Gutters – Everything You Need To Know

Rain Gutters

Thinking of having custom gutters installed on your home to replace rain gutters that are worn out? Then, there are a number of things you need to take into consideration before you make any decisions about what type of rain gutters you want to have installed. Rain gutters are a simple technology, but there’s nothing simple about the number of options you have available to you when the time comes to have new custom gutters installed.

By taking the time to do some research now and learning about the pros and cons of different materials, you can ensure that you are going to be happy with the rain gutters you choose.  This is important because the gutters on your house have an important job, they are there to protect your home from rainwater. So, you definitely want to make the right decision when choosing your new rain gutters and downspouts.

In addition to looking at the different materials available to you, you also need to look at additional options such as gutter extensions that you may want to add.  You should also take the time to research any company that you are considering hiring so that you can ensure that you get value for the money you are about to spend.

Are Rain Gutters Really That Important?

As you sit here planning out what type of house gutters you want to have installed, and looking at all of the options before you, you may be wondering just why the decisions you are about to make are so important.

They are important because that small, humble looking gutter on your house, is extremely important for keeping your home protected from rainwater. When it rains gravity pulls water off of the roof of your home. That water takes the path of least resistance on it’s way back down to the ground.

So, what happens if that path of least resistance leads that water into your attic? Or, what if it leads it to form pools at the base of your home that will eventually end up seeping into your home’s foundation? In either case, nothing good is going to happen.  Rainwater doesn’t care where it ends up, but you really do need to care about where it ends up.

If you don’t then your home will suffer extensive water damage, which will usually cost you a lot of money to repair. The point here is that rain gutters are extremely important for your home, so you really do need to make intelligent decisions when it’s time to have new rain gutters and downspouts installed on your home.

The First Thing You Need to Think About Are the Different Materials Available to You

If you are ready to replace the rain gutters on your home the first thing you need to decide on is what type of material you want your new gutters to be made from.  Steel gutters, copper gutters, vinyl gutters, galvanized gutters, and PVC gutters are some of the more popular materials that modern gutters are made from.

In order to make the right decision about which material is the best choice for you, you need to learn about the pros and cons of each one.  Then, you can make an informed decision about which type of gutters you want to have installed on your home.

It can be easy to feel a bit overwhelmed when looking at the various materials available to have your new custom gutters made from.  In fact, there’s a good chance you probably haven’t given rain gutters much thought at all. They are one of those parts of a home that when they work well, you don’t really notice them.  But, when they are not doing their job you are likely in for a rude reminder that there is something wrong with them.

If you are about to have your current rain gutters replaced, it may be a result of not having them properly maintained.  Proper maintenance of a rain gutter system involves having them cleaned and inspected at least twice a year in most locations.  It also involves having any repairs made when damage is found.

If you have gutters that are made from a durable material such as copper, they can easily last you 20 years or longer if they are taken care of.  So, if you are replacing your gutters because the old ones failed due to neglect, then do yourself a favor and learn from this mistake so that you don’t end up having it happen again with your new gutters.

Steel Gutters

Steel Gutters

Pros of Steel Gutters

•    Steel gutters have long been a favored material for gutter construction because steel is a durable material.  That means that gutters made from steel tend to be long-lasting. Longer lasting gutters saves you money because it means that you won’t have to replace your gutters as frequently.  The fact that steel is durable also means that it is less likely to suffer major damage from something like a small, falling tree branch.

•    Steel gutters are also relatively inexpensive when compared with other options such as aluminum or vinyl.  If you are looking for a gutter material that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, the steel may be the way to go.  Steel may not have the same stunning visual impact as copper rain gutters, but for the money, you are spending it’s really hard to beat this material’s performance.

Cons of Steel Gutters

•    Steel gutters tend to rust over time.  While the low up-front cost is great, you may end up spending more money on upkeep over the years in order to combat the problem of rusting.  You could opt for a rust-inhibiting coating for your gutters before having them installed, and this will reduce the typical rusting problem that is associated with steel gutters.  While this will add to your installation expense, it’s well worth it because it can greatly increase the life of your gutters.

•    Steel gutters also tend to sag as connectors loosen over the years, and the connectors that attach it to a home wear out.  If you opt to have steel gutters installed then you are going to have to pay a professional to inspect them on a regular basis to ensure that they remain structurally sound.  Doing this, and having the connectors repaired can often add many years of life to your steel rain gutter system.

