A gutter system plays a big role because it alone is responsible for conducting rain, snow, ice, and even hail away from a structure before these can cause any damage. If a gutter is leaking, has begun sagging, or has pulled away from the edge of the roof, water can enter the home and wreak havoc. Gutter systems are not created equal, so it is important to research the options before making a purchase.
The system must be able to handle the anticipated volume of water without overflowing. At the same time, it must not create an eyesore. A gutter specialist can determine the correct size for gutters and downspouts based on expected water flow and the size and design of the home. This professional also knows which downspout configuration will most effectively drain water away from the house.
Gutters are made from copper, steel, vinyl, aluminum, and other materials. Many types are sold in ten-foot lengths, with slip fittings used to fasten seams. Seamless gutters made from aluminum are also available. These feature seams only at corners and downspout outlet locations, with the gutter itself being a continuous piece, typically made from aluminum.
A gutter system can be installed on an average home in a single day. If a seamless gutter is selected, a special trailer- or truck-mounted machine is used to cut each piece to a custom measurement. Various attachment options are available including a spike and hollow tube called a ferrule and a hidden bracket that locks into the gutter.
Before committing to a gutter system, request a consultation with a gutter professional to discuss the options. Ask for samples of the different materials and colors. Get a written estimate and several local addresses where gutters where installed. Compare workmanship, quality, and price to arrive at the best solution.