Your home's guttering system is very important for the home's overall condition, as gutters are needed to direct rainwater away from the home's exterior, its windows and its foundations. This system also protects your home's property from flooding, and it keeps the soil from getting overly moist and soft, which would then allow your home to settle and shift. If your home's gutters need replacing, note a few tips and details to keep in mind so you know you're getting the right type and size so that your home will be protected for years to come.
The size of gutters you choose will be very important, as gutters that are too small will get overly full and may then flood, allowing rainwater to wash back onto the home's roof or to spill over the sides of the gutters. Consider the average rainfall in your area and whether your area is prone to strong and heavy storms, as this will mean lots of rainwater rushing into the gutters at once. Rainwater can also drip onto your home's roof from overhanging tree branches. In these cases, you should invest in gutters that are larger than average to ensure they don't flood.
If you want to install gutters yourself, including replacing worn or damaged sections over time, avoid steel, as this material is difficult to cut and fabricate without heavy-duty tools and special knowhow. Vinyl gutters are easier to cut with everyday tools, and lightweight aluminium gutters can often be cut using only strong shears.
However, if you're not replacing all of your home's gutters and downspouts, note the material of existing pieces and opt for whatever matches, even if you need to hire a contractor to install the gutters. This will ensure the pieces coordinate and look their best.
Guards and screens
Be sure to consider leaf guards and screens for the gutters, and purchase these at the same time as the gutters themselves so you know the sizes of the two will coordinate. Screens are placed over the gutters and attached to their sides with fasteners, whereas brush guards are long brushes that sit inside the gutters, catching leaves and debris. These brushes are easier to install yourself, as you simply cut them to the appropriate length and sit them in the base of the gutter. They need to be removed and hosed down on occasion to clean debris off their surface, but they are a better choice for a DIY gutter installation.