is often recommended – you may be able to get away with many months of consistent use without any major cleaning. Many of these gutters are also hung from your roofing far more securely than the traditional aluminum sort, lending an additional level of security to the home.Finally they are far less likely to allow chipmunks, birds and other pests into the system. Many homeowners are surprised to discover just how clean the lining remains even after years of use.
Of course there are some reasons to think carefully about this choice before you install. Seamless gutters are generally regarded as too complex to install on your own, meaning you’ll need to have professionals out of the house for hours at a stretch. They also cost more for similar reasons – seamless gutters must be cut and assembled on site to ensure a flawless fit. What they take away in price and convenience, however, seamless gutters tend to give back with many years of outstanding function.
Do a little research and look into some of the major home wares stores to ensure you’re getting the proper size, great and color for your home’s exterior. You may also want to speak with an expert about ways to reduce your cost – sometimes using vinyl instead of aluminum, for instance, can be a boon to your bottom line. Choose well and you should expect nothing less than outstanding function and a handsome appearance many years into the future.
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John Black | 6