How to Install Gutters and Clean Gutters
Q: WHY ARE RAIN GUTTER SYSTEMS IMPORTANT?
A: Rain gutter systems are important because when they are functioning correctly, gutters catch water that normally flows from the roof onto the ground below, and diverts the water to selected locations. This helps avoid problems with continuous drip lines and wet ground areas around the structure.
Q: WHAT ARE LEAFLESS GUTTERS, AND CAN I CONSIDER THEM FOR MY HOME?
A: Leafless gutters are a specially designed gutter that keeps the leaves out of your gutters, but allows for free flow of the water. They eliminate gutter clogs and debris buildup, so gutter maintenance is no longer an issue. The gutters are designed to work best with newly designed construction. Old homes may not be able to accommodate them.
Q: IF THE LEAFLESS GUTTERS WILL NOT WORK ON MY HOME, IS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE?
A: Yes. There are designs called "Leaf guard gutters," which have the same basic function, are more reasonable, and are easy to install on most roof designs. Leaf guard gutters may be built with a lip that separates the debris from the water, or it can have a snap-on, filtering top over the gutter.
Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEAMLESS GUTTERS AND REGULAR GUTTERS?
A: Seamless gutters are made on-site, which means excellent fitting for the homeowner's needs. Fewer seams provide a smoother gutter line, allow for fewer areas of leakage, and may install faster due to fewer gutter seals and fittings. Currently, 75% of all gutter installations are seamless.
Q: WHAT KINDS OF MATERIALS ARE GUTTERS MADE FROM?
A: Gutters are made from copper, steel, aluminum, zinc, vinyl and wood, with various composites.
Q: I HAVE NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT MY GUTTERS. HOW DO I KNOW IF THEY ARE OK?
A: Do a visual inspection first. Walk around the structure and look carefully at them from ground level. Look for areas of rust, sagging gutters, missing end pieces or damage. Locate areas that are punctured or torn. See if there are places that are missing gutters.
Q: MY GUTTERS ARE BENT AND SOME ARE RUSTY. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
A: Make an appointment for a free estimate with a local roofing business or one that specializes in rain gutter installation. They will inspect your gutters and tell you what problems you may have, what will be required to fix the problem, and how much they will charge.
Q: A ROOFING COMPANY SAYS I NEED A WHOLE NEW GUTTER SYSTEM. THE PRICES WERE PRETTY HIGH. SHOULD I GO AHEAD WITH IT?
A: Before you decide, it is always good to get a second or even a third opinion. Not only may you find different opinions, you will find different prices and materials that may help you feel more comfortable about any purchases or installations you order.
Q: HOW CAN I KNOW WHICH GUTTERING SYSTEM IS BEST FOR ME?
A: Professional gutter installers will make recommendations about which products their company installs. Not every company installs the same systems for the same price. They will tell you whether or not their products and services can help you, and how. Ask for printed information about their products, so you can read it later.
Q: WHAT IS A K-STYLE GUTTER?
A: This is the most popular in shapes of gutters, and can be produced with a roll-forming machine designed for seamless guttering systems. In appearance from the side, it resembles a "K", but face on, it appears much like the crown molding on your ceiling. K-style gutters can be made from a variety of metals, and can come in many colors.
Q: WHAT KINDS OF GUTTERS DO MOST PEOPLE CHOOSE?
A: Aluminum gutters are the most popular, due to their being lightweight, resistant to rust, economical and more adaptable to many roof designs. Aluminum is also popular because it comes in different colors. It is also adaptable to almost all roof lines and situations. They also can be seamless, which is a popular choice.
Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES OF STEEL GUTTERS?
A: Steel gutters will last up to 50 years. They hold up under extremely cold temperatures, and do not damage easily. Therefore, repair of steel gutters is minimal, and debris is less likely to build up in them due to bends, damage, or other problems. Installing steel gutters is more difficult and expensive due to the weight of the materials.
Q: WHAT IS THE BEST APPLICATION FOR COPPER GUTTERS?
A: Copper gutters do well for homeowners or business owners that want the gutters to be decorative as well as functional. Copper gutters are beautiful, and the copper can keep its original color through the use of sealants. While a bit expensive, copper gutters can showcase the roof line and downspout areas. They are very unique./p>
Q: I AM HAVING MY OLD GUTTERS REMOVED, AND REPLACED. WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH MY OLD GUTTERS?
