Rainwater collecting near your home's foundation can lead to foundation damage or a leaking basement, and your gutters play a vital role in diverting rainwater away from it. Despite their importance, many homeowners find frequent gutter maintenance annoying — gutters sometimes leak or clog up entirely.
What type of gutters should you install if you want to keep maintenance and cleaning to a minimum? If you're tired of cleaning your gutters and patching leaks, read on to find out how to install the lowest-maintenance rain gutters possible.
Choose Seamless Aluminum Gutters
When you're looking for low-maintenance gutters, seamless aluminum gutters are the best choice. When seamless gutters are installed by a gutter installation service, aluminum sheets are fed into a machine that forms them into gutters that are perfectly shaped for your roof. The lack of seams makes them more durable. Sectional gutters tend to develop leaks at the seams — the sealant used to join sections together slowly erodes over time, allowing water to escape from the gutters.
Aluminum gutters are slightly more expensive than galvanized steel gutters, but you won't have to ever worry about them rusting. They're also slightly more expensive than vinyl gutters, but vinyl gutters are less durable — they're prone to warping or cracking due to temperature extremes. The small added expense of choosing aluminum is worth it when you're looking for low-maintenance gutters.
Install a Mesh Cover Over Your Gutters to Block Large Debris
You'll need to install a gutter guard system along with your new gutters. These are designed to keep leaves, branches, and other wind-blown debris out of your gutter. You won't have to clean your gutters as often to remove clogs. Few homeowners enjoy cleaning their gutters, and companies who manufacture gutter guards have responded to that demand. There are several choices available on the market.
The best form of gutter protection is a mesh screen made from either steel or aluminum. Choose one with a very small mesh size — you need to keep as much debris as possible out of your gutters. Leaves and other large debris will collect on top of the mesh, but they can easily be removed with a long-handled brush or a garden hose.
Slope the Gutter Toward the Downspout to Wash Away Smaller Debris
Even with a small mesh size, some debris such as pollen will still enter into your gutters. Because of this, it's important that you select a gutter installation service that will hang your new gutter using an adequate slope. The gutter needs to be sloping downward along its length until it finally reaches the downspout.
Some homeowners dislike the slanted appearance that a slope adds to the gutter, but it's an important part of reducing gutter maintenance and cleaning. The wire mesh you've installed on top of your gutters will block large debris from entering, and a properly sloped gutter will allow rainwater to wash away small debris. The combination of the two will keep gutter cleaning to a minimum.
To sum it up, install a seamless aluminum gutter along with a mesh covering and ensure that it's sloped properly towards the downspout. This is the perfect blend of keeping both installation costs and cleaning to a minimum. If you're tired of your current gutters clogging or leaking, contact a gutter installation service in your area, such as California Gutter Company INC., and inquire about their prices.