Millions of feet of gutter are installed each year throughout the country, yet there is very little information available. Rain gutters are small but critical components of a building’s roofing system and a long-term investment in the infrastructure of your home. The gutter helps collect rain running off a roof and channel it. With proper slopes, to downspouts that carry the rain water to the ground and away from your siding, windows, doors and foundation.
Gutters come in several sizes and shapes called profiles. The most common type of gutter used today is the open gutter, which comes in standard lengths for DIY. Another type is the K-style gutter which comes with 2 x 3 inch downspouts. A larger residential gutter system would consist of 6 inch K-style gutter using a 3 x 4 inch downspout. The K-style gutters hold a larger amount of water.
In the course of collecting water, open rain gutters also collect leaves, acorns, pine needles, and other debris which can cause clogs anywhere in the gutter itself or sometimes in the downspouts. Clogged gutters can be a fire hazard; so they need to be cleaned and maintained regularly. Covers for gutters, gutter guards and screen to keep debris out, can reduce or eliminate these problems and lengthen the life of your gutters.
The pitch of your roof, the number of cut-outs you have, and the type of material covering your roof, all affect the gutter selection for your home. Regardless of what type of gutter system you choose, gutters and roofs need maintenance. If you have open rain gutters, they should be cleaned at least twice a year. However, cleaning out your gutters and brushing debris from your roof, though an important task, is not an easy one. Climbing and moving ladders and working several feet off the ground can be dangerous.
If you don’t know how to install or maintain your home gutter system, you can always hire a contractor to help you with that and tell you all the important things you need to know.