Copper Gutters

Copper Gutters

Pros of Copper Gutters

•    Copper gutters are without a doubt the most attractive option you have in terms of gutter materials.  Over time copper develops a beautiful patina and can really add a lot of character to a home. Copper gutters are the kind of feature that can be seen from the street and they can really help your home to stand out from the rest of the homes on your street.  If you are looking for a way to make your home stand out from the crowd, then copper rain gutters can certainly help in this regard.

•    Copper gutters are also the longest lasting type of gutters, provided of course that you properly maintain, repair, and clean them.  Copper gutters will not rust or crack which is a big reason for their longevity. Copper gutters can easily last you for 50 years or more, so if you are looking for a rain gutter system that will last a lifetime, then copper is the material for you.

Cons of Copper Gutters

•    The biggest con of copper gutters regards their price.  Copper gutters are far more expensive than any other type of gutter.  Adding to the expense is the fact that all of the nails and connectors you use must be made from copper as well.

That means that you will need to have copper gutters and downspouts, along with all copper components, which can lead to a high cost in terms of materials needed.  Plus, if you do need repairs made you can expect to pay more for the repairs since copper replacements parts will cost you more.

•    Copper gutters need to be installed by a craftsman that is skilled in working with copper.  While you should never try to install your own rain gutters and downspouts, when it comes to copper this is even more important.  Because of the amount of time and effort involved in installing copper gutters the installation fees are going to be considerably higher than with other materials.

Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl Gutters

Pros of Vinyl Gutters

•    Vinyl gutters are made from PVC plastic, which means that they are among the least expensive gutter options out there for you.  They are also less expensive to install than other rain gutters, which means that the company you hire to install them should charge you less than they would for gutters made from other materials.

•    Vinyl gutters are very durable.  They won’t dent, corrode, or get dinged.  This durability is a major upside to vinyl gutters since they tend to last for quite a long time.  Since vinyl is the same color throughout you also don’t have to worry about scrapes and scratches creating an eyesore.

•    Vinyl gutters are also available in a wide range of colors, so you don’t have to worry about trying to paint your gutters to match the color scheme of your house.  Since vinyl gutters are the same color throughout, you also don’t have to be concerned about them scratching and becoming an eyesore.

Cons of Vinyl Gutters

•    While vinyl gutters, also known as PVC gutters, are more resistant to certain types of damage, they lack the overall strength of metal gutters.  So, if you neglect them, and they end up with a lot of debris inside of them, they are more prone to breaking and collapsing.

•    Vinyl gutters are not the most attractive material choice.  If you are looking for rain gutters that are going to be striking, then you don’t want to go with vinyl.  Vinyl is a perfectly functional material for making rain gutters, but it isn’t the most attractive. In fact, many people will tell you that vinyl gutters tend to look cheap and because of this, they have a negative impact on the appearance of your home.

Galvanized Gutters

Galvanized Gutters

Pros of Galvanized Gutters

•    Galvanized gutters are one of the least expensive metal gutters options available to you.  In fact, you can typically get galvanized gutters for about one-third of the cost of copper, which is one of the most popular metals used for gutter construction.

•    Galvanized gutters are very durable and are resistant to most types of damage.  They are not easily dented or scratched up, and usually hold up quite well in most type of climates.  If you want to add to their durability you can opt for a zinc coating which will make them more resistant to ice and rust.

Cons of Galvanized Gutters

•    Galvanized gutters are not easy to install, they require the skill and experience of a professional who possesses the right tools and equipment.  That means that while the cost of the materials for your gutters will be quite affordable, you can expect to pay more to have them installed than you would gutters made from vinyl or another more flexible material.

•    Rust is also a major concern for gutters made from galvanized steel.  While a zinc coating can reduce their vulnerability to rust, it won’t eliminate that vulnerability altogether.  That means that galvanized gutters are usually not the longest lasting gutters.

•    Galvanized gutters also tend to lose their shape over time, especially if you don’t have them cleaned and inspected on a regular basis.  Warping gutters are not only an eyesore, they will also affect the effectiveness of the gutters, which will expose your home to the threat of water damage.

