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A Homeowner’s Guide to Gutter Replacement: From Selection to Installation

Posted on December 20, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 8 Min.

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A Homeowner’s Guide to Gutter Replacement: From Selection to Installation

Why is it important to take care of your gutters? Well, your gutter system is an essential part of your home, and ignoring it can cause various issues, such as weakened structural stability and water damage. 

At times, a gutter replacement may be necessary to prevent damage from occurring to the structure of your home. To guarantee your system works properly, this guide will take you through each step of the gutter replacement process, from selection to installation.

Signs That Your Gutters Need To Be Replaced

How can you tell it’s time for gutter replacement? Look for these signs:

  1. Broken or Fractured Surfaces: If left unattended, minor cracks along the gutters may become larger over time, causing leaks.
  2. Sagging Gutters: Gutters should never sag or pull away from the home; this could indicate they are full of water and are not draining correctly or they are failing due to weight and age.
  3. Frequent Clogging or Overflowing: If you’re constantly cleaning out clogs or your gutters overflow during rainstorms, they might not be large enough to handle the volume of water or they might be laid out inefficiently. Replacing them with a larger size or better design might be necessary.
  4. Separated Gutters: Gutter systems are effective when they are continuous; if they start separating from each other or the house, it compromises the system.
  5. Peeling Paint: Paint on your home may begin to peel due to water damage caused by malfunctioning gutters.
  6. Rust: If your gutters are made of metal and they begin to rust, this may indicate that they’ve reached the end of their useful life, and need replacement.

A Homeowner’s Guide to Gutter Replacement

Now that you know that signs that indicate your gutters need replacement, let’s delve into all the essential parts of gutter replacement, with a particular emphasis on four vital elements: selection, preparation, installation, and maintenance.

#1. Selection

When selecting new gutters, there are many things to keep in mind like: 

> Different Kinds of Gutters

When picking new gutters, think about what you want yours made out of, its shape, and how big the channels will be.  

> Gutter Shapes

The shapes of gutters indicate their depth and appearance. Half-round, K-style, and box gutters are some of the more common shapes. Make your choices based on the following factors: 

  1. Weather: If your area gets frequent, heavy rain, you might need bigger gutter channels to handle more water.
  2. Roof Size and Shape: Larger gutters work well for homes with steep, pitched roofs, especially during heavy rain.
  3. Looks and Style: Your gutters should match the look of your home and its overall design.

There are two common gutter types:

K-Style Gutters (Traditional): 

K Style Gutters

These are the most common type of gutter found on homes, as it’s good at handling water and debris. It features a decorative front that blends in with the rest of the home since it looks like crown molding. 

> Pros: Provides a classic appearance, handles water and debris well, easy to find.

> Cons: Might need frequent maintenance if handling lots of leaves and debris. 

Half-Round Gutters:

Half Round Gutters

These gutters have a rounded bottom and are less common. They’re better at preventing a build-up of debris but are trickier to install. 

> Pros: Classic look, good at moving water, less likely to become clogged with debris.

> Cons: Can be more complicated to install, and don’t hold as much water.

Also Read: A Complete Guide For Gutter Styles And Types (2024)

> Gutter Materials

The material your gutters are made of impacts how long they last and how well they function. 

Materials Used For Gutter Installation

When thinking about replacing your gutters there are many options to consider, some of them are: 

#1. Vinyl: 

These gutters are lightweight, easy to install, and the most cost-effective option. They come in a variety of colors and don’t rust or corrode. However, they may become brittle and crack in extremely cold temperatures or fade over time under strong sunlight. Vinyl gutters are a popular choice for those who want a DIY installation. 

#2. Aluminum: 

Aluminum is another popular choice because it’s lightweight, rust-proof, and available in various colors. While not as strong as steel, they offer a good balance of strength and weight and don’t require painting.

#3. Galvanized Steel: 

Galvanized steel gutters are made of steel coated with a layer of zinc to prevent rusting. They are stronger and more durable than vinyl and aluminum gutters, making them suitable for areas with severe weather conditions. However, they can eventually rust over time, especially if the coating wears off or is damaged, and require painting or treatments to maintain their resistance to corrosion.

#4. Zinc: 

Zinc gutters are known for their durability and longevity. They don’t rust or corrode and can last up to 50 years or more. Over time, they develop a patina that provides a protective layer, giving them a distinctive, elegant appearance. They are recyclable and considered an eco-friendly option but are typically more expensive due to their long lifespan and low maintenance requirements.

#5. Copper: 

Copper gutters are highly durable and don’t rust or require painting. Over time, they develop a green patina that many find aesthetically pleasing. They are often used on high-end residences or historic restorations due to their beauty and longevity. Copper gutters are the most expensive option, but they can last over 50 years with proper care and provide a distinctive, elegant look.

#2. Preparation

Once you’ve selected the style and material you want for your gutter system, you can ensure that your gutter installation goes smoothly by following these steps:

Tools and Materials for Installing Gutters

Before you start putting up the gutters, ensure you have everything you need. You’ll need a ladder, a drill with bits, measuring tape, level, safety goggles, gloves, gutter sealant, and downspout extensions.

Getting Ready and Taking Down Old Gutters

1. Clean up the surrounding area: 

Remove any junk, furniture, or stuff from where you put the gutters to make it safe and clear.

2. Take off the old gutters: 

If you’re putting up new gutters, you must remove the old ones. It’s usually better to let professionals do this to avoid accidents and damage to the surrounding roofing material.