A: The company that replaces your guttering system will take your old gutters away. Make sure that this is in the contract you sign with them.
Q: HOW DO I KEEP WATER FROM THE DOWNSPOUT FROM FLOODING MY PATIO?
A: Downspouts can be fitted with extenders or diverters to carry the water to an area that is more appropriate. This can be a hedge area, a garden, a rain barrel, or underground culvert. Accessories for gutter systems are plentiful, and can enhance and beautify your gutter system. They are easy to install.
Q: HOW CAN I PREVENT MY GUTTERS FROM GETTING CLOGGED UP WITH LEAVES?
A: There are many designs of gutter caps and gutter filters that are designed to keep debris out of your gutters, and let only the water through. These do not have to be expensive, and it should keep the gutters free-flowing.
Q: MY HOUSE IS A TWO-STORY ONE WITH A VERY SLANTED ROOF. IS REPLACING MY GUTTERS GOING TO BE MORE EXPENSIVE BECAUSE OF THESE ISSUES?
A: The volume of water from your roof may require larger gutters, longer downspouts, or certain shapes for maximum efficiency. Also, two story homes sometimes have unique roof lines which may require additional labor and/or materials. The estimates you get may be somewhat higher than a one-story home with a simple roof line.
Q: I CLEANED OUT MY GUTTERS BUT THERE IS NO WATER COMING OUT OF ONE OF THE DOWNSPOUTS, AND THE GUTTERS FILL UP AND OVERFLOW. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
A: You may have a clogged downspout. You might be able to clear the clog by using a hose and pressure nozzle from the top and from the bottom. Often, leaves, debris and even mice will clog downspouts. If the clog does not clear with this method, you may need to take the downspout apart. Services that clean gutters can do this for you.
Q: HOW CAN I PREVENT MY DOWNSPOUT FROM CLOGGING UP AGAIN?
A: Building supply stores carry downspout screens that fit into the entry to the downspout from the gutter. They are easy to install.
Q: MY GUTTERS ARE WORKING FINE, BUT THEY ARE CHIPPED AND FADED. DO I HAVE TO TAKE THEM OFF TO PAINT THEM?
A: You do not have to take them off to paint them. However, you may find it is easier to do so. Some parts of the gutters and downspout are hard to get to. If this is just a touch-up, you may leave them where they are.
Q: MY GUTTERS ARE RUSTED, BENT AND LEAK. I WANT TO REPLACE THEM. CAN I DO THIS ON MY OWN?
A: Some handy homeowners are able to install their own rain gutters. However, if you are not used to climbing ladders, measuring and using tools, it might be better to hire a gutter installer. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with tools and handling large sections of gutter, you may wish to do it yourself, or with a helper.
Q: I HEARD THAT SOME MANUFACTURERS HAVE DIFFERENT COLORS OF GUTTERING SYSTEMS. HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT THESE GUTTERS?
A: When you are shopping for gutter installation estimates, ask if they have a choice of colors, and if they will bring color charts when they come to your home.
Q: MY GUTTER BANGS AND RUBS AGAINST THE HOUSE IN A WIND OR STORM. IS THIS GOING TO BE EXPENSIVE TO FIX?
A: Not necessarily. Hangars and gutter hardware that attaches the gutters to your home can come loose. It is possible that all you need is to have the gutter secured. The gutter can be damaged, however, if it is allowed to swing loose in the wind, and that may lead to more expense.
Q: LAST YEAR I CLEANED OUT MY OWN GUTTERS AND I CUT MY HAND ON SOME SHARP EDGES. IS THERE A BETTER WAY OF DOING THIS?
A: Cleaning out gutters with your bare hands is never a good idea, for this very reason. There are tools that are made specifically for cleaning out gutters, no matter what their size or shape. You can purchase these gutter cleaning tools at your local building supply store, or online.
Q: ARE THERE ANY NEW TRENDS IN RAIN GUTTERS?
A: Yes, the half-round gutter is making a comeback. They blend with almost all styles of architecture, and can be found in most kinds of materials and colors. Half-round machines will make half-rounds in seamless style, and they are particularly suited to a higher-end market. As popularity of half-rounds increases, price is expected to decrease.
Q: WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT THE GROUND AROUND MY HOUSE STAY DRY?
A: Basement areas, foundations and slabs can absorb too much water from ground that stays wet. When this happens, mold and mildew can start to grow on and inside the walls, causing damage and inviting insects.