Things to Consider When Choosing Your Rain Gutter Material

Ultimately, what you need to do is sit down and figure out what your needs and expectations are, and what your budget is, then make a decision about what type of custom gutters you want to have installed.

It’s important that you make an informed decision because even gutters made from less expensive materials are still going to represent a significant expense. The last thing you want to do is spend a good amount of your hard-earned money on rain gutters that you end up hating.

After learning about the pros and cons of each type of gutter material you are then going to have to make a decision about which material you want to go with.  Before making a final decision, you may want to go on a little field trip and take a look at different types of gutters in your neighborhood.

This is a great way for you to see what each type of rain gutter looks like in a real-world setting, and it’s something that you should be able to do very quickly and easily.

The main deciding factor that will probably come into play is up-front cost related to long-term expenses.  If you can afford to spend more money up-front, then having a more expensive and longer lasting material used for your rain gutters will be in your best interest.

However, if you can’t afford to spend more money up front, then you could opt for a lower installation cost by using cheaper materials but know that doing this will generally cost you more money in long-term cleaning and repairs.

Other Factors That Will Influence How Much It Will Cost to Have Rain Gutters Installed on Your Home

While the material that you choose is going to be a major factor in how much it’s going to cost you to have your rain gutters and downspouts installed, it’s not the only factor you have to take into account.  What you need to remember is that a rain gutter installation company is going to charge you more money if the job is more difficult.

For example, if you have a multi-story home then you are going to incur a higher labor cost than you would if you had a single-story home.  Since installing rain gutters on a multi-story home is going to involve working at a higher elevation, it means more work as well as a greater accident risk. So, naturally, it’s going to cost you more.

If you have landscaping around your home that is going to make it difficult for the gutter installation company to do their job, you should expect to see this reflected in your bill as well.  Ultimately, you are going to end up paying more money if the job involves more work, so please keep this in mind when you are getting quotes from different companies about the cost of gutter installation.

You should also expect to have to pay the gutter installation company you hire to remove and dispose of your old rain gutter system.  Unless you are having a new house built, you are going to have old gutters on it. Since most companies don’t enjoy providing free services, they are likely going to charge you to remove your old gutters.  So, don’t be surprised if this comes up as an expense on your bill.

Why You Should Only Trust A Professional to Install Your Rain Gutters

Since the cost of having custom gutters installed can be rather expensive, especially if you choose a more expensive material, many people look for ways to save money on their rain gutter installation.  The cost of the materials is fairly standard and there’s not a lot that you can do to lower it. That leaves one other variable that can be manipulated in order to save you money, and that variable is the labor cost involved.

If you want to completely eliminate the cost of labor involved in rain gutter installation you may be thinking of doing the job yourself.  If this is something you are considering, then you are almost certainly making a mistake.

Unless you have the same training, tools, and equipment as a professional rain gutter installation company, you really shouldn’t try taking on a job that you are not qualified to undertake.  It might be tempting to try to save yourself some cash by doing the job yourself, but there’s simply too much that can go wrong, which is why you are definitely better off hiring a professional.

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What could go wrong if you tried to install your own rain gutters and downspouts? Well, you could end up damaging the materials you are working with, which will then necessitate you buying more materials.  At that point you will probably realize that this isn’t a job you should be trying on your own and you should have the good sense to hire a professional.

Unfortunately, this can be a very expensive lesson to learn since the cost of materials makes up a significant portion of the cost to have gutters installed on your home.

You could also end up damaging your home while you are attempting to install your own rain gutters.  This doesn’t just include the damage that you may cause during the installation process, it also includes the potential damage caused by leaks that could occur if you improperly install your rain gutters.

The bottom line is that when you are ready to have new rain gutters and downspouts installed on your home, you really do need to hire a professional to do the job for you.

What Are the Qualifications That A Professional Gutter Installation Company Should Have?

Once you’ve decided to have a professional rain gutter installation company install your new gutters and downspouts, make sure that you actually hire a professional.  That means only hiring a gutter installation company that is licensed, bonded, and insured. Any professional company will meet these minimum qualifications. If a company cannot provide you with documentation showing that they meet these qualifications you should never hire them.

