The article below is from on HomeAdvisor.com, a great place to visit for information about general home maintenance and repair.
The gutters on your home protect many things including the foundation. If your gutters are plugged or broken they will not direct rain water away from the foundation of your home like they are designed to do. Water build-up around the foundation creates pressure and will eventually cause cracking and leaks. If this scenario goes too far you will be forced to repair the foundation, which of course is a very costly thing. Read on…
Rain Gutter Maintenance
Rain gutters are one of your home’s most important protections against the elements. Gathering the run-off from your roof caused by rain and melting snow and diverting it away from your siding and foundation to where it will do the least amount of harm. Because rain gutters are such an important aspect in maintaining the integrity of any home, it’s important that you make an educated and informed decision as you look at available styles and materials so that you can make the best choice for your home and budget. Below is a list of the most common gutter materials, as well as their benefits and drawbacks, so that you can move ahead with your next rain gutter purchase with confidence.
Vinyl gutters have quickly become a homeowner favorite because of their ease of installation, the fact that they never rust or corrode, and due to their cheap purchase price. Because they are so lightweight and sections easily snap together, they are very easy for the do-it-yourselfer to manage and install. Furthermore, when used in milder climates they function just as well other materials, especially when installed correctly. Poor installation can result in sagging sections, however, and vinyl gutters do have a reputation for growing brittle and cracking over time and in extreme cold. These home gutters are a good solution if you’re in need of new gutters while on a tight budget.
Next on the list of cost efficiency are aluminum rain gutters. Like vinyl gutters, aluminum house gutters also have the advantages of being lightweight, rust-proof, and relatively easy to work with. Unlike vinyl, however, they are weather-resistant across the board and maintain their integrity in cold climates. Add to that the fact that they hold paint well (again something that vinyl gutters can’t claim) and can be manufactured in seamless models (we’ll talk more about this later), and it’s clear why many homeowners and gutter contractors prefer aluminum home gutters over all other materials. Their only drawback is that they aren’t structurally as strong as many other materials, they will dent, and they can be misshapen by poorly placed ladders and the like. This can be mitigated to some extent by purchasing gutters made of primary aluminum, which is thicker and of a higher quality compared to secondary aluminum products made mostly of recycled materials.
Steel and Copper Gutters
As with aluminum gutter products, steel gutters come in a few different varieties. Galvanized steel rain gutters are by the far most popular as they are very competitive cost-wise and are sturdier than their aluminum counterparts when it comes to damage incurred by falling branches and ladders. The main drawback of galvanized steel is the rust factor. Eventually rust will take its toll with this brand of steel and they will rust through, though with proper maintenance they can still last for a very long time.
When it comes to gutter cleaning or repairs you will want to hire a contractor who knows his stuff, and is an honest businessman. Gutters are something many of us maintain ourselves but there comes a time when it is appropriate to call a professional and get them replaced. When that happens to vancouver residents call these guys…