The rain gutter is an important component of a sound roofing system. Its main purpose is to protect the structure’s foundation and lower the risk of erosion. It is also a useful tool for collecting rainwater. Unfortunately, most people do not pay attention to rain gutters until it is too late—when they start experiencing problems caused by clogged gutters, such as leaks in the basement or a weakened roof structure.
For first-time homeowners who are not familiar with the importance of rain gutters, it is essential to know at least a few basics such as available sizes, styles and coating. Even if you will be hiring a contractor for gutter installation or replacement, having a general idea about these things can be useful.
Size and Style Options
There are three general sizes for a rain gutter: four, five and six inches (diameter), the two most common choices of which are five and six inches for residential structures. For downspouts, common sizes are 2 x 3 inches and 3 x 4 inches.
For styles, the most popular ones are K-style, Half-round and Seamless.
K-style gutters are called as such because they slightly resemble the letter “K.” They are also sometimes referred to as ogee-shaped gutters. The five- and six-inch types are the most commonly used sizes, and are also the most widely used in residential homes because they can hold a greater volume of water compared to the round variety.
Half-round gutters are generally chosen by homeowners who wish to have a gutter that is both stylish and functional. Although K-style gutters are more popular in the US, the half-round type has a strong following among homeowners with European-styled houses.
Seamless gutters are customized gutters that the contractor builds right on your property to ensure that it fits your roofing system perfectly. You can request the contractor to build it according to the style or design of your home.
Apart from rain gutter options, you should also carefully consider your choice of a gutter replacement or installation contractor.
You should take note of the following:
• Is the contractor from a bonded or insured company?
• Are their services and/or products covered by warranty?
• How many years have they been in the business?
• Do they have the proper licenses to carry out the work that they will be providing for you?
As an extra precaution, check out reviews or testimonials from previous clients. If none are available online, ask the contractor for references that you can call or talk to in person. Remember that your choice of contractor for gutter installation will greatly affect the quality, effectiveness, and longevity of your gutter.