In addition to meeting these minimum qualifications, you should also take the time to do a little research on any company you are considering hiring.  You want to ensure that they don’t have a lot of complaints filed against them, and you definitely want to ensure that they don’t have any complaints filed with the Registrar of Contractors.

While doing your homework is going to take some time, it’s well worth it because it will help you to find a gutter installation company that you can trust to do the job the right way.

What Are the Benefits of Hiring A Professional Company to Install Your Custom Gutters?

When you hire a professional gutter installation company that main benefit you are going to receive is a higher standard of work.  Professional companies that specialize in gutters and downpipes installation will have a level of experience, and access to tools and equipment, that will enable them to do the job better than any amateur could hope to.

If for any reason you aren’t happy with the quality of work that a professional gutter installation company provides you, then you have options.  But, you probably won’t have to make use of any of these options because most professional companies will want to fix the problem for you. They don’t want to have the situation escalate because that could negatively impact their reputation.

Gutter Installation

The last thing they want is to have you start complaining about them through social media or filing a complaint with the Registrar of Contractors regarding their quality of work. In the vast majority of cases, a professional gutter installation company will resolve any problems that you may have with their work.

What happens if the company you hire is uncooperative? Well, then you can file a complaint with the Registrar of Contractors and in most cases, this will result in you getting your money back.  If you need to escalate things to a higher level you can always file a lawsuit against them, at that point, their insurance will cover any damages that they may have caused you.

Important Questions to Ask Before Having Your Rain Gutters Installed

1.    What method is going to be used to fasten the gutters to the house?

Nails are an older method that was used for years to attach a gutter to the fascia, which is the thin board around the edge of your roof that gutters are attached to.  The problem with nails is that they are not secure and tend to pull loose over time.

As water rushes through your gutters, and debris weighs them down, it’s not uncommon at all for nails to loosen.  This can cause your rain gutters to collapse, which will necessitate expensive repairs or even possible replacement.

A much better option for attaching rain gutters to your house are screws.  Screws are far more secure than nails, which means that your gutters are going to be more secure and last longer.  If the gutter installation company you are considering hiring is using nails, then that could be an indicator that they may not be the best company to hire.

2.     Does Your Company Recommend Gutter Guards?

If the gutter installation company you are considering hiring recommends using gutter guards, then this is another clear sign that they are not the best option for you.  Gutter guards are ineffective and can actually shorten the life of your rain gutters. Any company that recommends them is probably just trying to get you to spend more money on your gutter installation.

3.     Is Your Company Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?

Any gutter installation company you hire should always be licensed, bonded, and insured.  While it’s possible that an unlicensed company or person such as a handyman will do a good job installing your gutters, it’s more likely that they will provide substandard work.  If a company is not licensed, bonded, and insured, then they are amateurs that you shouldn’t be doing business with.

Much like taking the time to do research about a company, gutter materials, and styles of gutters take time, asking the gutter installation company you are considering using these questions is time-consuming, but also very revealing.

Feel free to ask the company you are working with any questions you can think of. If they seem hesitant to answer, can’t answer a question, or seemed bothered that you are questioning them, then you are probably going to be much better off avoiding that company and going with another one.

Are Seamless Gutters A Good Option for You?

Once you’ve decided that it’s time to replace the old gutters and downspouts on your home with new ones, it’s definitely in your best interest to spend a good amount of time looking at different options.

Choosing the right material for your gutters is important, but it’s just as important that you have the right features as well. Are there really different features for rain gutters? Believe it or not, there are.  One of those features that you really should look into is choosing what are known as seamless gutters.

Seamless rain gutters will cost you more money to have installed because there is a lot more work involved.  Instead of just ordering gutter segments and then cutting them to the right length, seamless gutters need to be custom manufactured on site.  That’s going to cost you more money, but when you look at the benefits involved, you’ll probably agree that this is a good use for your money.

What Are Seamless Rain Gutters?

Seamless Gutters

As the name implies, seamless rain gutters are made from solid pieces of material that make up the entire length of the gutter.  Most rain gutters are made from multiple small segments that are then connected together. Whether or not you choose to have seamless gutters, also known as continuous gutters installed on your home is going to depend on what you are looking for.

As with the different material options that are available for your gutters, there are pros and cons to seamless rain gutters. After taking the time to study these pros and cons you should have a better idea as to whether or not seamless gutters are the right choice for you.

