Life in The Gutter

We all know gutters catch water running off our roof and control where the water flows. We also know that other things, like leaves, acorns, and pine needles, get caught in them. “Clean out the gutters” has become the most dreaded item on the honey-do list. Unfortunately that task is very important to the safety of your home. In hot, dry conditions, leaves and pine needles are a fire hazard. In heavy rains, those items caught in your gutters can cause overflow and damage to your house.

The best thing you can do to help prevent damage is maintenance. Clean out your gutters at least twice a year: once in the spring after acorns and other spuds drop off and once in the autumn after the leaves finish falling. Consider using a leaf blower on low power to blow leaves and sticks off your roof. Keep your trees trimmed back so that they don’t hit your gutters or tough your roof. You can also have gutter guards installed. Gutter guards prevent the unwanted leaves, sticks, pine needles, and other objects from getting into your gutters in the first place. This allows the water to flow freely and keeps “clean out the gutters” off your honey-do list.

Look for gaps, sags, and leaks in your gutters or where they connect to your house. Any of these signs indicate you have a problem with your gutter system. Don’t paint your gutters; buy colored ones. Painting your gutters to match your front door looks good, but decreases the lifespan and warranty of your gutter system. The lifespan is normally 20-30 years. Don’t miss out on a decade or 2 because of that mistake. The list of causes of damage to your gutters might be a mile long, but some common ones are: leaning your ladder against them, gutter seams are splitting apart, ice formation, pest infestations, stains from constant overflowing, rusting spikes, and storm and tree damage.

There are many options when choosing a new gutter system for your house. You have different materials, styles, colors, and sizes to pick from as well as whether you want sectional or seamless construction. Some gutter systems can even be used for rainwater harvesting if you live in a remote area. There are 6 main types of gutter materials: aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, galvalume, zinc, and vinyl. Aluminum gutters are the most popular since they come in a variety of colors, are the least expensive, are corrosion-resistant, and lightweight. Vinyl gutters are popular with do-it-yourselfers, but can cost more down the road since they have half the lifespan of any other material and aren’t recyclable. The most popular style of gutters today is the 5-inch aluminum K-style. No they are not shaped like a K; they were just the eleventh style in the most popular style listing. You have the option to choose from styles A through L, fascia, half round, European, or rain handler. As for color, once you have chosen a material, you can then decide if you want your gutters to match your roof, trim, or home color. The gutter size is based on the width across the top of your gutter. In most cases, a 5-inch is perfectly fine. A sectional or seamless system is your personal preference.

The basis here is keep your gutters clean, but if you do need new gutters, you have many options. To help sort through all of your choices, call the right San Diego roofing contractor like Urbach Roofing at 760-471-5065. They will help you make the right decision the first time.