Updated September 5, 2023
Gutters aren’t given much thought until it rains. When a heavy rainfall starts and water is spilling over the edge of the roof, pummeling the rose bushes below and pooling at the ground, is when many homeowners begin to consider the possibility of installing rain gutters.
Before taking the next step let’s dive in and take an in-depth look at gutters and why they’re necessary for your home’s long-term health. By the end you’ll have valuable knowledge to help choose the best gutter system for your Murfreesboro home.
What are Gutters?
Gutters serve as a drainage system from your home’s roofline to prevent mold, mildew, and other water damage to your home. Attached to your roof’s fascia board, they’re positioned at a slight angle at the bottom of your roof to collect and direct water to the downspouts, which take water from the roof to the ground and safely away from your home’s foundation. Gutters are essential for homes where water naturally drains towards their foundation, such as those with a short roof overhang, situated at the bottom of a slope, or surrounded by clay-rich soil.
Types of Gutters
When choosing the best gutter system to protect your home there are various types of gutters to explore, including aluminum, steel, vinyl, and copper. Aluminum is the most used gutter type because of its low price point and is lightweight, rust-resistant, weatherproof, and easy to paint. Aluminum can dent easier than more expensive gutter materials but is reliable and proven to last. Also consider gutter style and shape and whether you want seamless or sectional gutters. The most popular gutter styles are half-round, K-style, and box style gutters.
The Pros of Gutters
There are many benefits of having gutters installed on your home.
They protect your home’s foundation
A gutter system diverts the pounding water away from the ground next to your foundation, preventing water from eroding the soil and seeping down along the foundation, damaging your home’s foundation over time.
They prevent water damage to your roof
When properly installed, rain gutters prevent water from pooling on your roof and causing water damage and leaks. Debris and water are directed to the gutters and washed away from your roof to a central location away from your home.
They preserve your home’s exterior
A gutter system prevents water from constantly running down the exterior of your home which can cause not only staining and lessen the quality of your home’s exterior paint but can allow mold and mildew to grow around your home’s exterior and under your siding.
They reduce erosion around your house
With every heavy rainfall water pounds down from your roof, eroding the ground around your home over time. Rain gutters channel the water away from your home, reducing the erosion that storm water can cause and protecting your yard and landscaping from getting overwatered, damaged, or killed. They create an effective avenue for rainwater to travel to prevent water flow from cutting pathways through your yard, creating ditches, or allowing water to pool in low-lying areas.
The Cons of Gutters
It’s also important to consider some of the challenges that come with owning rain gutters.
Clogging and cleaning issues
Besides water, leaves, branches, and other small debris land on your roof daily, especially if you have trees close to your home. This debris can accumulate and clog your gutters, causing water to back up in your gutters and on your roof, leading to roof leaks and mold. Preventing clogs and keeping your gutters clean of debris is vital to maintaining a healthy gutter system.
Need for regular maintenance
Left untouched rain gutters will eventually succumb to the outside elements and clog or warp. Proper maintenance is the only way to extend their life and functionality. But proper maintenance takes time and effort. It’s recommended you should have your gutters cleaned once or twice a year, whether by a professional or yourself.
Possibility of ice dams in cold climates
Winter weather is unpredictable. When temperatures vary, the snow on your roof melts and runs into the gutters, and often refreezes. This melting-freezing cycle can cause a build-up or dam of ice in your gutters. Keeping your roof and gutters free of debris, snow, and icicles throughout the winter is the best way to prevent ice dams from forming.
Cost of installation and repair
The initial installation cost of a gutter system can vary depending on the type of gutters you choose but may be a significant upfront investment. Gutters last for many years and the long-term benefits to your home far outweigh the upfront cost of gutter materials and installation, but without proper maintenance, gutter repairs can add up.
Factors to Consider Before Installing Gutters
Rain gutters are not a one-size-fits-all product so consider these important factors when choosing the right gutters for your home:
Climate and weather patterns
Tennessee summers are warm and muggy, while winters are cold and wet. Be aware of your local climate and look for a gutter system that is best suited to it.
Type of roofing material
Choose a gutter system that complements and works the most effectively with your home’s style and roofing materials. Also, verify the condition of your roof. Gutters last longer when supported by a solid roof.
House location and surrounding landscape
Is your house at the top or bottom of a hill? Does water flow naturally away or towards your house? What does your yard and the surrounding area look like? Consider where you’ll need the water to flow from the downspouts and how the water will affect your yard.
Personal preferences and budget
There is a wide variety of gutter styles, accessories, and materials to fit any budget. Whether you want to make a statement or practicality is your style, find the gutter system that is right for you.
Maintenance Tips for Gutters
Keeping gutters looking their best takes time and effort. You can choose to manage their upkeep yourself or hire a professional to do the job. It’s suggested to clean out your gutters twice a year-before the leaves fall and after.
If you choose the DIY route, there are many tips and techniques for cleaning your gutters. Start by creating a cleaning schedule and sticking to it, then grab a friend or family member and get to work. You can use a pressure washer (on its lowest setting), a shop vac, leaf blower, or a gutter scoop to remove debris. Check your gutters often and trim or cut down trees near your roofline to minimize falling debris. Eliminate the need for gutter cleaning by choosing to invest in gutter guards to prevent debris from falling into your gutters.
Inspection and repair guidelines
Keep a close eye on your gutters and periodically inspect them for possible clogs or damage. Be on the lookout for debris accumulation, loose, sagging, or dented gutters, or water damage on your roof. Don’t forget to observe your gutters during rain too to make sure everything is working correctly and identify any potential problems. You may choose to make simple repairs to your gutters or call a gutter company for large repairs.
Make an Informed Decision About Gutters for Your Murfreesboro Home
As a homeowner in Murfreesboro, TN looking at installing or replacing gutters, it’s important to make an informed decision for you and your family. Take time to consider the topics covered throughout this post, from the purpose and type of gutters to their upkeep, before making a final decision. Remember, proper installation and maintenance of gutters can make a significant impact on the structure and maintenance of your home, ensuring the longevity of your home’s foundation and exterior. Don’t hesitate to reach out to local professionals for their expert opinions and services. They are ready to answer your questions and help you choose the right gutters for your home.