Pros of Seamless Rain Gutters

•    Seamless rain gutters are made from a single piece of material, usually metal like aluminum or copper, and are not held together by joints.  Because they don’t have any seams or joints they tend to last much longer than gutters that have them. The seams and joints in rain gutters are definitely their weakest points, so if you can eliminate them it would make sense that this would strengthen the gutter system and increase how long it will last for you.

•    In addition to being the weakest point in a rain gutter, the joints are also places where debris tends to get trapped.  This debris can quickly lead to a blockage, which can cause a lot of problems. With a seamless gutter, there isn’t a joint for debris to get caught in, which really reduces the chances that you are going to end up with a blockage.

Does this mean you don’t have to worry about inspecting your gutters if they are seamless? Of course, it doesn’t, you should always have your gutters inspected by a professional on a regular basis. It simply means that the risk of a blockage is reduced.

•    Continuous gutters are also easier to clean.  Without seams and joints, it’s much easier for a professional gutter cleaning company to power wash your gutters out.  With a reduction in time and effort, there’s a good chance that you will end up paying less money to have your gutters cleaned.

•    Seamless gutters also tend to do a better job of protecting your home from water damage than traditional gutters do.  Traditional gutters have seams and joints that are prone to leaking.

The entire point of having rain gutters is to control the flow of rainwater and direct it away from your home so that it won’t cause water damage.  Since seamless gutters are less prone to leaks they are usually a more effective option than traditional custom gutters.

•    Continuous gutters are also often considered to be more aesthetically pleasing that gutters with joints on them.  Because they are custom made for each home they will almost always fit better and look better.

Cons of Seamless Rain Gutters

•    The biggest negative concerning seamless rain gutters is that they tend to cost more than traditional rain gutters do.  That’s because they have to be custom made for each home, and they require a higher level of skill to install.

Seamless gutters cost more, but how much more exactly? That’s going to depend on where you live, as well as what material you choose to have your gutters made from.

•    On average vinyl, seamless gutters average between $3 and $6 per foot.

•    On average aluminum seamless gutters average between $5 and $9 per foot.

•    On average steel, seamless gutters average between $6 and $11 per foot.

•    On average copper, seamless gutters average between $17 and $27 per foot.

•    This means that seamless gutters can run you anywhere from $300 on the low end all the way up to just over $9,000 on the high end.

•    Repair work on seamless gutters can also end up being quite a bit more expensive than on a traditional gutter.  If falling debris damages or dents your gutter you can’t simply have a section of it removed and replaced. You will either have to get the damage repaired or if this isn’t possible then you will have to replace that entire length of rain gutter.

If you are still on the fence as to whether or not seamless rain gutters are worth the extra money, take a moment to think about how important your gutters are to your home.  The rain gutters and downspouts on your home are there for one purpose, to control the flow of rainwater and keep it from causing damage to your home.

What holds more monetary value to you than your home? If you are anything like the average person there really isn’t going to be much that you own that is a more important asset for you.  With that being said, wouldn’t it then make sense to have the best possible custom gutters installed on your home? Wouldn’t you want to do everything in your power to protect your home from water damage that could have a huge negative impact on its value?

Are seamless gutters price per foot more expensive than traditional gutters? Yes, they are.  Will seamless gutters probably end up doing a much better job at keeping water from damaging your home? Yes, they will.  The point here is that a little extra money spent now could save you a lot of money later on.

On top of that when you have a professional come out and clean your gutters, you will usually end up paying a little less when you have seamless gutters because they are easier to clean.  So, even though you are paying more up front, you are getting a superior product, and they will cost you less money to clean and maintain.

Other Gutter Options to Consider

In addition to choosing whether or not you want a continuous gutter system, and what material you want your gutters to be constructed from, there are many other options you should learn about. Remember, knowledge is power and it allows you to make an informed decision. An option that sounds good for your rain gutters may, in fact, be a poor fit for what you are expecting out of your gutters.

On the other hand, it’s also possible that adding a specific option to your custom gutter installation can make a huge difference in how happy you are with them. Taking the time to learn about different options up front is the smart move to make, especially when you consider the fact that rain gutters represent a significant monetary commitment.

What Is Heat Tape?

