A Guide to Replacing GuttersA Guide to Replacing Gutters http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/residence/a-guide-to-replacing-gutters/ bb3 May 23, 2014
By Staff Writer
Malfunctioning gutters can lead to water damage, erosion and compromised foundations — and mucky ones can be a breeding ground for mold and mosquitoes. Help prevent these problems by replacing gutters when they’re in disrepair. Here's what to consider.
Gutter materials vary in price, durability and function.
- Galvanized steel: A popular choice; ranges from $4 to $8 per linear foot; can withstand ladders and fallen tree branches; may rust over time
- Aluminum: Favored over steel because of its anti-rusting qualities; $5 to $9 per linear foot
- Vinyl: Easy to cut to size; good DIY option; $3 to $5 per linear foot; may become brittle with age or extreme temperatures
- Wood: Used primarily for restoration projects; expensive; $12 to $20 per linear foot; high maintenance
- Copper: Aesthetically pleasing; never rusts; expensive; around $15 per linear foot.
Once you’ve selected the material for your new gutters, look into the different types.
- Sectional: Sold in 10- to 22-foot-long pieces and made of vinyl, painted steel or painted aluminum, sectional gutters are particularly easy for DIY installation because they’re made of smaller sections joined by connectors.
- Seamless or continuous: Typically aluminum — though they can be found in copper and galvanized steel — seamless gutters join only at corners and downspouts, making them less likely to leak. Call a professional to install them.
Gutter size depends on two factors: regional rainfall and roof dimensions. The most common sizes are 5 to 6 inches, and downspouts typically have a 3- to 4-inch diameter. You can calculate your home's gutter size, but a professional can help eliminate guesswork.
Hiring a contractor can save time and hassle. Select the right professional with these helpful tips:
- Interview a few candidates, and check your local Better Business Bureau for any complaints filed against your finalists.
- Ask for references.
- Make sure the contractor is licensed in your state.
- Ask for a copy of their business insurance and workers’ compensation policy to avoid liability.
- Request a detailed description of the work you’re hiring them to do.
If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.