While rain gutters aren’t an exciting topic they do perform a very important function: routing water from your roof to proper drainage away from your house. By doing this, they protect your walls and foundation from water damage. Since gutters are so important to homeowners I get a lot of questions about them. So here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers. If you don’t see your question here in this Rain Gutter FAQ then please ask me. Because I’m always help to help!
When Are Rain Gutters Necessary?
My official answer to this is ALWAYS. Gutters are always necessary on every home! Here are some good reasons why that is:
- Dirt surrounding your home – Water + dirt = mud. That creates a mess that eventually gets tracked inside your home. Also, once water makes its way to your foundation the dirt will serve as a pipeline to continue delivering water to the same spot. By using gutters with a drainpipe and ground-based gutter line, you can direct the water a safe distance from your home.
- The surrounding landscape slopes upwards – When your home is at the bottom of a slope on at least one side, water will pool along the foundation both above and below ground. Using gutters on that side of the home will allow you to redirect the water towards a downward sloping side. A small gutter along the ground will assist with any runoff from the landscaping.
- Little or no overhang – Roofs which fit close to the home allow water to pour from the roof to within a foot of the foundation, creating numerous problems. Frequent rains will cause trenches to form where the water forms. Rainwater remains close to the foundation once absorbed by the ground, causing extensive damage over time. You may also have to pass through a waterfall when entering or exiting your home during a storm.
Which rain gutters are best?
Here are the three best types of gutters for your home:
Avoid wood, plastic, PVC, and vinyl. They each have their own problems that make them poor choices. Here’s a Gutter Selection Guide to help you make the best choice for your home.
For most homeowners, aluminum is the best material. Specifically, seamless aluminum gutters made on-site. Because it’s versatile, durable, and low cost in comparison to the others. Aluminum gutters come in many colors and last for decades without rusting. They provide one of the lowest annual costs of any gutter material. Other options include copper, which lasts the longest of common gutter materials but is among the most expensive. Galvanized steel is also a good choice. Because holds up in almost any weather but requires more maintenance and comes in fewer color options.
Why do some roofers advise against having gutters?
If a roofer says something ridiculous like this then be sure to have ALL their work inspected by someone who actually knows what they are doing. Here are some of their outlandish claims:
1) Many roofers claim that having a gutter will ruin the fascia boards of your roof. The truth is these boards are one by six inches and support the roof’s overhang. Improperly installed gutters may splash these boards during rainstorms, causing them to rot. However, facial boards are relatively inexpensive to replace, unlike having to lift or replace a foundation. Fascia boards will not be damaged if the gutters are properly installed.
2) Since gutters are extra work to install, and involved special knowledge and equipment they don’t have, they simply lie to avoid the task.
3) Sometimes they are up selling you for more labor. In which case the roofer may suggest extending the roof instead of adding a gutter. This is unscrupulous for lots of reasons and a bad idea in general. See reason #3 above under Why Are Rain Gutters Necessary.
Do gutters increase home value?
Installing new gutters can raise your home’s value because it increases the lifespan and functionality of your home. They also add cosmetic appeal when using a high quality metal such as copper.
Are gutters worth the money?
Like any home improvement project, deciding to install rain gutters is an investment. However, it can definitely be worth your money as it proves to be a necessary asset on rainy days. Gutters can help you by preventing further issues that would increase costs in the long run.
How long do gutters last?
Given the proper care and maintenance, and barring unforeseen severe damages, most gutters will last 20 years or more.
- Aluminum gutters have a life expectancy of 20 years or longer in the right environment.
- Galvanized steel lasts about 15 to 20 years.
- Copper lasts 50 years or more.
When should I replace my rain gutters?
If you start observing that your home’s exterior has mold or cracking paint, this may very well indicate that your gutters need replacing. Leaves and debris can become a fire hazard, and they can cause damage to your residential or commercial property. Weighed down by obstructions and debris can lead to a gutter sagging. Gutters may not be sloped appropriately and therefore they may not be serving their purpose, which is to channel water away from the property’s foundation.
Another indication that gutters aren’t working as they should is if the foundation has cracks in it or if you notice that the basement is damp. It’s a fact of life that gutters clog. And then water is therefore made to overflow over the sides. This, of course, leads to water buildup. Having a gutter services expert in Los Angeles or the surrounding metro area come to assess the issue is best. The rain gutter contractor can offer what you need.
Here’s 6 signs to look for showing when you need new gutters:
- Too many cracks and splits to repair.
- Sever rust or deterioration
- Water and Mildew around the home’s foundation.
- Water damage around or beneath the gutters.
- Sagging Gutters
- Sever damage from large heavy falling objects (trees, ladders, construction, storm debris, etc.)
How Often Should I Clean My Gutters?
We recommend that you clean your gutters at least twice a year, in spring and fall. You may need to do so more frequently if your gutters are located close to trees or after a heavy storm. Getting debris like leaves and twigs out of your gutter is extremely important. A clogged gutter can cause damage to your roof or a leak inside of your home when it rains. Not to mention, it presents a fire hazard during dry conditions.
What’s the Difference Between Seamless & Sectional Gutters?
Sectional gutters come in 10- or 20-foot sections. They are cheap because they are commonly made from sub-standard materials. And because they are generic to (poorly) fit any home. Also the sections can leak and are prone to sagging and breaking.
Seamless gutters are continuous, meaning, no seams in the long runs. But they are more expensive because they are made from higher quality materials. And also they are custom made to perfectly fit your home. They are far less prone to leakage, sagging, debris collection, and blockages.
How can I tell if my gutter is clogged?
A clogged gutter is pretty easy to spot and it does not take a professional to do so. The first indication that there is a problem is when you notice the water pouring out of the sides of your gutter. The water in your gutter should run down the gutter itself smoothly and come out at the bottom of the downspout. If you notice that your downspout only trickles during or after a rain storm, there is a clog somewhere. Another indication that there may be a clog is when your gutter starts to sag and appears heavy. This is due to debris and leaf buildup in the gutter itself.
When Should I Call A Gutter Pro?
Anytime you need a gutter repair or installation, you should contact a gutter contractor. A incorrect gutter installation cause long term problems for your home. For repairs, it’s best to have a pro find the source and make the appropriate fix. A heavy storm that produces high winds may damage your gutters. While hail storms are seldom in San Diego, hail causes lots of damage too. These are good times to contact a pro for an inspection and/or repairs
If you didn’t see your question here in this rain gutter FAQ then let us know. Ask a question, get an answer! Do you need gutter cleaning, maintenance service, or new gutter installation? Please call or text us for a free quote.
Owner: Greg Martin
Location: San Marcos, CA. 92069
Service Area: All San Diego County