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Gutter Installation and Repair

Gutter Installation and Repair

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They may not be glamorous, but your rain gutters serve an extremely important function. Gutters direct rainwater to an area where run-off damage won't be a concern. They ensure that water flows away from basements, walkways, and patios. By doing this, Gutters keep your house dry and protect your siding, windows, and foundation from disastrous water damage.

If your basement floods year after year, a simple gutter system could be a very wise investment. Rain gutters (also known as eaves trough, eaves sprout, guttering, or just plain gutter) come in a variety of different sizes, styles, and materials for your home improvement needs.

Gutters are available in a half round, "U" shape style, or the "K" style gutter, which have a front that is vaguely reminiscent of the letter "K." The difference sizes gutters come in are 4", 5", or 6" in diameter; 5" K-style are probably the most common gutters used today.

Half round rain gutters clog less often and are not greatly affected by corrosion, because of their smooth shape. The main disadvantage of half round gutters is that they have a smaller inner space and can therefore not handle the same volume of water as a "K." "K" gutters fit in much better with modern architecture, and can generally blend in with the building. "K" style gutters are made from a thinner material, are lighter and are easier to manipulate.

All gutter styles can be made from a variety of materials: seamless aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel. Check with your gutter contractor to find out which one will best suit your home.

As mentioned above, gutters are not glamorous, and as you scoop the leaves out of yours, you will agree more and more.

A lot of care goes into rain gutters, but they are worth the trouble because of the protection they bring to your home. You should be prepared to clean your gutter system at last twice each year.

To maintain your gutter system you will first want to scoop out any loose debris (making sure that you use a safe ladder). After all the large pieces of debris are cleaned away, blast your gutters with a hose. Don't forget to clean your downspout and drainpipes. Then repair any leaks and realign any sagging sections of the gutter. Depending on the size and/or height of your roof, you may need to hire professional help to handle any gutter repair or replacement issues.

You should also remember to check on any local building codes. Many historical homes require that you use 6" half round, and if that's the case, that's what you'll have to get. Likewise, if codes make you use aluminum, no matter how nice you think a copper gutter will be, the choice has already been made for you.

Don't install a rain gutter yourself until you have all the facts. A local gutter contractor should be able to help sort through what you can and can't do for your home improvement.

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