The rain gutters around your home help keep water away from the foundation and stop water from coming off the roof above entrances and exits of your home. There are some things that can make the gutters fail, and some things to consider when replacing your gutters.
Many homes have plastic gutters on them. The gutters are often several pieces, connected with brackets that allow you to customize the length of the gutters on your home. These seams are prone to leaking and create a high spot inside the gutter that debris can get caught on, blocking the flow of water and rendering the gutter ineffective. The price of plastic gutters and the ability of the homeowner to assemble them on their own is attractive, but the long term durability may not make the plastic system a great investment.
Extruded aluminum gutters are far more durable than their plastic counterparts, and there is no seam to leak or catch debris. The aluminum gutters require a special machine called an extruder to make, but a gutter contractor can come out to your home, measure the house, and make the gutters to fit perfectly. Often they will bring a crew to install the gutters so the process is much faster, and it is not uncommon for the contractor to complete the entire house in a day or two.
Downspouts and Placement
Along with the gutters, the contractor can make the downspouts for your gutters and place them where you need them. They may have a recommendation for the best placement, but if you need them to come off the house in a specific spot, talk to the contractor about it. Because they are forming the gutters and downspouts on site, they can put the whole system together with the way you need it.
Keep the Gutters Clean
If you have a lot of trees in your yard, a screen over the top of the gutter to keep the leaves out can be helpful, but not essential. The screens are not always practical, and things can get under them and out of view. When it is time to clean the gutters, the screens need to come off to get to anything underneath. Clean your gutters at least once a year to keep them working correctly. If you find a lot of leaves and other organic matter in the gutters, scoop it out. Do not try and rinse it down because the material can occlude the downspout, and they are much harder to clear. Once all the sticks and leaves are out of the gutter, you can rinse the remaining small particles out with a hose.