Heat Cable

Heat tape is an addition to a rain gutter system that involves placing a waterproof heating element and tape into your gutter system.  Why would you want to add this option? Because one of the most dangerous things that can happen to a rain gutter system is what is known as an ice damn.

An ice dam forms during the Winter months when water builds up in your gutters and freezes. This can cause your rain gutters to collapse, which can not only be expensive but also dangerous.  If you can afford to have heat tape installed when your gutters are installed, then this is an investment that is usually well worth it.

While heat tape is definitely worth taking a look at, it is vitally important that you don’t think that having this add-on will allow you to ignore your rain gutters.  Heat tape is simply meant as something you use as a supplement to having your gutters cleaned and inspected by a licensed professional on a regular basis.

What Is A Rain Gutter Extension?

Gutter Downspout Extension

A rain gutter extension, also known as downspout extensions, is an attachment that goes on the bottom a downspout that is intended to help divert water further away from the base of your home. Rain gutter downspout extensions are a great option to consider having added to your gutters because water that pools on the ground outside of your home can cause damage that is very expensive to repair.

Water that pools on the ground in one area will inevitably end up seeping into the ground.  If that water happens to seep into the ground and end up near your home’s foundation, then you could have a serious problem.  Concrete foundations are generally stable and long-lasting.

Unfortunately, concrete has a flaw that causes it to crack. Most of the time these cracks are not that much of a concern.  However, if water is allowed to get into those cracks, then you could end up with a major problem.

Water that seeps into the cracks in your home’s foundation is an especially problematic issue when the Winter months arrive.  What happens when the temperature drops down below freezing is the liquid water that is trapped in the foundation will freeze.  Everyone knows that when water freezes and turns into ice it expands.

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This expansion process can turn little cracks in your home’s foundation into major cracks.  Then, before you know it the structural integrity of your home is compromised. Needless to say, this is not a situation you want to find yourself in. If you do, then you are going to learn pretty quickly that the repair bill could be nothing short of astronomical.

That’s why adding extensions to your gutters and downpipes is usually an investment that is well worth it.  For an additional cost that is really reasonable, you can help to protect your home’s foundation from the dangers of water damage.

Adding extensions to rain gutter downspouts really is the smart move to make, but once again, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when considering what type of rain gutter extension is best for your home.

Flexible Gutter Extensions

Flexible Gutter Extension

Flexible gutter extensions are made from a corrugated plastic pipe that is flexible and can be bent and contoured to allow you to easily control where water is going to flow to when it exits your rain gutters.  There are a number of advantages to this type of rain gutter extension, their ease of installation being one of the primary ones.

When you get your flexible gutter extensions you simply attach them to the end of your rain gutter downspouts, move the exit point to where you want the water to flow, then that’s all there is to it.

Since flexible gutter extensions can be easily moved around you can even use them to irrigate your yard.  You just move the exiting end of the gutter extension to different areas of your lawn, and you can harvest rainwater that could be damaging to your home and instead make it an asset.

Flexible gutter extensions are very versatile with adapters available that can allow you to connect your gutter extensions to a standard drainage pipe. You can also connect it to a pipe that has small holes drilled through it, this will allow you to distribute the rainwater that flows from your gutters evenly throughout your yard.

Flexible gutter extensions also have the added benefit of being inexpensive.  Since they are made from corrugated plastic they don’t cost much, plus you can easily attach them yourself which will save you money since you won’t have to hire a professional to do the job for you.

The one major downside to flexible gutter extensions is that they are not very aesthetically pleasing to look at.  For example, you could spend a lot of money on beautiful copper rain gutters and downspouts, then make them look terrible by attaching cheap plastic extensions to the end of them.  The other drawback to flexible gutters is that they are a bit cumbersome and can be an obstacle in your yard that makes it hard to enjoy spending time outdoors.

Roll Out Extensions

Roll Out Extensions

Roll out extensions are also a relatively inexpensive option if you are looking for gutter and downspout extensions.  They are also easy to install which will save you money since you won’t have to hire a professional to do it for you.

The main appeal of rollout gutter extensions is that they automatically roll out when it rains, then contract when the rain stops.  So, with rollout gutter extensions you won’t have to worry about having something laying across your lawn that you, or someone else, could end up tripping on.

