How copper can keep gutters on longer

How copper can keep gutters on longer

Angie's List asked to talk to three experts about cleaning, purchasing and maintaining gutter systems.

Washington D.C. gutter cleaning experts

Sara Megonigale, co-owner, Gutterman Services Inc., Sterling, Va.,

Troy Marshall, owner, Marshall Roofing Siding and Windows, Lorton, Va.,

Terry Greenberg, vice president, Central Roofing & Siding Co., Rockville, Md.,

How often should I have my gutters cleaned?

Megonigale: "A minimum of twice a year. Homes in heavily wooded areas need it up to three or four times a year."

Marshall: “Two or three times a year, depending on the foliage. People often don't think about doing it in spring, but it's important because of all the pollen.”

Greenberg: “If you don't have any overhanging trees, you can get away with not cleaning them for a long time. But if you have a lot of trees, you'll want to do it twice a year at a minimum.”

What are the benefits of clean gutters?

Megonigale: “Clogged gutters can cause a lot of problems with water damage, by allowing water through the foundation level, window wells or the roof line.”

Marshall: “They divert water away fom the house. Otherwise, water would just come down from the edge of the roof and form a trench around the house.”

Greenberg: “Clean, well-maintained gutters help preserve the exterior components of your home. If they're clogged, water will back up and seep wherever it can.”

What should I know when deciding to repair or replace my gutters?

Megonigale: “Sometimes installing larger downspouts can make a significant difference. Make sure your gutter is properly sloped when installed to avoid standing water.”

Marshall: "The biggest problem we see is gutters pulling away from the fascia board. Make sure your gutter is connected to the rafters and not just the fascia."

Greenberg: "Most reputable installers don't use a spike-and-ferrule system anymore; they use hidden hangers or skyhooks."

How long should I expect new gutters to last?

Megonigale: “You can expect 15 to 18 years with aluminum. Copper will last twice as long, but it's also twice as expensive.”

Marshall: “Copper will last about 40 or 50 years. Aluminum should last 40 or 50 years, but they get unsightly after 20 or 30 years.”

Greenberg: “We only do aluminum gutters, which should last at least 15 to 20 years.”

What do I need to know about gutter covers?

Megonigale: “Make sure it's installed correctly and you use a high-quality system. A poor cover or screen can do more harm than good.”

Marshall: “It's worth it to pay extra for a good cover; you can expect to pay about $15 per foot for a high-quality one.”

Greenberg: “If you have a lot of overhanging trees, you're better off cleaning the gutters. If you have a small to medium amount of trees, it can be very beneficial.”


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