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
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.”