Choose the right gutters for your home
Rain gutters are an essential part of a Boston roofing system that channels rainwater away from your house. This prevents soil erosion and damage to your landscape and foundation. If you need to replace an older gutter system, there are some factors that you should consider.
Rain gutter systems are available in sectional or seamless versions. Sectional gutter systems usually consist of lightweight, pre-cut aluminum or vinyl segments.
Whenever two segments come together, this creates a seam. The pros of this system are that the assembly and installation is relatively easy for non-professionals. The cons of sectional systems are the possibility of separation and leaks at the joints and seams.
Seamless gutter systems, or continuous gutters, are installed by a professional who tailors the cut of the segments to match your house then seal the seams. Seamless systems are sometimes characterized as leak-proof and maintenance-free.
The pros of a seamless system are that it has a lower potential for leaks and is stronger and more attractive than sectional gutters. The cons of a seamless system include the cost, possibility of leaks and maintenance requirements.
Manufacturers use several different types of materials to make gutters. There is wide variability in durability, curb appeal, weather resistance and price. These and other factors will determine which rain gutter system is best for your home.
Aluminum is a popular choice because they are easy to install, fairly weather-resistant and economical. They are available in a wide range of colors and cost between $4 and $7 per linear foot. The curb appeal is good, but can diminish over time.
The cons of aluminum are that it is readily damaged and bent by flying debris and high winds. This makes aluminum more likely to develop leaks. These gutters require more maintenance than other systems.
Copper is an option for homeowners who want durability and a distinctive architectural touch. The curb appeal is high. If you want to retain the golden brown color, it will be more expensive and difficult to maintain. If patina is what you want, forgo the sealants and let nature take its course.
The cons of copper are the $15 to $30 price tag. This makes copper the most expensive gutter material.
Stainless steel is an unusual option for residential use. It’s the most durable gutter material and will withstand extreme weather conditions. With proper maintenance, steel gutters will last a lifetime. Steel gutters cost $9 to $12 per linear foot.
The cons of steel are its low curb appeal and the maintenance required to prevent rust and corrosion.
Vinyl is very popular because they are easy to install and have a wide range of color options. The $3 to $5 price range makes vinyl one of the most economical choices. The curb appeal is good because vinyl is available in numerous colors and is generally fade-resistant.
The cons of vinyl are intolerance to withstand extreme temperatures. This causes the material to become fragile and crack with continued exposure. Vinyl is also prone to damage during high winds.
Wood is a rare choice, but is sometimes used for restoration work. The curb appeal is high. The cons of wood are the maintenance required to prevent cracks or rot. It’s also difficult to install and the cost ranges between $12 and $20 per linear foot.