Edina Minnesota Seamless Gutters
Gutter Ratings and Gutter Quality
There are many different types of rain gutters on the market. Unfortunately, no gutter rating system exists, but with careful evaluation of materials, thickness, and other differences between the options, a homeowner can make an intelligent choice.
Gutters come in two main styles: sectional and seamless. Sectional gutters are sold in home improvement stores and can be installed by a do-it-yourself homeowner. Seamless gutters are custom made on site by gutter installation professional and therefore cost more to install than sectional gutters (including sectional gutters installed by a professional). More important than cost, though, is the difference between the two in performance. The seam between each section of gutter can be a weak spot that fosters leaks, and drips onto the frame and foundation of a house — exactly what a gutter is trying to prevent. Seamless gutters limit these weak spots and are more likely to consistently funnel the collected water to the downspouts.
Both sectional and seamless gutters come in different sizes, thicknesses, and shapes which also affect their performance. Most channels are 4″, 5″, or 6″ in diameter; wider channels have larger water capacities and are therefore best for areas of the country with more rain and snow.
Weather is also a factor when considering shape and, especially, thickness. In locations where ice is common, thicker is better (0.32″ is the norm). 0.27″ thick gutters are often sufficient in less severe climates. Thinner gutters are also available, but are likely to be too weak to handle the required water flow. Thicker gauge, commercial grade is your best choice.
The two most popular shapes are U and K style gutters (so named because they look like those letters). U gutters need to be an inch larger than K gutters to carry the same amount of water, but some professionals claim U gutters hold up better to snow and other severe weather.
Considerations when selecting gutter material include cost, strength, durability, ease of installation, and aesthetics. Aluminum is the most common gutter material; seamless gutters are almost always made from aluminum and a majority of sectional gutters also use it. It offers a nice compromise between cost and strength plus it does not rust.
Other options for sectional gutters include stainless steel, vinyl, galvanized steel, wood, and copper. Wood and copper are both expensive and typically reserved for restoration work, but vinyl and galvanized steel are common in standard home installations. Vinyl is especially popular with do-it-yourself homeowners because the sections snap together without soldering. Unfortunately, vinyl is more brittle than metal and these gutters tend to need replacement faster than other gutters. Another consideration is color; homeowners who want gutters to match a specific shade may be limited in material choice.
Gutters can be fastened to roofs in several ways. Hidden hangers, or hangers that fit inside the gutters and bite into the roof truss, are the most popular fasteners. More traditional spike and ferrule systems are also common but tend to break down faster so aren’t recommended for new installations. Strap fasteners that fit over the gutters are also available. Hidden gutter hangers replace the unsightly spike and ferrule method. These hidden hangers are designed to provide greater support and a cleaner seamless look. By securing the gutters with 1-1/2″ screws, the chance of saggy, leaky gutters is greatly diminished.
MN Seamless Gutter Systems
When you are ready to buy seamless gutters, the way to go about it is to hire a Minnesota seamless gutters specialist to take care of the job. That way you can make sure the job is done right. A professional gutter and downspout installer will inspect your home and determine how to best protect your home. They will show you gutter size and style most suited for your home, and the various types of materials and colors that are available as well.
All gutters should be cleaned and inspected twice a year regardless of their construction, materials, or fastener system.