Rain gutters are your home’s invisible workhorses. It performs a vital function – to direct water away from your home.
Rain gutters are designed to be inconspicuous, so you won’t even realize they are there.
You might be thinking: does your home need a gutter system? Or does your current gutter need an upgrade? It is probably worth looking up your roof and checking, especially if you have been experiencing water damage in your home recently and don’t know why.
But if your home has no rain gutters and you haven’t noticed any water problems, you may be wondering if gutters are essential.
Learn more about gutters and discover why gutters are essential and how you can ensure yours do an excellent job. This article is for homeowners like you!
What Can Efficient Rain Gutters Do for Your Home?
The primary function is to direct rainwater away from your main home and into the drainage system. This function alone will save you from the stress caused by water damage.
The absence of gutters could result in an extensive list of troubles.
Heavy rainfall can cause havoc on structures in your homes without a gutter, such as your windows, doors, and sidings. These parts could start to rot.
Homes with no gutters could also end up looking like a pool. This pool of rainwater forms around your foundation, where it can compromise structural integrity.
For this reason, most homes are equipped with gutters. Homes will not last without them!
Here Are the 5 Main Benefits of Gutter Installation
The following explores the benefits of installing a good gutter system for your home.
Prevents Home Decay
One of the top benefits of a properly installed gutter is stopping leaks and rot. The walls of your house may not be entirely waterproof. Some components like tar paper might be vulnerable as well. Excess water causes shingles and sidings to shift, thus forming gaps that allow water to enter your home.
Once water permeates indoors, rotting could start to form in your sidings and roofing. More so, by not having an efficient way to divert rainwater, your siding can crack or break over time, deteriorating your home slowly every day.
As time passes, the different areas of your home may start to decay and cause additional expenses.
But with an efficient gutter, the rainwater will flow into a drain or safe area and cause no trouble!
Efficient Gutter System Prevents Erosion
Water may seem like a harmless element. But water damage can be severe to your home and lawn if you do not apply preventive measures.
Proper gutter installation prevents soil erosion.
If your home is not equipped with gutters or the gutter is installed improperly, water splashes from heavy rains on your lawns and green areas can lead to water splashes. As a result, erosion problems might ensue in your yard. Most of you probably know that eroded soils have fewer nutrients, moisture, and beneficial organisms.
Besides soil erosion, stagnant water in the yard can result in muddy soil, which is an eyesore that damages your landscape and turf.
More so, an eroded yard ruins the curb appeal of your property. You don’t want any of this to happen!
A proper gutter keeps erosion in check. The primary job of good gutters is to channel water into underground drainage systems, stopping it from accruing around your home and eroding the soil.
Without a doubt, an efficient and well-designed gutter will help you stop soil erosion.
Keep Your Home Foundations Strong
Another benefit to adequately installed gutters is that it diverts water away from your structure’s foundation.
The foundation is the most critical part of the structural stability of any house. You must pay attention to them!
What happens to excess water near your foundations because of inefficient gutters?
First of all, water puddles near your home’s foundation allow water to seep into them, thus softening the soil underneath.
With this weakened soil, your foundation could lose its strength and stability.
You might observe the direct effects of excess water accumulation or moisture on foundations by shifting and cracking surfaces. Too much standing water could turn your home into a weak, insecure, unstable structure.
Once your foundations shift or move, the walls might separate from the rest of your house!
Over time, you could experience a structural breakdown. Hence, it would be best if you had gutters.
Bear in mind that problems in your foundation are a much larger and more expensive home issue than replacing your gutters in the first place.
Properly Installed Gutters Protect Your Siding
Your gutter must do an efficient job collecting water from your roof to prevent damage in other home areas.
But neglecting to install a rain gutter properly could result in water finding its way into a seam and traveling to your siding, thus leading to mold and mildew growth.
If you do not fix this issue at once, your siding could rot or rust. In the end, the siding might no longer serve to protect your home.
Gutters installed perfectly can make your home completely waterproof. But remember to clean and maintain your gutters on schedule. In this way, your gutters will keep your home and landscape high and dry.
Guards Your Home Against Mold
The exteriors of your home gather moisture. But things could worsen if you don’t have a gutter system. The absence of gutters or an efficient gutter can cause your home to accumulate too much moisture.
