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Whether you’re installing rain gutters on a new home or replacing your old gutters with ones that are more attractive and effective, you need to consider what’s best for you and your home before making a final decision. Here, Gutter Helmet shares a guide that discusses important questions to ask before buying new gutters.

How much rain does my area receive?

It’s important to know how much water your gutter system needs to be able to handle. You can determine this by finding out the average rainfall in your area and calculating the square footage of your roof. This will tell you the surface area the gutters will have to drain and, therefore, the volume of water they’ll be subjected to. The more water, the bigger the gutters and downspouts need to be. Gutters are available in widths of five, six and seven inches. Each inch adds to the cost, so do the math carefully.

Should I go with sectional or seamless gutters?

Gutter installation is performed using one of two specific methods. First of all, sectional gutters are put together and mounted in sections. Sectional gutters are inexpensive since you can buy the material and install them yourself. There is a trade-off, however: more sections mean more chances for leakage to occur and more points at which the gutters could break. Seamless gutters, on the other hand, are constructed of one continuous piece of material. This means they’re less likely to leak or break, but keep in mind they do need to be installed by a contractor with a specialized machine.

Which material should I use?

Once you decide which method you’ll be using, you can start looking at materials. Starting with the least expensive, these include plastic, vinyl, galvanized steel, aluminum, stainless steel and copper. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks. For example, while galvanized steel is cheap and strong, it will eventually rust. Copper, on the other hand, will never rust and is an eye-catching addition to your home’s exterior, but it’s also somewhat more expensive to install. In addition, vinyl won’t work in every environment because it becomes brittle in cold temperatures.

What are the local building codes?

Once you’ve chosen your preferred style and material, it’s important to become familiar with local and state building codes, which are very clear on what’s required for your gutters to pass inspection. Certain historical structures may require copper gutters, for instance. Always check to make sure that the gutters you choose meet all legal requirements.

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The best thing you can do for your home is to choose the most durable gutter material you can afford, in the heaviest gauge possible. To learn more about the best gutter systems and Gutter Helmet’s exceptional gutter protection service, give Gutter Helmet a call at (800) 824-3772 or submit our online form.