How long will good gutters last?
Angie's List asked to talk to three experts about gutter cleaning and maintenance and which system might be right to buy.
Raleigh gutter system experts
What types of gutter options are available?
Howell: K-style, 5-inch aluminum is your standard residential gutter.
Weist: Most new homes have aluminum gutters. A more luxury gutter would be copper. But as far as aluminum gutters, you could have 3-inch or 4-inch gutters.
King: You could go with 5-inch or 6-inch gutters, depending on the roof slope. The most common is K-style, seamless aluminum.
Do you recommend any kind of gutter guards, screenings or covers?
Howell: If you live on a wooded lot, it's definitely a good idea to install covers. Otherwise, leaves and pine needles will clog gutters, and you'll be looking at long-term problems, such as rot or mosquitoes.
Weist: Plastic gutter guards with mesh are the least expensive and easiest to install. But they're not foolproof. They do a better job than no guard, but over time pine needles can get through.
King: If you're surrounded by trees, I recommend guards. A good leaf guard can range from $4-$25 per foot; I'd recommend products around $6 to $8 per foot because they're as good as the others.
How often should they be cleaned?
Howell: If you live on a heavily wooded lot, you could clean them six times a year and it wouldn't be enough. Normally, I recommend three times a year.
Weist: Twice a year: once in the fall when leaves are down and in the spring.
King: At least twice a year: in October, when leaves fall, and then around April.
How long should gutters last?
Howell: Twenty years, if not 25.
Weist: If you keep up with maintenance, gutters really should last forever or until the house falls apart.
King: We give a 20-year warranty. With a good quality gutter, the average lifetime is 25 to 30 years, and I think it could go longer.
What is the best way to extend the life of my gutters?
Howell: Don't put ladders on them when cleaning, and keep them clean. Put sealant in the corners about every five years. Don't put bleach on them when you power wash the house because it will eat the enamel
Weist: Find a good company and get on a schedule where they stay on top of maintenance for you.
King: It's really important to get it cleaned or it could cause fascia rot, roof damage or water inside the home.