How to Choose a Gutter System

Gutters carry water off your roof and away from the foundation of your home. A subpar gutter can cause rainwater to soak the foundation of your home and lead to structural damage, mold, or wood rot. If your home's gutter is no longer functioning properly, you may want to replace it with a new gutter system. Here are three tips to help homeowners choose a new gutter system.

1. Choose your material.

Gutters can be crafted from various materials. Vinyl and aluminum are commonly used. These materials are lightweight and rust-resistant, which is important since gutters will be exposed to water. Vinyl can be manufactured in colors that blend in nicely with the exterior of your home. Vinyl gutters are often manufactured as modular components, which means you can install them yourself, even if you aren't particularly handy with tools. Meanwhile, aluminum gutters afford homeowners the sturdiness of metal without a lot of added weight. One of the most durable materials is stainless steel. Keep in mind that stainless steel is heavier, so your gutter will need to be firmly bracketed to your house. Each material has its own pros and cons that you will have to evaluate for yourself.

2. Pick a size.

Gutters come in various sizes to accommodate different levels of rainfall. Smaller gutters are adequate to catch light rainfall. However, small gutters can overflow in heavy rain, rendering them ineffective at their primary job. Large gutter systems are typically six inches in diameter. These bigger gutters are better suited to moving large quantities of water. Consider the climate and weather patterns of where you live when picking a size.

3. Decide on your desired level of enclosure.

You'll also need to decide how open you want your gutters to be. Gutter downspouts are always enclosed, but the portion of the gutter that encircles the perimeter of your roof may be completely open or partially closed. Open gutters can catch more rainwater, but they also tend to accumulate leaves. You'll have to clean an open gutter more frequently to prevent it from getting clogged. A mesh screen can be fitted over the top of your gutter to strain out larger pieces of debris. If your area doesn't get a lot of rain, you may prefer a gutter that is mostly enclosed with small slits or holes to admit rain. These gutters keep out leaves, branches, twigs, and other types of organic matter.

To learn more, contact a company like Clinton Seamless Guttering.