This excess humidity is the ideal breeding ground for mold.
As water enters your siding and interior walls, the drywall can act as a food source and nurturing environment for mold growth. Be warned that mold is highly toxic and difficult to remove.
One of the benefits of properly installed gutters is that it reduces or stops water from entering your home in the first place. Hence, the chances of mold growth decrease.
To Install or Not to Install Gutters? Here’s What You Need to Know!
Not all homes may need a gutter, such as regions that experience a period of heavy rain. A gutter might not be necessary.
But in many cases, a home needs a good rain gutter to channel stormwater that lands on the roof.
In addition, a gutter prevents basement flooding and water from pooling on the sides of your home and driveway.
What Happens to a House with No Gutter?
What makes a house a house? Of course, a house needs walls, roofing, flooring, several windows, and doors. Is a basement essential for a house? Not really. But does your home need gutters? Well, that depends. Here are several opinions on the matter from homeowners and roofing experts.
Say Yes to Gutters!
Does your house have gutters and, over the years, lost them because of decay, rust, age, melting snow, ice, and so on? If your home used to have gutters and the gutters are now a distant memory, your home is now vulnerable to harsh elements.
Gutters propel water away from the foundations of your home. Because of this, the foundation walls stay dry and intact. If your home has a basement, any water standing next to your foundation could weaken it to a point where you need emergency and costly foundation repairs.
If your house used to have a gutter, and the gutter is now completely gone or deteriorated, a series of unpleasant issues can result, such as the following:
· Infiltration of water
· Ruined insulation of walls
· Mold and mildew growth
· Cracks on the foundation
You can avoid these troubles by investing in a new and sleek gutter today.
Say No to Gutters!
Some homes have peculiar qualities that do not need a gutter. Here are two examples: a home with no basement or a home with well-designed landscaping drainage. These homes may not require a gutter at all.
Because of gravity, the rain will simply roll off the roof and drain from your walls.
If where the water flows once it leaves your roof is not a concern for you, then you can get by not installing gutters.
But if you have no gutters and notice the following issues, installing a gutter will help:
· Standing water near your house.
· Water flows to areas of your yard that you prefer to keep dry.
· Structural additions to your home that require better drainage, such as a mother-in-law apartment or a new attached garage.
· Your landscaping has recently changed.
· You notice water stains, splatters, and streaks on your siding.
If you are undecided whether you need to install a gutter or not, please consult your local roofing and gutter professional to inspect your home and give you advice. Bear in mind that a home with no gutters might plunge in home value!
Basic Rain Gutter Styles and Sizes
Rain gutters come in these three styles.
Half-round gutters are shaped like tubes cut in half and effectively carry water away.
Their open and trough-like design makes half-rounds vulnerable to leaves and debris accumulation.
For this reason, many homeowners install leaf guards along with half-round gutters. In addition, the curved sides don’t sit against the fascia boards. Generally, brackets are required to keep these gutters in place. Although half-round gutters aren’t particularly appealing, they are the typical style found in homes built before the 60s. Hence, if you live in an older neighborhood or a historical town, local ordinances might require installing this rain gutter.
K-style gutters earned their name because it resembles the letter K when viewed from the side.
The K-style is the most common type of gutter for homes built within the past 50 years. Homeowners of these older homes still install them today. Because of the flat back design of the K-style, you can nail it directly to the fascia with no brackets required.
But what makes K-style gutters popular is the decorative front side that bears a resemblance to crown molding.
The flat bottoms and straight and outwardly angled sides of the K-style transport more water than the half-round gutter when it comes to performance. Hence, it is suitable for rainy climates. But one drawback to the K-style gutter is that it may easily become clogged gutters and be more challenging to clean than half-rounds because the interior angles collect debris.
Custom-Built Fascia Gutters
Custom builds have a smooth and sleek modern look. In contrast to a K- style or a half-round gutter, custom-built fascia gutters are not sold in pieces that fit together. Hence, it does not have a vulnerable seam to rusting and leaking.
Instead, these seamless gutters are built from one long stretch of aluminum. But these fascia gutters are more expensive and must be installed by professionals. They cost twice as much as a half-round or K-style gutter, allowing DIY installation. The installation of a custom-built fascia gutter itself can add up to hundreds of dollars, contingent on the size of your home.
