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Homeowner’s Guide To The Gutter System

You know that inch of rainfall you see every once in a while? It adds up fast. Even just one inch of rain falling on an average-sized roof can create gallons down your wall and into your basement. So don't risk the damage that could result — get a gutter system today.

Gutters keep water from damaging your home's exterior, and a well-maintained gutter can also protect your family from health problems caused by mold and mildew. However, if you're still not convinced that gutters are something that everyone should have, then you need to read further!

Overview Of Gutters

Gutter systems are complex, multi-part systems that work together to keep water away from your foundation. Learn all about the different components of a gutter system here, so you know how to identify the damage if your gutters start leaking.

A Gutter System's Anatomy

Gutter:

The gutter is a long, rounded piece of plastic and metal that sits on top of your home. When it rains, the rainwater gets caught in all the grooves and then sent down through a pipe to your backyard. You can get gutters in various shapes and colors since they're one of the features of your home. Gutters are the roof parts that lie directly above the foundation (or fascia). They collect all the water that falls on your roof and direct it into downspouts.

Endcap:

Gutter end caps are the things that keep water from going everywhere except down the pipe so that you don't get toxic puddles in your flower beds and yard. They're the stoppers at each end of a gutter piece, forcing the water out through downspouts.

Fascia bracket:

Fascia is a lightweight, easy-to-install material that attaches to your eaves and supports your gutters. Whenever it rains, water will run smoothly down the fascia and drain into the gutter — making sure that your gutters stay sturdy and in good condition over time.

Downspout:

Downspouts are the vertical pipes that extend from the upper eaves of your roof to the ground. They ensure water flows away from the property, and they usually sit every few feet along a gutter to give plenty of opportunities for water to exit.

Elbow:

In a gutter system, it serves the function of connecting adjacent gutter pieces at sharp angles or curves. An elbow helps manage the maneuver and ultimately keeps the water flowing freely.

Hangers:

Gutter professionals typically use screws and bolts to secure guttering. But hidden hangers are a great alternative because they're easy to install and blend in with the fascia. These pieces directly attach to the fascia in the gutter for a seamless finish.

Splash Blocks:

These are parts that sit at the bottom of gutters. There are two different kinds of splash blocks, vertical and horizontal. They both sit at the bottom of the channel and divert water away from your home. They can be made out of aluminum, plastic, or even concrete.

Types Of Gutter System

It's easy to get overwhelmed when shopping around for gutters — the "gutter" world is a big one. There are two main types: sectional and seamless.

Sectional Gutters

Sectional gutters are made from a continuous gutter formed into a "section" and attached to your fascia board with hangers. Each section of the channel overlaps the next, making installation more accessible and less time consuming. Rather than placing a piece between two posts, you can join one section to another for a seamless transition.

According to The Spruce, the pros and cons of sectional gutters are:

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Easily available at most home centers
  • Simple to install
  • Sections can be individually switched out

Cons

  • Few styles and colors are available
  • Seams need to be sealed
  • May leak
  • Vinyl gutters cannot be painted

Seamless Gutters

Seamless gutters are experiencing a surge in popularity among homeowners due to their many advantages. Because these gutter systems are designed in continuous pieces, there are fewer leakage or water penetration points. The one-piece design also looks more attractive than traditional gutter systems with joints and fasteners.

According to The Spruce, the pros and cons of seamless gutters are:

Pros

  • Fewer seams to leak
  • Sleeker appearance
  • They have no length limit.

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not a DIY project
  • Difficult to replace portions

The Benefits Of A Properly Fitted Gutter System

Gutter systems are essential for protecting your roof from the damages of rain, snow, and ice. Here's why:

Prevent water leaks- Water leaks are a huge problem for homeowners who live in areas with immense rainfall. If you do not have the correct gutter system, water can seep into the exterior of your home, leading to leak— through the siding or the windows. A gutter system is essential for protecting against leaks!

Prevent water damage: Installing gutters is the best way to keep your home safe against water damage. Water damage is a significant threat to the longevity and integrity of any home. It can cause mold, rot, and even structural instability to your home's frame.

Saves your foundation – Gutters are more than just a decorative fixture of your home; they are an integral part of the drainage system that prevents water from pooling around your house. Without them, not only will you have to puddle after rainstorms constantly, but water could also cause erosion right by the walls of your home.

Choosing A Suitable Gutter Material For Your Home

If you're thinking about replacing your current gutter with a new one, you may be wondering what kind of materials are best for your gutter. This material has to be three things: tough, durable, and affordable. Depending on the roof's pitch, you will want to choose a material that will allow rainwater to flow freely into your gutters. 

Aluminum Gutters

An aluminum gutter is the most common gutter type, as it's inexpensive, durable, and available in a wide range of colors. Unlike steel, aluminum won't rust over time — meaning that it will last for decades without needing repair or replacement. In addition, its relatively low cost means that you won't have to spend a lot of money on maintenance.

Steel Gutters

Steel gutter systems are the most popular choice for homeowners because they come in galvanized steel or stainless steel. Stainless steel is durable, but it costs more than its galvanized counterpart. Galvanized steel is comparably priced to aluminum but lasts longer.

Vinyl Gutters

A vinyl gutter system is the best choice for most homeowners who want to replace their old gutters. Vinyl is lightweight, which means it's easier and safer to install; it's also affordable, so you get great value for your money. However, for homeowners in New Jersey who receive a significant amount of snow in the winter, you may want to choose something else. Vinyl can crack when exposed to freezing temperatures, leading to water pooling and leaks.

Rain Gutter Designs

Gutter designs are perhaps the essential part of your rain gutters system. That's because the rain gutter designs determine how well your gutters function — and how long they will stand up to the wear and tear of the outdoors. 

K-Shape Gutters: The K-shape gutter is one of the most popular gutter designs available, and for a good reason: it does a fantastic job of carrying water away from your home. The design is a straight-sided "k" with creased lines running down both sides. The creases add structural strength to the profile, letting it carry more water than half-round gutters.

Fascia Shape: Tall and narrow gutters, which encompass the entire height of a building's fascia, are typical on one- or two-story homes. These gutters are challenging to clean because of their deep entrenchment and may require special tools that can fit inside the gutter's crevices to remove heavy debris from the edges.

Half-Round Shape: Half-round gutters are shaped like a half-circle and provide a traditional look. If you're looking for copper gutter installation, half-round gutters are likely the best choice. In addition, a half-round gutter is more comprehensive than tall, making it an ideal shape for people who want water to flow quickly away from their homes. 

Final Thoughts

Champion Exteriors is here to help you evaluate your home's gutters and find the perfect gutter path for your home. Every home is different, from building materials to rainwater runoff, which means it's essential to choose a system that will protect your property from seasonal damage. Since each building material has its own set of characteristics, Champion Exteriors wants to make sure you're choosing the right gutter for your home.

We don't just build good gutters, and we make the best gutter system. That's because we've been in business for 86 years and have seen how different gutter companies operate. By staying away from fly-by-night operations, we've been able to provide the lowest prices on the market while simultaneously providing a higher quality of service than our competitors.

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