Gutter Products - Often overlooked items you need to know!
by seamlessgutterstoday.com on 09/23/2010 - 05:59 pm |
Tags: Gutter Products
Shopping for gutters can be a confusing ordeal to the average do-it-yourselfer looking to install their own gutter system. With the multitude of different pieces that go into constructing an effective system, there are a few components that don’t always get the consideration they deserve. These commonly overlooked products help to maximize the efficiency of your gutter system, reduce the time spent tending to gutter maintenance, and are still designed to look good when they’re installed properly.
Splash blocks are used to prevent the diverted rainwater from eroding any landscape surrounding the downspout, as well as carry water further from the foundation. They can be purchased at virtually any home improvement store and come in a variety of colors and designs that are available to coordinate with the aesthetics of your home’s exterior. Splash blocks can range from a basic colored polyprolene pad, running about $6 at GutterSupply.com (http://www.guttersupply.com/p-splashblocks-master-mark.gstml), to decorative concrete slabs, boasting intricately etched designs, priced at about $60.
Your gutters are designed to endure the worst of all the seasonal conditions, so make sure your hangers are, too — gutter hangers need to be able to support the weight of the entire gutter system in the worst of conditions. For this reason, quality hangers are highly recommended. Using common spike and ferrule hangers is easier on the wallet, but tends to require more maintenance. Eventually, the spike will work itself free, causing the gutter to sag, and rendering it useless until repaired. The best gutter hangers available use screws and hidden brackets to securely attach the gutters to the roofline, thereby eliminating dangerous gutter sag due to failed hangers. Products such as the Hidden Hanger, sold by AmeriMax, will provide extra sturdy, reliable support for your gutters through the worst the seasons have to offer. Sold separately, these hangers run about $2 (Lowes.com), but they can be bought in bulk for discounted pricing. Even if the initial investment seems steep, over time the hangers pay for themselves.
The debris and foliage carried into your gutters can make for a nasty blockage in your downspout, resulting in a heavy backup of standing water in the gutter channel. If you’re not prepared with quality hangers, the excess weight could cause your hangers to buckle, the gutter to sag, and, consequently, spill gallons upon gallons of rainwater onto your siding, windows, and around the foundation of your home. On top of that, clearing the clog can be pretty frustrating, too: the debris is lodged in an enclosed pipe, and if you cannot reach it by hand, you will need two people to safely knock the clog out. Fortunately, downspout guards are designed to prevent clogs and backups entirely — they are installed just above the entrance to the downspout to block any debris, while still allowing water to flow through freely. Amerimax sells a basic aluminum downspout strainer for about $2.50 (http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xhv/R-100051649/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053). However, if you happen to live in a heavily wooded location, or somewhere frequented by strong winds and storms, you should consider upgrading to something better suited to your area. The Wedge by Thermwell Prods. Co. is a self-cleaning plastic wedge that easily installs without tools. The Wedge contains screens on the sides, top, and bottom to allow unimpeded water flow, while still stopping all the sticks, leaves, and other debris that get carried into your gutter channel. The Wedge can be picked up for around $5 (http://www.ronshomeandhardware.com/Wedge-Downspout-Screen-p/239155.htm?click=1014&source=googleps).