We always like to think of gutters as the “unsung hero” of a property’s exterior. When they’re working well, you won’t even really notice them. But if your home’s gutters are damaged or clogged, it’s likely that your property is going to be affected by these issues – and not necessarily in a good way.
The role of your home’s gutter system is to capture runoff from the roof and safely disperse it away from your home’s foundation via its downspouts. However, if your gutters are clogged or damaged, water isn’t going to drain or discharge properly – and this can result in major issues for your property. In this post, we’ll lay out the pros and cons of gutters so you can make the best decision on whether your property needs gutters, what types of gutters might work best on your home, and more. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of gutters:
Disadvantages of Gutters
Let’s start with some of the disadvantages of gutters. Here’s what you need to know:
Gutters Need Regular Maintenance
In order for gutters to effectively prevent the likes of foundation damage, water intrusion, and other types of issues as intended, they need routine maintenance.
While gutters should be cleaned as needed, it’s recommended that they’re at least cleaned consistently. If your home is in an area of dense foliage, gutters may require more frequent cleaning. Cleanings are essential for removing pine needles, branches, twigs, leaves, and other debris so that water can flow freely through the gutter system. Wind-driven debris and heavy rainfall can also cause gutters to clog and fill with water.
Outside of the recommended cleanings, a great way to determine whether or not your gutters are clogged is to simply grab an umbrella and walk around your home the next time it rains. Look to see if water is spilling over the lip of any gutters and check downspouts to make sure water is discharging appropriately.
For homes that need frequent gutter cleaning, a gutter guard system should be considered. Metal gutter guards offer a gutter screen that allows water to enter the system and flow freely while preventing foliage and debris from infiltrating. (More on this later on in the post.)
Gutter maintenance does cost time and money, but it’s essential to ensure the gutter system continues to operate effectively. Failure to properly maintain the gutter system and the likes of degradation to the home’s foundation, water damage, and new gutter installation are going to end up costing homeowners much more in the long run. For extra peace of mind, property owners should also consider a roof inspection, as problems stemming from gutter system deficiencies may not be otherwise noticeable. In general, routine gutter maintenance provides a good opportunity to perform a general inspection of your roof, flashing, vent boots, and gutters. With this inspection offered with every Advanced gutter cleaning service, you can be confident everything is functioning properly.
They Can Be Detrimental if Installed Incorrectly
Gutters must be installed correctly in order to stand up to heavy rain and other weather conditions. Failure to install gutters correctly isn’t just likely to result in premature gutter replacement but could result in other issues, such as:
- Standing water or water spilling out over the gutter lip (gutters need to be sloped at least one half-inch for every linear foot of gutter).
- Insect and pest infestations.
- Damage to the roof, siding, fascia board and/or foundation.
These issues underscore the importance of relying on qualified professional installation for new gutters.
Not All Houses Need Gutters
Finally, not all homes need gutters. In fact, gutters are most commonly installed on homes in areas where there’s poor ground drainage or where the ground is impermeable.
But take Georgia, for example. Much of Georgia has dense red clay, which doesn’t allow for proper drainage back into the ground. This leads to pooling water against home foundations and makes water intrusion more likely. After all, if water isn’t going to drain properly, it’s going to go somewhere. Unfortunately, in many cases, this means water infiltrates a property. Gutters are thereby necessary to properly discharge water away from a home’s foundation.
If we are taking a look at Advanced Pressure & Gutter’s service area, Atlanta, for instance, receives a consistent amount of rainfall each year and homeowners also have to manage foliage and other weather events, thereby making gutters necessary.
Advantages of Gutters
Now that we’ve gone over some of the cons of gutters, let’s take a look at some of the major advantages of having them installed on your home:
They Protect Your Home
Gutters offer immense protection to your home. Whether they’re copper gutters, aluminum gutters, seamless gutters or stainless steel gutters, gutters that are properly installed and well cared for:
- Prevent home water damage
- Prevent foundation degradation
- Keep your roof in good shape
They Have a Long Life Span
When they’re installed correctly and cared for properly, gutters can last anywhere from 20 to 50 years. Longevity largely depends on the type of gutter that’s installed. Here’s a look at some of the different lifespans for different gutter materials:
- Aluminum: Aluminum is one of the two most common types of materials in which metal gutters are crafted. This material has an average lifespan of several decades and has been the industry standard for the past decade.
