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How to Choose… Gutters for Your Home

Keeping water away from the foundation is essential for proper home maintenance.

Standing water will cause severe damage to the exterior and interior of your house. The design of the structure or where you live doesn’t matter.

A quality gutter system can divert water away from the foundation. Installing and maintaining this system will save your home from needless structural damage.

Gutters consist of several types of materials, including steel, aluminum or copper. The materials you choose will depend on your budget and personal preference.

Prior to shopping for gutters, inspect your home after a heavy rainstorm. Look at how rain runs from, or toward, the structure. Once you have determined the flow of water on your property, you can figure out how to position your gutters for optimal effect. Your observations will also help you choose which gutter materials are best suited for your needs. Each material has advantages and disadvantages, so examine each choice carefully before making a final decision.

STEEL GUTTERS

Steel gutters are the most common type. Chances are, you already have this type of gutter installed on your home.

Its strong material makes it an ideal choice. Steel can withstand a variety of extreme weather conditions that would be detrimental to the materials.

One of the big disadvantages of this material is its tendency to rust. Without proper maintenance, steel gutters will look unsightly. They will also become porous and ineffective.

Special sprays and applications will prevent rust. With regular maintenance, steel gutters will last for many years.

COPPER GUTTERS

When you want your home to have a stylish, attractive appearance, install copper gutters.

Copper gutters can carry water better than the more traditional steel option. They are also very strong.

However, copper gutters can be expensive. They require regular work to maintain their color and luster. If left untreated, the material can dull with age, turning green and brown. But it will not destroy the integrity of the gutter.

If you prefer your gutters remain shiny and gold, proper maintenance is vital.

ALUMINUM GUTTERS

The most inexpensive and lightweight choice is aluminum gutters. Do-it-yourselfers choose this type because they are so easy to install.

Aluminum sometimes has difficulty standing up against the elements. The material is fairly weak. If you live in a climate that includes snow, ice, damaging winds or strong hail storms, your gutters will probably only last in the short term.

Of course, there other considerations besides materials. Budget, average weather conditions, maintenance work and personal taste will all factor into your decision.

Budget-conscious people might select aluminum gutters. People who care about aesthetics will likely opt for copper gutters. Homeowners who prefer longevity should pick steel gutters.

Shop around for the best quality gutter system you can afford. If you are planning to use a professional for installation, gather reviews and opinions to ensure you receive excellent, quality service.

SOURCE: http://poststar.com/special-section/how-to-choose/how-to-choose-gutters-for-your-home/article_ff1a5f52-b6bb-11e3-ba2f-001a4bcf887a.html