Ongoing gutter maintenance is one of the many dreaded chores that homeowners have; it’s also one of the most important. Your gutters help to protect your home’s foundation and structural integrity from water damage, which can result in severe deterioration and costly repairs. While getting up on the roof to clean out your gutters seems like a hassle, it’s well worth the effort to help get the most out of your system. When left unattended, gutters can clog, deteriorate, and eventually, fail. Even gutters that are well maintained will need to be replaced at some point during your life. While the act of replacing your gutters can seem daunting, working with the right roofing contractor will make the process go smooth and as painless as possible. To give you a better idea of this process, here’s what to expect when installing new gutters.
1. Damage Assessment
The first thing that occurs during a fnew gutter installation is an overall assessment of damage. This includes looking for current damage on your gutters and damage on or around the foundation of your home. While everything might look fine from the ground, the small details are going to be what matters. For example, spots of mildew around gutters that look like they’re in great condition can be a sign that your gutters aren’t doing their job and are instead, leaking water down the sides of your house and into the foundation. If there are any signs of rot, this needs to be addressed immediately to avoid further damages.
2. Gutter Removal
Not surprisingly, prior to installing new gutters, you have to remove the old ones. This step requires precision and should be done by a professional that knows what to look for in terms of underneath damages. Gutters that have been on a home for decades can have rotted boards or fascia that’s damaged beyond repair. To ensure that your new gutter system is efficient and long-lasting, these damages need to be taken care of before doing anything else.
The gutters will be removed from the eaves and fascia around your entire home along with the downspout and any supporting features. When hiring a roofing contractor to install new gutters, it’s important to ask about their plan for removing the old ones. Some roofing contractors may not take proper steps for removal, which will leave damages to your eave and compromise your new installation. This results in an ongoing need to install new gutters, which is both costly and dangerous for your home’s structural integrity.
If, for whatever reason, your home does not currently have gutters, removal isn’t necessary. However, if you’re not building a new home and are instead moving into or currently living in a home that doesn’t have a water drainage system, make sure that you hire a professional to assess your home for damages prior to installing new gutters. Addressing damages is an important first step to avoiding problems down the line.
3. Pre-Installation Preparation
After your old gutters have been removed, it’s time to prepare for the new installation. The first part in this step will be addressing any damages that were found after removing your old gutters. Working with a professional roofing contractor will ensure that you get transparent prices and don’t purchase things that you don’t need. After damages are repaired, it’s time for measurements.
Without the proper measurements, your gutter and water drainage system are not going to work well on your home. The true measurements around the perimeter of your roof are essential to making accurate decisions regarding the location of downspouts, securement of gutters, and how the angle of your roof will work to maximize the efficiency of your system. At the end of the day, the more precise that these measurements are, the better your overall gutter installation is going to be. In turn, the better your gutter installation, the better your gutters will perform over the years.
Once you’ve gotten all of the measurements needed for your new gutter installation, your roofing contractor will begin to gather the materials and prepare your home. There are a few different options for the types of materials that you can choose for your gutters. Many homeowners opt for gutters made out of steel, galvanized steel, zinc, copper, vinyl, or aluminum. If you want something that’s reliable, efficient, and long-lasting, aluminum is a great option. If you’re looking for something with more aesthetic value, copper is a great way to create a unique look. Don’t be overwhelmed with your options. Your roofing contractor can help you choose the best type of gutters for your home and budget. They’ll also help you in determining the thickness level and attachment style.
Preparation is one of the most work-heavy steps during the installation process, as it is essential for a successful end-product. Holes will be cut for downspouts, corners will be assembled ahead of time, and everything will be ready and in place for the actual installation day. During this step, keep an open line of communication with your roofing contractor to better understand how long everything should take. Usually, professionals can perform the entire job fairly quickly unless there are any delays with materials or unaccounted for damages.
4. Gutter Installation
Once all of the preparation is completed, it’s time to install your new gutters. The installation process generally takes more than one roofing contractor due to the size of the water system, but it can often be completed within one day. However, make sure you discuss estimated timelines with your contractor as the timeline can extend based on the overall size and height of your home.
5. Downspout Additions
Once the gutter system has been installed, the downspouts are the final addition. During the preparation process, holes will have been cut to accommodate your downspouts in the correct locations so that water most efficiently flows out and away from your home. This part of the installation isn’t too time consuming, but it’s one of the most important factors. Since your downspout is the part of your gutter system that actually drains the water out and away from your home, it’s what’s going to protect your foundation from premature deterioration. When your downspouts aren’t doing their job, water will gather around your foundation and can cause substantial damages. This is also a common cause of flooded basements. Therefore, while the actual installation of downspouts is fairly straightforward, the proper preparation is critical for long-lasting success.
Any professional roofing contractor will leave your home exactly as they found it, if not better. This means that the final step in any good gutter installation will be cleanup. Gutter installation is a messy job and when done poorly, can result in damages to your home or landscaping. Prior to hiring a roofing contractor, always discuss how they’re going to leave your home and what the overall cleanup process will look like. Make sure that all trash and old gutter systems will be removed and taken to the dump and that there are no lingering screws laying around your yard. As any homeowner knows, one small screw can cause a myriad of problems when you’re trying to mow your lawn, so attention to detail is paramount. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, many roofing professionals will utilize a large magnet to catch small fragments or screws that were left behind.
Gutters tend to last an average of about 20 years, longer when they are extremely well maintained. If you think that your gutters are getting towards the end of their lifespan, or if you notice any signs of damage that may indicate you need to replace your drainage system, don’t hesitate to call the professionals at First Star Exteriors today.
First Star Exteriors uses high-quality material from brand-named products to provide you with the best gutters and drainage system available. Our veteran roofing contractors have years of experience in installing new gutters, downspouts, and assessing your existing drainage system or roof for any signs of damage. If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule an inspection.
At First Star Exteriors, we believe there’s a perfect balance between hands-on, personable treatment, quality of work, and speed of delivery. We take the time to understand your needs and communicate effectively from the first quote to the last nail being placed. To learn more about our new gutter installation options or to get a quote from us today within 48 hours, contact us at (479) 267-4800 or fill out our contact form here.