In order to understand your gutter system as well as converse with a gutter professional, there needs to be a basic knowledge of the basic terminology used in the industry. By learning simple gutter components, and understanding their function, you’ll gain the needed information to make informed decisions when it comes to your home gutters.
Gutters are an important part of your roofing system. They collect rain and channel it away from your home. They protect your landscaping by preventing water from pooling around your home’s perimeter, and help you avoid the expensive hassles of foundation damage.
Here are some gutter basics to help you understand both gutter parts and their function.
Gutters without seams work better and longer than those with seams. Seamless gutters reduce the possibility of leaks, and they protect your roof, soffits, and fascia. They decrease the risk of structural damage to your home, and help keep your beautiful landscaping intact. Seamless gutters come in 5” and 6” options, are exceptionally strong, and are customizable so they complement your home.
These are typically used by DIY homeowners, and can tend to cause problems over time. Each “section” is held together with a clamp or screw. The issues that can arise with sectional gutters include sagging, leaking, and poor installation by DIY enthusiasts.
Gutters slant slightly so water can move toward your downspout rather than standing still. Downspouts are the vertical gutter parts that channel water from your gutters and drain it away from your home.
This is the fastener that connects two gutter sections on a corner.
This is the piece that connects to the end of the downspout so water can drain away from your home.
Debris can gather in uncovered gutters and thwart their purpose. Leaves and twigs can clog gutters and keep rainwater from draining properly. If water doesn’t drain, costly problems can result. Water can end up overflowing your gutters and pool below them, saturating the soil around your home’s perimeter. When soil is soaked, over time, it can impact your home foundation and cost you in time and money.
Gutter guards cover your gutters to keep debris out and allow water in. They deter pests and small animals from finding their way into your home, and help safeguard it from structural damage.
Gutters come in a variety of options so you can make the best long-term selection for your needs.
- Aluminum—These are popular, lightweight, and come in a variety of colors.
- Copper—These add distinct style to your home and last over 100 years with almost no maintenance required.
- Steel—These are super strong, yet if you don’t maintain them, they may rust after several years.
- Vinyl—These are lightweight and affordable, but they can be prone to cracking.
Boost your home value with distinct specialty gutters. Copper gutters grace your dwelling with an elegant, sleek look that adds character to your home’s looks. Steel gutters give you extreme durability against water, extreme temperatures, weather, and damage from impact.
Nordic Steel gutters are a cost-effective, eco-friendly option that will stand up to weather and wear with ease. Half-round gutters give your home unique style, and are available in aluminum or copper.
Best Types of Gutters for Historic Homes
To preserve your historic home and stay consistent with its authenticity, it’s important to choose the right gutters. If you don’t have gutters on your historic dwelling, you could end up with foundation damage—a costly and time-consuming hassle to repair.
Many historic homeowners choose copper gutters because they add sophistication to a home, last over 100 years, and require little to no maintenance. Copper is the gold standard when it comes to metal gutters. They start out as bright copper, and over time change to the color of a dark penny, and then turn an attractive verdigris green color.
K-style gutters are a great solution for homes built in the 1950s to present. Aluminum is a popular K-style gutter material, but copper and vinyl are also options.
Half-round gutters work perfectly on historic homes built between 1900 and 1960. They are made of aluminum, galvanized steel, or copper. They have a single or double bead, and a rolled edge for additional strength.
How to Know if You Need Gutters
If you get a lot of rain, gutters aren’t a luxury; they’re a necessity. If your roof overhang is over 10 inches, install gutters to protect your dwelling from moisture damage and foundation problems. Additionally, if the ground surrounding your home slopes toward it rather than away from it, gutters are vital to your exterior maintenance. Installing gutters protects your home from potentially damaging rain storms.
Why Hire a Gutter Professional to Install Your Gutters?
Gutter installation should always be done by a professional to ensure the end result gives you the high performance you expect. If gutters aren’t installed properly, it can cause standing water in your gutters. Standing water isn’t normal and can indicate major trouble. And since gutters protect your home from basement flooding, mold growth, and more, it’s vital you hire a reputable professional to install them with precision.
Why Chicagoland Homeowners Choose LeafCo for Gutter Installation
Get premium gutter installation from the detail-oriented professionals at LeafCo. We have been installing gutters since 2000. To simplify things, we do all the warranty paperwork, and if any issues arise, we address them promptly.
We make sure your gutters are installed right the first time, and go through a completion checklist to verify everything was done properly upon completion of your project.
To learn more about gutters, take a look at the details in our handy resource: Gutters and Gutter Guards: A Complete Guide for Buyers.