Popular Questions about Gutters
Gutters are more than just the visible troughs and downspouts. There are additional parts that are necessary for the gutter system to do its job.
Are there different kinds of gutters?
Most gutters are straight gutter pieces cut to various lengths. Gutters can be manufactured from a variety of materials, but the most common is aluminum. Most aluminum gutter pieces come already painted or finished. Gutters can also be made from vinyl (not as strong or durable) and copper (excellent durability and beauty, but more expensive).
There are two main gutter shapes: half round or K-style. The half round gutters look like half of a cylinder. The K-style has the side next to the house go straight down and the bottom is straight across. The style does not really matter when it comes to how affective the gutters are, but there is an aesthetic difference. If you’re not sure what’s right for your home, ask your Roof Masters representative for his recommendation.
Gutters have three common sizes: they can come in four, five, or six inches. It’s best to choose a color or texture that matches the siding or trim of your house. But also keep in mind the color of your roof shingles, because it’s best to let the gutters not call too much attention to themselves.
What can you tell me about downspouts and elbows?
The downspouts are the pieces that channel water from the gutters at the roof line to the ground. They are essential to the gutter system because they carry water away from your home’s foundation. Some homeowners make the mistake of selecting larger gutters and smaller downspouts. When choosing the size and number of downspouts it’s important to think about how much rainwater your gutters need to accommodate. It doesn’t matter how big the gutters are, your downspouts are the key factors when it comes to water capacity.
The shape of downspouts is generally rectangular. Popular sizes are two by three inches, three by four inches, or four by five inches.
Sometimes downspouts need to change direction or be diverted around an obstruction. If that is the case, an elbow will be installed. There are also elbows with a longer exit length that are used at the bottom of a downspout to divert water farther away from the house and foundation.
What do you install at the corner of the gutters?
Every house has corners and turns that will need to be incorporated when installing the gutter system. A corner of the gutter that turns is called a mitre. Mitres can have an inside radius or outside radius, depending where the turn is being made. The end of the gutter is closed by an end cap. It is essential that the end cap be securely fastened and sealed to prevent leakage.
Which are the two options to hang gutters?
The spike and ferrule system is used to attach the straight gutter pieces to the eaves of the roof. The ferrule helps to maintain the width of the gutter pieces and the spike is inserted into the roof through the ferrule to hold it in place.
The hidden hanger and screw method is more common because it makes gutter cleaning a lot easier. With this system the gutters are held up by a hanger that is attached to the house with a screw. Straps are used to attach the vertical downspout pieces to the side of the house.
Should I consider a gutter protection system?
Cleaning a clogged gutter is a dirty job — and sometimes a dangerous job — but it is absolutely necessary to prevent blockage and backup and to keep water flowing freely. All kinds of debris find their way into gutters: leaves, pine needles, twigs and even nuts that squirrels drop. An excellent alternative to hand-cleaning gutters is to install a gutter protection system. These can be as simple as a mesh screen or as complex as a specially shaped covering that allows water to enter the gutter but keeps debris out. The benefits of a gutter protection system include the assurance that water running off the roof will find a free passage to the downspouts and the convenience of not having to climb a ladder several times each year to clean out the gutters by hand.
Get a Free Estimate on Gutters
Let the team at Roof Masters show you what well constructed and effective gutters look like. Find out by calling us today at (301) 230-7663 or click here to schedule a FREE estimate.