Gutters FAQ

What is a seamless gutter? Seamless gutters are single-piece gutters that are formed on the work site in order to match the measurements needed for a particular job. As the name implies, seamless gutters do not have any seams. Gutters can be formed in lengths anywhere from 12 inches to over a hundred feet.

What is a leader or downspout? These terms are generally used interchangeably. Leaders and downspouts are the vertical pieces that channel the water from the gutters down to the ground.

How are gutters secured to the home? There are several different ways to mount gutters to a home – but the most common way is with hidden hangers attached to the flat fascia board under the eaves.

Are there different styles of gutters? Yes. There are basically two styles. The standard K-style is used on the majority of homes and is available in the seamless option. The half-round style which, as the name implies is more rounded than the traditional K-style, is available in 20-foot lengths.

What happens if the wood behind my gutters is rotted? The wood would need to be replaced. It is not possible to fasten new gutters to rotting wood.

Why would the wood behind my gutters rot? Many factors can cause this – but the most common is improper gutter cleaning. If the gutters are not cleaned and become clogged, they cannot do their intended job – that is, to drain water away from the house. If the gutters become clogged and overflow, the water comes in contact with the wood behind the gutters, and over time, causes the wood to rot.

How do gutters become clogged? Debris which lands on the roof may accumulate in gutters, eventually obstructing water drainage. This debris can be made up of leaves, pine needles, seeds, flowers, etc. When this debris starts to clog the downspouts and gutters, water will begin to spill over the edge of the gutters, drip down the walls of the home and collect around the base of the home. If this situation is not corrected, it can lead to damaged siding, windows, doors, foundation and possibly water leaks.

What happens when gutters get clogged? If the drainage function of gutters is compromised, water will spill over and drip down the sides of the house. Eventually, this may damage the siding, windows, and doors; and compromise the building seals that keep your house watertight, resulting in water leaks. It can also cause damage to your foundation – something that should be avoided at all costs; foundation repair is very expensive.

Can I protect my gutters from getting clogged? There are several different types of gutter guard/protector systems that can be attached to your gutters to prevent particles from collecting in the gutter. These systems won’t necessarily eliminate clogs, but will greatly reduce the frequency. There are new gutter systems that don’t use downspouts – they use louvers to disperse the water. These types of system are a lot less prone to clogging and are almost maintenance free.

How do you clean gutters? The best way to get your gutters clean is to hire a professional. But if you still want to tackle this dangerous task yourself, then you need to make safety your number one priority. It is not worth it to fall and injure or kill yourself to clean your gutters. You will need to remove any debris that has accumulated with in the gutters and downspouts either by hand or with a garden hose. Again, it is recommended that you hire a professional company to come in and clean your gutters.

How often should your gutters be cleaned? This will vary depending on the environment and landscaping around the home. It is a good idea to have your gutters checked and cleaned at least twice a year – in the fall after the leaves drop, and in the spring to clear out seeds that accumulate at the beginning of the growing season. If your home is surrounded by trees, you may need to get your gutters cleaned more often.

How much does it cost to get gutters cleaned? This will vary depending on your location, size of your home, height of and difficulty in accessing the gutters. Most companies charge by the linear foot. Most companies will provide you with a free estimate for your specific home.

How much does a new gutter system cost? It costs much less to protect against water damage and moisture penetration then it does to correct unsafe, unhealthy conditions and structural damage. The cost of a new gutter system will vary depending on several factors such as:

  • The type of gutter material used – aluminum, steel, or copper
  • The linear footage of gutter required
  • The number and length of down spouts
  • The number of mitered corners
  • Whether or not the fascia boards, which the gutters attach to, need to be replaced
  • The degree of difficulty to complete the installation

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