Published: 09/30/2010 by SeamlessGuttersToday.com Article Team
While they tend to go overlooked, rain gutters are an invaluable addition to any home. By lining the edge of the roof, they collect and direct rainwater and melting snow runoff away from the siding and foundation of the house to a safer location, thus adding decades of durability to a home’s appearance and integrity. There are a multitude of colors and styles to choose from that will match the aesthetics of virtually any exterior or accommodate for any steep or nontraditional roof line.
Gutters are attached at the house’s eaves, and pitched at a slight angle to allow the water to flow to the attached downspouts located at the corners of the house. The downspouts divert the water to the ground and away from the house to reduce the saturation and rotting of the foundation and fascia, prevent basement flooding, minimize siding wear and tear, and protect the home’s surrounding landscaping from erosion and flooding. There are two popular systems of gutters that are used today; both systems can be made of steel, aluminum, or vinyl, and both systems help to protect and preserve the home, as well as compliment the exterior’s aesthetics.
Sectional gutters are purchased in pre-cut sections, anywhere from 10 to 22 feet, and joined together with connectors to match the lengths of the roof lines. Sectional gutters can be purchased from a number of home improvement stores, making them a relatively easy do-it-yourself project. However, this system is known to develop leaks at the connecting seams, defeating the purpose of the gutter. This problem resulted in the creation of seamless gutters.
Seamless gutters are made on-site with a portable gutter extrusion machine to custom fit any eave length. This system eliminates seams, and thereby any leaks they produce. However, since portable gutter extruders typically run in the $12,000 range, they are not viewed as do-it-yourself friendly, and normally require an installer or contractor.
Even with constantly improving technology and ideas, gutters will still require routine maintenance and cleaning to ensure their effectiveness in the fight to preserve the home. Some products, like leaf guards and gutter screens, may make the job easier or less time consuming, but the bottom line is that gutters will always require a few hours on a ladder each year to ensure that they’re working properly to protect against the elements. The time invested will be rewarded with the assurance that the home is being kept structurally sound and looking great.