A house is not complete without a gutter. Unless you live in a place with a hot and dry climate, you definitely need this underrated house feature because a sloped roof isn't enough to shed water efficiently. Call Auburn Hills Roofing

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Why Your Home Needs Gutters

If you think gutters are merely decorative features of a home, think again. Buildings without gutters or those with damaged ones tend to have overflowing roofs, mildew, and flooded basements. Even your home’s paint job and landscaping are easily damaged with constant exposure to rain splatters and backsplash.

Simply put, gutters greatly reduce the risk to your investment by preventing water from seeping or splashing into places they shouldn’t be. It even protects the environment around homes by preventing soil erosion.

That’s how important gutters are. Every contractor and engineer recommends installing them on every building for protection and security.

The Basics of Gutters

Gutters are troughs usually attached to the eaves of a roof to catch water as it rolls down the slopes. But leading rainwater away from your building isn’t just about gutters. That water has to go somewhere.

A good gutter system includes adequate downspouts— pipes that carry the water downwards and onto the ground. Guidelines dictate that there must at least be one downspout installed for every 30 to 40 linear feet of gutter. Downspouts must also be long enough to lead the water away from your home’s foundation. That’s why downspout extensions may become necessary to achieve this.

The other basic parts of a gutter system include:

  • drop outlets that connect the gutters to downspouts
  • pipe elbows, which are bent pipes that help turn water in another direction
  • brackets that keep your gutters and downspouts fastened to the side of your house
  • splash blocks that are placed directly under downspouts to prevent creating puddles. They can be made of plastic, rubber, or concrete.

Gutter systems should always lead to a drainage system. That could be a street gutter that then heads onto a storm drain or sewer system.

Some gutter systems may also be connected to a tank that collects rainwater for gardening use. This is otherwise called irrigate landscaping. Other uses for this rainwater harvesting system may be for livestock and pets or flushing toilets. It’s a practical and eco-friendly way of bringing down utility bills and conserving the precious resource that is water.

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Kinds Of Gutters By Material

Before metal gutters became common, rain gutters were made of cedar wood. They are the most moisture-resistant type of wood especially if they’re painted or oiled. However, maintaining wooden gutters wasn’t very easy, so it was an easy transition to metal when the metal sheet rolling machine was invented.

Metal gutters are more affordable and durable compared to wooden ones. They’re also easier to install. But wooden gutters are still available by special order for those that want to restore heritage homes and structures. There aren’t many suppliers left, though, so the cost has significantly gone up.

The more common ones we have now are metal or plastic gutter systems.

When it comes to metal, aluminum gutters are the most affordable. They’re easy to maintain because they don’t rust. They can withstand extreme heat or cold better than most metals. They can last an average of 30 years with just regular cleaning. Add gutter guards and these will serve you for up to half a century.

Aluminum gutters are lightweight, so they can be attached to any kind of roofing, with a few exceptions. They can be bought in sections already shaped, or you can choose a seamless design for a more customized system.

Part of the aluminum gutters’ versatility is their ability to be painted to match your home’s color scheme.

If you’re looking for beauty, many find the classic copper gutters attractive as they add a touch of rustic charm with their burnt gleam. You should be aware, however, that this color becomes a natural blue-green patina over time much like the Statue of Liberty. Depending on the amount of oxidation that accumulates (due to the amount of exposure to precipitation), this process of color changing appears slowly after about 10 years or so of use.

Just a warning: copper gutters cost over thrice as much as aluminum gutters. Given the appeal and the hundred-year length of service it gives, you may just find them worth the investment.

Vinyl gutters are also known as plastic or PVC gutters. It’s also incredibly low-cost, lightweight, and rust-free like aluminum. But unlike aluminum, it’s not as durable against freezing weather. They may crack or sag during heavy rain or snow but would survive a couple of decades otherwise.

Vinyl gutters became popular because of their ease of installation, making them an instant hit with DIYers. They’re bought with snap-on edges so they have a neat look when completed. However, some styles include several seams that make it confusing for homeowners to work on.

Many buyers look for a balance of strength and cost-efficiency. They can find those traits in galvanized steel gutters. A popular choice in colder areas, galvanized steel gutters provide much resistance against heavy snow and hail. The additional weight also helps it hold against fast winds.

Steel gutters are infused and covered with molten zinc to avoid rusting and corrosion. Joints are soldered together so pieces are strong as a single unit. One drawback, however, is that you have to wait a year after installation before they can be painted over.

Galvanized steel gutters aren’t as pricey as copper, but they may cost twice as much as aluminum. They have about the same lifespan, though, with galvanized steel having a bit of an advantage.

Types Of Gutters By Shape

Types of Gutters by Shape

There are differently shaped gutters to accommodate different builds of roofing. The most common of these is the K-style gutter (or ogee gutter) which looks similar to crown molding. That similarity is what makes it blend perfectly with other elements of many homes. But more importantly, that shape is what makes it resistant to bending when struck by an object.

K-style gutters can be bought in 10-foot cuts in most hardware stores, but can also be custom-fitted directly onto your roof upon installation.

Rounded gutters (or more appropriately, half-round gutters) also do the job properly, but it doesn’t hold as much water as K-style gutters do. This is good, as less water means less corrosion.

Unlike the K-style, rounded gutters need more brackets to keep them in place. They’re also trickier to install on a roof’s fascia as they don’t have a flat side.

Variations To The Gutter System

Aside from the gutter itself, there are tweaks you can make to the system. One such idea is to customize the downspout. Our crew is adept at different techniques to keep water away from your building’s foundation, such as:

  • digging a trench and burying drain pipes;
  • attaching aluminum extensions;
  • using roll-out drain sleeves.

Additionally, different shapes and designs can be created with available materials ranging from simple to artistic. The priority would always be functional, but making downspouts look good is always a delight to both the homeowner and the installer.

You can also do away with the downspout itself and use a rain chain instead. This Japanese contraption (Japanese: kosari-doi) is a series of beautiful “cups” on a string or chain and functions similarly to a downspout.

But unlike the partly hidden downspout, rain chains are deliberately showcased for their beauty. Cups can be of any design, color, and size.

Another thing that people like about rain chains is the fountain-like sound of flowing water. This is why they make unique, thoughtful gifts. Many who have them find them great matches for their gardens.

There’s another kind of gutter that doesn’t go on a roof. These are ground gutters, basically, trenches dug around your property. They’re similar to French drains hidden underground so that rainwater won’t freeze.

Ground gutters have the same objective as roof gutters: to divert water away from your building’s foundation. They can tandem with rain gutters for a more efficient flood control system especially in commercial properties.

Most places have regulations about ground gutters, though, so it’s best to check before deciding on having one installed.

Auburn Hills Roofing for the Best Gutters Near You

All the features and materials we mentioned will affect the performance, look, and pricing of your gutters. But rest assured, there’s a great gutter system for every type of home, including yours.

Auburn Hills Roofing Specialists are committed to protecting and completing your home with quality gutters and downspouts. We help you determine the right kind of rain gutters systems for optimal performance even in the worst of weather.

We guarantee stylish and durable gutters systems using only the best quality materials, keeping in mind the budget and style you want.

We also recommend the most appropriate gutter protection products for your system so these gutters will last even longer. Couple that with our experience and expertise and you get minimal maintenance requirements, a stronger building foundation, a more weather-proof home, and both immediate and long-term savings.

You deserve only the best. Contact us today for free onsite estimates.

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