- Copper: Copper is an advanced, higher-end option that tends to last for upwards of 50 years. A big deterrent of copper gutters is the cost. Copper gutters can cost two times more than an aluminum gutter installation. In addition to the high installation cost, copper can also have higher maintenance costs as well.
- Vinyl: Vinyl gutter systems or other types of plastic gutters are ideal for dry, mild climates, and tend to last for up to 20 years. Plastic and vinyl gutters are also susceptible to damage caused by UV rays, which can be a detractor from moving forward with this specific gutter material. Over time, vinyl will warp and flex, and it is not considered to be a durable product, especially compared to the other gutter options.
Are you not sure about the fabrication process of your gutters? There are two options: seamless gutters and stick gutter. Seamless gutters tend to be stronger and more reliable than stick gutter. They tend to last for at least 20 years. In many cases, they last for longer. Since they have no seams, they’re also less likely to leak at these trouble spots.
Make sure to weigh factors like climate, weather conditions, aesthetics and expected longevity when you’re deciding between different materials for your next gutter installation.
When it comes to long-term housing decisions, it is always best to listen to the professionals. Advanced Pressure & Gutter recommends seamless aluminum gutters due to their high quality, longevity, and low maintenance.
They Elevate Your Home’s Curb Appeal
Many people don’t usually associate gutters with curb appeal, but a well-functioning gutter system can help keep your home looking great. That’s because homes without properly functioning gutters are more likely to experience roof damage, foundation degradation, mold and mildew growth on siding and fascia boards, and more.
They Help the Environment
Gutters can also help direct water runoff to storm drains, bypassing the lawn altogether. This can be especially helpful if you just put pesticides or fertilizer on your lawn, as water runoff into grass areas could put potentially harmful chemicals into your community’s water system.
Additionally, it’s easy to install rain barrels onto gutter downspouts so that you’re able to catch water runoff and repurpose it in your garden, for lawn watering and more.
They Save You Money (Even Considering Routine Maintenance)
Just think of all the problems your home may encounter if it doesn’t have a functioning gutter system:
- Foundation erosion
- Home water damage
- Insect infestations
- Roof and siding damage
Though gutters do require routine maintenance, the extra effort more than pays off when it comes to safeguarding your property.
Do You Need Gutter Guards?
If you live in areas of dense foliage or it seems like your gutters are always jammed with leaves, twigs and other debris, gutter guards could be a smart add-on to your system. Gutter guards essentially mean you’ll have to perform less maintenance on your system. You’ll still likely have to brush debris off the top of the gutter guards to ensure that water can still enter the system and have routine gutter maintenance, but gutter guards can also help increase your system’s lifespan and give you more peace of mind. There are various types of gutter guards, from simple wire brushes to screens to covers. When installed correctly, gutter guards keep up to 99 percent of debris out of your gutter system.
How Do You Know If Your Gutters Need Repair?
There are many tell-tale signs that indicate your gutters are in poor condition. Some of these include:
- Gutters that are sagging
- Leaking gutters or downspouts
- Gutters that overflow with water
- Gutters that are rusted
- Loose fitting gutters
In some cases, gutters can be repaired. However, in other cases, replacement may be necessary. It’s always best to contact a professional at the first sign of gutter issues.
Contact Advanced Pressure & Gutter
For more information on the pros and cons of gutters and how gutters serve a role as an unsung hero on your property, contact Advanced Pressure & Gutter today. As an experienced, qualified and professional firm, we handle more than just gutter repair and new installation of gutters, but pressure washing, drainage solutions, and painting as well.
As a leading solutions provider servicing metro Atlanta, we pride ourselves on a turnkey approach, honest estimates, and professional, experienced crews. Trust Advanced Pressure & Gutter with your beautiful home!