Comparing the Different Rain Gutter Materials
What are the common materials for gutters? Here’s a breakdown:
The most popular material for rain gutters is aluminum. This metal comes in three standard thicknesses: .025-inch, .027-inch, and .032-inch.
Thin aluminum may be inexpensive but are more likely to dent or bend.
On the other hand, thicker aluminum metal is slightly more expensive but a worthy investment, especially in regions with snowfall.
You can find 10-foot-length aluminum gutters in many home improvement centers for DIY installation. Expect to shell out around $2 to $3 per foot of a DIY K-style aluminum rain gutter. You will be paying twice that much if you have them professionally installed.
Vinyl gutter systems are one of the most affordable choices of rain gutters and are easy to install because they are lightweight. This gutter material is easy to cut and snaps together.
You will find vinyl gutters available in different colors. More so, they can be painted to match your structure exactly. But vinyl is the least durable material for gutters. You could probably squeeze out 20 years of use from a vinyl gutter in climates that are not too severe.
Vinyl is also prone to fading under bright sunlight. Expect to shell out around $1 to $2 per foot of DIY K-style vinyl gutters and up to $5 per foot for professionally installed ones.
Zinc rain diverter gutters sit at the higher end of the price spectrum. But this metal is highly durable, corrosion-resistant, and can withstand weathering and warping.
Zinc gutters can last 50 years but generally less if you live near the ocean or salty air. Although zinc gutters start with a dull gray color, they eventually become an attractive patina as time passes.
But zinc gutters require professional installation because the joint and the ends must be welded. This material is usually installed on historic or high-end homes. Expect to shell out $10-$22 per foot for professionally installed zinc gutters.
Compared to other materials, a steel rain gutter is more durable than any other material, particularly in harsh weather climates.
Many steel gutters are galvanized to improve their rust resistance. But oxidation could still take hold of the material 10 to 15 years down the road. Installing leaf guards helps extend the lifespan of any rain gutter. But they are especially critical with a galvanized steel gutter. Multitudes of fallen leaves can speed up the onset of rust.
Hence, an option in the steel category is stainless steel. But although stainless steel gutters will not rust, they are significantly more expensive than galvanized steel.
All steel gutters are heavy; therefore, a DIY installation is not recommended. You might be paying around $8 to $10 per foot of professionally installed galvanized steel, nearly twice that of stainless steel.
Copper has an eye-catching aesthetic. But the shine will eventually age to a greenish patina.
Most homeowners feel that weatherworn copper creates an old-world charm. But although copper is highly durable and remains unfazed by any weather condition – from the highest heat to the coldest freeze, it is also the most expensive type of rain gutter. More so, it isn’t suitable for DIY installation. Copper is exclusively used in high-end homes and can last up to 100 years if installed and welded correctly. Expect to shell out $15 to $25 per foot of professionally installed copper gutters.
Frequently Asked Questions About Types of Gutters
What is the average cost of installing gutters?
The cost of installing gutters will be contingent on the gutter material.
· Vinyl costs about $3 to $5 per foot.
· Aluminum gutters cost about $6 and $12 per foot.
· Copper gutters can run you as much as $40 per foot.
You must also factor in your property’s specific architectural or structural feature that could increase the final cost.
How long do gutter systems last?
Again, the lifespan of gutters will be dependent on the materials used. Vinyl gutters can last up to 10 years, whereas copper gutters can last 100 years. Gutters made from aluminum’s most popular material can last up to 25 years.
How do you fix a sagging gutter?
A sagging gutter can be fixed in two ways. First, examine if your spikes are still tight and firm. In case of spikes that have loosened, tighten or replace them. Second, consider installing or fixing the hangers. You can fit gutter hangers in the affected parts or tighten screws on existing hangers that have become loose.
Is it possible to replace the roof without replacing the gutters?
Yes, this is possible. Although most homeowners prefer to replace their gutter when installing a new roof, it may not be necessary. Check with your roofing expert to ensure you are on the same page before installations begin.
Are you looking to uplift the efficiency of your home with a gutter system? Please call the professionals. Roofing and gutter experts can give you a free no-commitment estimate. Enjoy a better home in no time!
Does your home need a gutter? We can help you with your roofing needs. Don’t hesitate to call us!