The main problem with rollout gutter extensions is that if there isn’t sufficient rainfall they will sometimes fail to roll out at all.  If this happens then the rainwater flowing down your downspouts will end up seeping into the ground next to your house, which as you already know could lead to foundation damage.

Flip Up Extensions

Flip Up Extensions

When looking at gutters and downpipes and trying to find the best option when it comes to a gutter extension, flip up extensions are probably what you are looking for.  They attach to the bottom of your downspout and use a solid extension that then channels water away from your home and lets you direct it where it won’t cause any damage.

They are available in a variety of materials, and you can usually find this type of gutter extension in a style and material that closely matches the rest or your gutter and downspout system.

Another major bonus of flip up extensions is that they are connected to the bottom of your downspouts with a hinged connector.  That means that when you need to move them out of the way you simply flip them up. So, when it’s time lawn you can easily move these gutter extensions out of your way.

Have a barbecue or other event planned? No, problem, flip up gutter extensions can be flipped up and out of the way for an event like this as well. Once the rainy season where you live has come to an end you can even leave them flipped up so that they won’t take up space in your lawn when they aren’t in use.

The major downside to flip up gutter extensions is that they are more expensive than other options.  They are made from more expensive materials, so that accounts for part of the added expense. The other reason for the higher expense is the fact that flip up gutter extensions really should be installed by a professional.

If the additional cost of flip up gutter extensions is a concern for you, remember that the additional expense will also lead to a superior product. You generally get what you pay for in life, and when you pay for flip up gutter extensions you are paying for the best type of gutter extension that is available.

Are Gutter Guards A Good Idea?

After spending what will likely be a good amount of money on your new custom gutters you may be considering adding gutter guards or a similar type of device to your rain gutter system.  When it comes to additions to your rain gutters this is the one thing that you should always avoid.

Gutter guards are never a good idea, they are more than a waste of money, they can actually help contribute to the demise of your gutter system and increase the likelihood of rainwater damaging your house.

Gutter Guard

The Drawbacks of Gutter Guards

•    There are many different types of gutter guards, all of them are ineffective for one reason or another.  If you get a gutter guard that creates a solid barrier above your gutter to keep debris out, then it’s going to deflect water away allowing it to get into places where it could potentially damage your home.  If you opt for a screen type of cover these are prone to capturing debris, and caving in, which can cause your gutters to collapse.

•    Gutter guards add weight to your rain gutters.  Your rain gutters are not meant to support this additional weight.  Adding additional weight and strain to your rain gutter system will end up causing it to fail prematurely.  Then, you will have to spend money on a replacement gutter system, which is a fairly significant expense.

•    If you have gutter guards you are going to spend more money when you have your rain gutters cleaned and inspected.  Remember, a rain gutter cleaning company is going to charge you more money if they have to do more work. Having to remove and then replace gutter guards definitely constitutes more work, which means a higher gutter cleaning bill.

•    The biggest detractor regarding gutter guards is that their main selling point is false.  Gutter guards are meant to make it so that you don’t have to clean your gutters ever again.  Well, anything that sounds too good to be true is generally too good to be true. So, you are going to spend money on gutter guards, then you are going to have to pay to have our gutters cleaned anyway.  That’s not exactly a great use of your money now is it?

•    Gutter guards also give people a false sense of security.  When you have them installed you probably think that your gutters won’t get clogged and are safe from being damaged by the weight of debris accumulating in them.  This couldn’t be further from the truth, so while you are sitting in your home oblivious to the problem your rain gutters could slowly be bent and damaged by the strain of excess weight placed on them.

Gutter guards offer a false promise that makes them seem like a great idea.  After all, why wouldn’t you buy a product that will make it so you never have to pay to have your rain gutters cleaned ever again? If a product like this really existed then, of course, you should buy it.  But, it doesn’t exist. Gutter guards promise one thing, but the reality is entirely different.

If you still aren’t convinced that gutter guards are a bad idea, then take a moment to think about how many gutter cleaning companies there are out there. If gutter guards worked, would they really be in business?

If gutter guards worked wouldn’t everyone have them? The point here is that gutter cleaning companies exist because there is a demand for their services.  There is a demand for their services because gutter guards don’t do what they claim to be able to do.

