The gutters and downspouts on your home are easy to take for granted, until something goes wrong because they were not properly maintained. When you want to get the very best protection from your downspouts and gutters, then be sure to rely on the advice and assistance that comes from a professional contractor.
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Why Does A House Need Gutters?
The core question that most homeowners do not understand is why gutters are so important to their home. When it rains, the rainwater will naturally pour off the roof, as you would expect. But the constant torrent of rainwater falling from your roof and onto your home's foundation will eventually weaken that foundation and cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
A gutter and downspout system moves that water safely away from your home's foundation and deposits it in your yard, where it mixes with the natural water table of your area. If your home does not have gutters, then you may eventually see your homes foundations become damaged and unsafe.
The Dangers of Improperly Maintained Gutters
While gutters are necessary for transporting water away from the home, they can create a whole series of problems if they are not properly maintained. For example, gutters without downspouts are essentially useless and not accomplishing the job they were intended to accomplish. If your downspouts are missing or not attached to your gutters, then you need to have them repaired or replaced immediately.
Gutters and downspouts that are not cleaned cannot properly transport water away from the home. When this happens, water builds up and can cause a leaking problem inside the house. If gutters are not cleaned just prior to the winter, then ice can build up in those gutters and cause even more problems.
Types of Gutters
The two main types of gutter materials are aluminum and vinyl. Aluminum is easy to work with, while vinyl will last for a very long time. Gutters are sometimes hung from the roof edge, or they are nailed into place using long spikes. The downspouts are either riveted into place, or they are part of a kit that snaps into place with the vinyl gutters.
You can get gutters that have a warming coil built-in to prevent the build up of ice, and you can also choose gutters that have a mesh protective top to make cleaning them much easier.
Why You Need a Contractor
When gutters are installed, they need to be installed at an angle. That angle is called the pitch of the gutters and is important in creating the proper water flow to the downspouts. How much pitch does your gutter need? A professional gutter installer can let you know that, and the professional can also create the proper pitch while installing your gutters.
Where on your house do you actually need gutters? Not every roof edge requires a gutter, and a professional contractor can let you know where you need gutters and how much gutter you will need to have installed.
Installing and maintaining gutters requires experience and the proper tools. A professional contractor has that experience and knows how to use the tools of the trade to get you the results you are looking for.
Finding A Good Contractor
You can collect the names of reputable gutter contractors by getting two to three quotes as a minimum, and request that each quote be itemized to make it easier for you to compare them.
It is important that you ask each contractor to show you proof of their insurance and a copy of their contractor's license. In some cities and towns, unlicensed contractors are not allowed to work. If the contractor does not have any insurance, then you could be liable for any damage done during the work.
Ask each contractor for a list of references and call those references before making your decision. The references will let you know if the contractor has a professional approach, the kind of work each contractor does, and how hard a contractor works to make their customers happy.
Gutters and downspouts are incredibly important to the overall structural stability of your home. That is why you should only trust a professional contractor to maintain and install your home's gutters and downspouts.