Gutters Do More Than Keep Heads Dry
They’re not just there to keep dripping water off your stylish hairdo as you stroll out of your house and into a driving rainstorm. Neither are they meant to add a decorative – albeit functional – “hem” around the perimeter of your home as some sort of beautification technique. Gutter systems serve one of the most important roles in preserving the structural integrity of a building by channeling water from the roof to downspouts that direct runoff away from your eaves and, most importantly, from your home’s foundation.
The fallout from a dysfunctional or nonexistent gutter system can be pretty serious. And, the simple, relatively inexpensive repair to, or addition of good gutters can save thousands of dollars while ensuring a healthy atmosphere inside your home. Consider these factors of inefficient handling of water runoff – rain or melting snow – from your roof.
- Water settling along your home’s foundation leads to moisture intrusion in basements and crawl spaces which can cultivate mold and algae. This not only causes a rank odor, but it’s bad for anyone with allergies!
- Water damage and rotting of wood fascia – the boards that run along the lower edge of the roof.
- Rainwater that is not directed away from your home can find a way behind your siding and/or walls, resulting in swells and warping.
- Improperly functioning gutters can dump water onto decks and porches.
- Clogging of gutters that are not sloped properly causes back-up and spillovers that can damage and stain a home’s exterior.
If you don’t have a well-functioning gutter system, most roofing contractors have the skillset to correct the situation by installing new gutters or repairing your existing ones. They can also save you the time, risk, and messiness of getting up a ladder and up on your roof to clean and unclog gutters. Keeping your gutters free of leaf build-up, removing obstacles within the gutter channel, such as a stray baseball tossed onto the roof by neighborhood kids, is essential to maintaining a sound roof and home foundation.
Types of Gutters
- LeafGuard® Gutters
- Seamless Gutters (aluminum, copper, painted steel, or zinc)
You can find gutters in a variety of colors as well as metal and vinyl materials. So, let’s say you’re a big fan of the Florida Gators… you can pair your orange-painted house with Berkshire Blue gutters from RDCA/Petersen Aluminum PAC-CLAD gutter systems. Now, that’s team spirit!
Gutters also vary in water-channeling capacity, normally defined in terms of 5” and 6” gutters. These dimensions refer to the width of the opening along the top of the gutter. Six-inch gutters are usually used on commercial buildings while 5-inch gutters are most often used for homes.
There are also K-style gutters and half-round gutters, referring to the contours of the gutter itself. Because of its shape, a K-style gutter is less likely to bend when confronted by severe winds; the weight of ice or snow; or impact by a fallen tree limb. This shape also allows for a lighter material to be used in the gutters’ fabrication. Less weight means less stress on the fascia and rafter tails of the home or building onto which gutters commonly attach.
In 1992, Englert – the 50+ year-old manufacturer of metal roofing and gutter systems – developed the only patented, one-piece, seamless leaf-shedding gutter system. The following year, Englert had this innovation on the market and the rest is history. The LeafGuard® gutter system revolutionized the industry. Seems like a no-brainer, right? Who wouldn’t want a gutter system that could prevent leaves (and errant baseballs) from necessitating a trip up a dangerous ladder in order to remove such obstacles? Other manufacturers soon followed suit and many types of leaf filters and “gutter tops” are now available that fit standard gutters.
“The biggest benefit that sold me on Leafguard was the fact that my husband would not have to get up on a ladder and clean the gutters anymore.”
– LeafGuard® homeowner
Hi-Tech Roofing Pros Give Property Owners the Fastest, Most Accurate Estimates for Gutter Work.
Roofing specialists who use the iRoofing mobile app for measuring, estimating, and coordinating roof and gutter projects can create a professional roof report that includes gutter materials needed.
As a property owner, you can see a virtual blueprint of the proposed project with a careful breakdown of gutters and roofing materials, such as shingles, tiles, and cedar shake; accessories like vents and ice & water shields; and gutter tops. Using the app, the items on the detailed roof report can then be instantly translated to an accurate estimate, thus preventing over or under ordering of materials. Your contractor’s estimate will be based on his specific pricing, mark-ups, mark-downs, waste factor, and labor costs. There will never be surprise expenses you didn’t bargain for! In fact, once you sign off on a project, the Hi-Tech Contractor can zip a purchase order off to his distributor so that project materials arrive at your home without delay. See a virtual blueprint of your roof or gutter project
- Get accurate, line-item estimates
- Avoid overlooked charges added to your project by a forgetful contractor
- Pick out your preferred roof materials and colors from the iRoofing app’s digital catalog of leading manufacturers
- See your roofing materials perfectly superimposed on an image of your home with the app’s Roof Visualizer
- Sign a contract, digitally, on the spot
- Have your materials ordered right away by the contractor so your project can start without delay
Hire an iRoofing-Certified Hi-Tech Contractor!
Roof Oils? What’s That All About?
Leaves and debris aren’t the only things that can compromise a gutter system. If you have asphalt shingles, as most property owners do, they’re made with petrochemical oils that help the material weather hot and cold temperatures. Roof oils gradually seep from the shingles which can cause leaf guards to become clogged. Innovative gutter engineering by MasterShield® takes the form of a patented, self-cleaning micro-mesh filtration on a gutter guard. This advanced gutter technology utilizes the same principle as a tent. Tent material keeps water from dripping inside, but if you touch the tent from the inside, a bit of water is released. MasterSheild® uses this same concept to release oil build-up that could otherwise fill the tiny holes of a gutter guard. What will they think of next?
Gutters - Get Them Done Right with a Hi-Tech Roofing Contractor!
The importance of a good gutter system simply can not be underestimated. Properly installed and precisely angled gutters can really extend the life of your roof and protect your entire home from the scourge of moisture penetration, not to mention keeping that cool hairdo in place when you walk out your front door and into a rainy day! Don’t skimp when it comes to gutter work. Find a contractor – preferably an iRoofing-Certified Hi-Tech Contractor™ to show you the best gutter materials and install them correctly.