You may be building a new home or renovating your existing home. In either case, the types of gutters you choose will have a major impact on the appearance of your home as well as the performance and durability of your gutters over the long term.
It’s easy to find common low-grade gutters at your favorite home improvement store, but it’s worth spending some time exploring the full range of gutter and downspout solutions available. There are many different materials, designs, and colors out there, so you have a bevy of choices open to you that combine functionality with style for your home, and your roofing company in Chicago can help sort them out for you. Have a look at how to find the best gutters for your home.
Variety of Gutters for Your Home
Your choice of gutters has a little to do with the appearance you want and a lot to do with how it will facilitate water drainage. Plus, you want to be able to clean your gutters out easily. There are a number of different gutter styles open to you, but most homes are outfitted with gutter shapes from one of these three styles, and the roofing companies that offer them can provide you with the details up close:
- K-Style: This design is one of the most popular given its structural integrity and its water drainage efficiency. The K-style gutters are also relatively easier to clean than the other alternatives.
- Fascia: This style is a taller, narrower gutter that offers great curb appeal. It is also an efficient water drainage system. Because it is narrower, it can be more difficult to clean debris out of the gutters than other styles.
- Half-Round: This type of gutter is very easy to clean, but its half-round design leaves it more prone to debris buildup. The U-shape limits the amount of water it can facilitate through the downspouts, so during a heavy storm, you may find the gutters overflowing.
Does Material Matter for your Gutters?
The style of your gutters is not the only feature that affects their performance, appearance, and cost. The type of materials used in your rain gutters and downspouts will play a role as well.
- Aluminum: This metal is widely used for many reasons. It is very cheap and lightweight, so it is ideal for gutters. And aluminum does not rust while being easily paintable. The metal is very durable to last a long time but it can be prone to denting and over time, its appearance can fade, which may age your home.
- Vinyl: As far as cost, vinyl works out to be more economical than aluminum, and it is easier to install so if you’re a DIYer, vinyl might be your solution. This material offers great durability and flexibility in painting it any color you choose, but vinyl suffers degradation over time with exposure to heat and sunlight. So your gutter system is more likely to be brittle, fade, and break outright over the years.
- Steel: Enjoy the lasting look of aluminum with increased strength through steel gutters. Steel, however, is very heavy and requires a professional roofing company in Chicago to provide the proper installation. As well, steel can rust over time, so it may start out stronger, it might not last quite as long as other weaker gutter materials.
- Zinc: If you want gutters that last, you’re looking for zinc gutters, which are designed to endure for 50 years or more. Because zinc will develop a natural patina over time with exposure to the elements, it will grow more attractive as the years pass. Similar to aluminum and vinyl, zinc gutters are rust-proof. But such a lasting gutter will have a higher price tag and will need professional installation. Some homes are not suited for zinc gutters at all, such as oceanfront properties, as the salty air can corrode the material.
- Copper: Make your home’s curb appeal. Copper gutters give your home a distinct appearance in your neighborhood. Over time, copper ages from a brownish-red shine into a green patina that carries its own unique beauty. This choice of gutter material can last up to 100 years under the right conditions, but it can be very expensive and you are locked into that single color, as copper gutters cannot be painted.
Determining the Right Gutters for Your Home
Deciding on the right gutters for your home can be a difficult choice that your roofing company in Chicago can help with. Here are some ways you can navigate through the decision-making process:
- Check with your homeowner’s association about restrictions on roof gutter styles. Some homeowner’s associations might restrict some types of gutters, for example, aluminum or vinyl, for certain colors may not be permitted. This can help you to eliminate some choices.
- Establish your budget. A limited budget will cut some options like zinc or copper, so you will have less to choose from.
- Match the gutter color to the exterior of your home. If certain gutter colors or materials clash with your home’s exterior style, they may not be the right options for you.
- Consider how long you will live in your home. You may prefer the style and longevity of copper gutters but the cost may not be feasible if you will be selling your home anytime soon.
- What’s your maintenance plan? Keeping your gutters clean is important and you may have to deal with some gutter repairs down the road. You will want to make these tasks as easy as possible with the right shape of gutters to reduce your labor requirements.
New gutters are certainly an investment, but they also provide an excellent opportunity to improve the drainage on your roof as well as the appearance of your home’s exterior. The right roofing company in Chicago can help you make sure your gutters are properly fitted to your home’s design, your maintenance capabilities, your budget, and your plans.