3. Check for problems: 

Look around the gutters for issues like water damage or loose shingles. Fix these before you install the new gutters.

Staying Safe

When setting up for gutter installation it’s super important to practice the right safety measures to avoid getting hurt. Here are some tips:

  • Always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from things that might fly around.
  • Use the ladder correctly, and have someone help if you need it.
  • Be careful with power tools and electrical wiring – they can be dangerous.
  • Keep an eye on the weather, as the weather will affect your safety while doing roofing work.

#3. Installation

Measuring and Cutting the New Gutters

1. Measure the space: 

Figure out the length of gutters needed by measuring the eaves of your home. 

2. Cut the gutters: 

You can use a hacksaw to cut the gutters to the right length if needed. Put gutter sealant along the joints before attaching sections together.

Putting Up the Gutters

1. Use brackets: 

Place brackets no more than 1 meter apart, and no more than 150 millimeters from any corner or stop.

2. Hang the gutters: 

Hang the gutters on the brackets, ensuring they are level and sloping towards the downspout.

3. Add downspouts: 

Attach the downspouts to the gutters, ensuring they are attached securely and are directed away from the home.

Testing the Drains

1. Check for leaks: 

Run water through the gutters and check for any leaks. Seal any leaks with gutter sealant.

2. Fix any problems: 

If you see issues, like water pooling or overflowing, adjust the slope or downspouts to ensure the water drains correctly.

 #4. Maintenance

Taking care of your gutters is crucial for making them last and work effectively. Here’s a simple guide:

> Clean Your Gutters as Needed

Depending on the amount of trees near your home, or the amount of storms you receive, debris tends to build up within the gutter channels. Ensure your gutters are clear after storms and after each season to ensure that nothing is blocking the flow of water in your gutters. Without doing so, you may face water damage to your home. 

> Inspect the Gutters Twice a Year

Inspecting your gutter system at least twice a year is a good idea. Particularly, schedule an inspection in the spring, and again in the fall. This will ensure that you stay on top of gutter maintenance and repair, keeping your roofing system and home in good condition. It’s always best to hire a professional for the inspection too, as they know what to look for compared to the average homeowner. 

How Much Does Gutter Replacement Cost In Tulsa, OK? 

Several factors influence the cost of gutter replacement in Tulsa, OK, such as the material you choose, its style type, additional features like gutter guards and downspouts, and the cost of labor. To ensure an accurate price estimate from contractors, consider the following tips:

  • Get multiple quotes to compare prices from different contractors.
  • Ask for a detailed breakdown of costs, covering materials, labor, and any extra fees.
  • Evaluate the contractor’s reputation and experience.
  • Request references and check online reviews for a reliable track record.
  • Communicate your expectations to avoid misunderstandings.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Gutter Replacement in Tulsa, OK

The cost of gutter replacements is different based on the following factors:

1. Gutter Type and Size: 

If you need larger gutters, such as 6-inch gutters, it may cost more. As mentioned previously, some material options, like copper, are significantly more expensive than options like vinyl, affecting the final cost. 

2. Cost of Labor: 

The cost of labor will depend on the difficulty of the roofing project, as well as the cost of living in your area. This cost will differ for each roofing contractor so compare quotes to find your best option. 

3. Equipment Rent: 

If you’re installing seamless gutters you may need to pay for the cost of the gutter shaping machine that custom cuts your gutters on site. 

Also Read: A Complete Guide To Finding Your Home’s Perfect Gutter Size

Hiring A Professional for Gutter Replacement

Though some gutter replacements can be DIY projects, it’s always best to hire a professional, as they have the skills and experience to ensure a successful replacement. 

Why Choose a Professional?

  1. Expertise: They know their stuff; with the skills and experience for a top-notch job, they avoid mistakes and ensure great performance.
  2. Efficiency: They are quick and efficient, saving you time and effort compared to doing it yourself.
  3. Safety: Gutter work can be risky, especially since it’s up high. Professionals have the right safety gear and training to do the job safely.
  4. Quality: They also use top-quality materials and tools, making sure your new gutters last for years to come and work well.

How to Choose a Reliable Gutter Replacement Contractor

  1. Check for Licenses and Insurance: Make sure the contractor has the right licenses and insurance to do the work safely.
  2. Read Reviews and References: Look for good reviews and feedback from past customers to see if the contractor has a reputation for providing quality work.
  3. Get Multiple Quotes: Ask a few contractors for quotes to compare and find the best value for your budget.

Conclusion

To protect your home from water damage, it’s essential to choose the correct style and material for your gutter system, install them correctly, and maintain them. We hope this guide was able to help you make the proper decisions for your home, whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional for your gutter replacement needs.

Looking For A Professional Gutter Replacement? We Have Got You Covered

Ensure the safety of your home with A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing; a roofing company specializing in gutter replacement and repair services in Tulsa, OK. Often overlooked, gutters play a crucial role in keeping homes dry, guiding water away from the roof, and preventing potential issues like damage, clogs, or obstructions.

In Tulsa, our experienced team prioritizes correct installation techniques and maintenance schedules to keep your home shielded from water damage. Consider our replacement services to enhance your home’s value and protect it from water damage. We offer free estimates and work closely with you to find the perfect fit, ensuring a durable gutter system that lasts for years without issues or leaks. Contact us today for a worry-free solution to your gutter needs at (918) 402-7167.