The Importance of Having Your Gutters Cleaned and Inspected by a Professional on a Regular Basis

If you have just invested money in new custom rain gutters the last thing you want to do is expose them to needless strain which will end up causing them to fail prematurely.  After all, do you really want to have to spend more money on new rain gutters sooner than you have to? Of course, you don’t. In fact, if you chose a durable rain gutter material such as copper, there’s a chance that if they are well cared for you will never have to replace your rain gutters again.

Once your new rain gutter and downspout system are installed the best thing you can do to protect it and help it to last as long as possible is to hire a professional gutter cleaning company to come out and clean and inspect it on a regular basis.

You could clean them yourself, but if you did this then you would be losing the benefit of having a trained expert look at your gutters and inspect them for problems. While it will cost you money to hire a professional gutter cleaning company to come out and inspect your rain gutters, this is money that is well spent.

Gutter Cleaner

Much like you would spend time doing your homework before hiring a rain gutter installation company, you should hold any rain gutter cleaners you are considering to the same high standards.  They should be licensed, bonded, and insured. They should also have a stellar reputation. The good news is that there are lots of gutter cleaning companies out there, so if the one you are considering doesn’t seem to be a good fit, then move on to another one.

Not only will you get the benefit of having your rain gutters examined by a professional when they are getting cleaned, you will also get the benefit of having them more thoroughly cleaned.  Professional rain gutter cleaners have access to tools and have training that the average person doesn’t. So, when they finish your gutters really should look as good as they did on the day they were put in.

While hiring a professional gutter cleaning company is an expense, it’s an expense that will end up saving you money. It saves you money because your rain gutters will generally last longer, and they will also do a better job of protecting your house from water damage.

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right Rain Gutter Material, Style, Add-Ons, And Installer

Chances are that when you first decided that gutter replacement was necessary you probably didn’t think that it would be such a complicated process.  After all, rain gutters aren’t exactly cutting-edge technology. In fact, they are an ancient technology that hasn’t changed a lot in a long time because they are effective despite their simple design.  But, while they are fairly simple in nature, there are a lot of little nuances that you need to consider when you are going to have new house gutters installed.

The first thing you are going to have to look at is what kind of budget are you working with.  If you can afford to spend more money on gutters made from a more durable material, you are always going to be better off.  Gutters made from a more durable material will not only last longer, they will also usually need far fewer repairs made to them.

That means you will save money on repairs, and you will also save money because you won’t have to replace gutters made from durable materials as frequently as you have to replace cheaper gutters made from something like vinyl.

If you can afford a higher up-front cost it’s also not a bad idea to look into the benefits of seamless gutters.  Once again, this is a more expensive gutter option that is likely going to end up saving you money in the future. They save you money because they tend to be longer lasting, they are less likely to leak since they don’t have vulnerable joints, and they are easier to keep clean.  So, if you can afford seamless gutters, then you should strongly consider getting them.

What about add-ons? Add-ons such as gutter extensions can be very beneficial and help your gutters to protect your home.  On the other hand, add-ons like gutter guards are a waste of money that you should avoid. This right here is why it’s so important that you do sufficient research before making any final decisions about the new gutters and downspouts you are having installed.

You don’t’ want to skip out on an option that is going to be worth having, only to compound your error by spending money on something useless like a gutter guard system.

After you have learned as much as possible about house gutters, don’t make the mistake of trusting just anyone to install them for you.  You definitely don’t want to spend a lot of money on materials, only to be cheap with the installation. A great gutter installation company can probably get vinyl gutters to last for years because they use great care when installing them. Conversely, a handyman that doesn’t really know what he is doing can easily take a material such as copper, which is known for its durability, and ruin it.

The worst part about this type of scenario is that if this does happen, you probably won’t be able to get the handyman in question to pay for the damages he caused.  On top of that, there’s also a good chance that you may have paid the handyman in question up-front, and will now be out this money as well.

Having custom gutters designed and installed in your home isn’t the most exciting home improvement project, but it is one of the most important ones that you can have done.  A rain gutter and downspout system that does its job well will hardly be noticed by you, provided that you keep up on having it cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.

The key point here is that your rain gutters will work as long as you keep up on having them cleaned and maintained, which is something that you should entrust a professional to do.  So, while you may not feel overly enthusiastic about the prospect of having new gutters installed on your home, you really should give this process the time and respect that it deserves.