Homeowners Corner: The lowdown on gutters and how they help your house

You might call gutters the “unsung heroes of your home”. Without gutters you could be setting yourself up for a multitude of serious, and potentially expensive problems.
With all the heavy rains in Florida, you would think gutters would be an essential feature of every home. On the contrary, most homes in Florida are built with little to no guttering. With the sandy soil in Florida and the quick drainage of most yards, many homeowners do not see any standing water and therefore, believe there is no problem.
People may not compliment you on your beautiful gutters, but they will admire your landscaping. If you love gardening, or have had expensive landscaping installed around your home, rainwater from your roof can wash away soil faster than just falling rainwater
While Florida homes typically do not have a basement, your concrete slab foundation will be compromised over time due water getting underneath it and eroding the concrete. Having gutters installed will also redirect water away from windows and doors and can provide up to 6” of additional shielding of your windows and doors allowing decreased drying times after a heavy rain. While redirecting water away from your home is the most important reason for gutters, they also aid in keeping your home clean a beautiful. They keep your siding looking newer and cleaner by decreasing splash back from grass and dirt, but they can also accent the architecture of your home.
Once you decide you need to add gutters to your home, you need to take the time to carefully choose a reliable company to install your gutters. Here are some of the key steps you should take to ensure that you are getting the best company available to install your gutters.

  • Shop around for the best local company around. Read online reviews, ask your family members and neighbors for referrals. Look for local companies who are familiar with local weather conditions; they will understand what kind of extreme conditions your gutters will have to handle.
  • Local roofers are also a great source for recommendations. Since most roofers in this area do not install gutters, they have a library of the best gutters installers available.
  • Shop around and get a few estimates. Make sure that the estimates are detailed. If a gutter company attempts to give you a quote over the phone, drop him. No reputable and trustworthy gutter company will do that. An experienced gutter contractor will send an estimator to your home to measure the length of your roofline so he can provide an accurate quote. Gutter systems should be custom built to fit your home’s roof. Quotes should include specific details, drawings outlining where the gutters and downspouts will be installed and information for securing an installation date. You should also be provided with contact information so that you can easily reach them with any additional questions.
  • Make sure that your contractor is properly licensed and insured. Insurance should include workers compensation and liability coverage.
    Now that you’re ready to start inviting estimators, be ready with some questions to ensure that you are getting the best product for your home. You don’t have to be a gutter expert to find the right gutters for your home.
  • The best gutters for your home today are seamless because:
  • They provide the best protection for you home. Seamless gutters only have joints/fasteners at the corners, so leaks will be minimal
  • Seamless gutters have a longer lifespan and are much easier to maintain and are less prone to clogging.
  • Make sure that your contractor offers downspouts that are capable of keeping water away from your home’s foundation.
  • Ask you estimator what he believes it the best solution for your home.
  • You may want to also discuss the installation of gutter guards with your estimator. If you are in a heavily wooded area or have several trees around your home, gutter guards will keep the leaves from clogging your gutters.
    While gutter replacement may seem like an easy enough project for a homeowner to handle on their own, or maybe with a little help from friends, taking the time to find and hire a qualified professional to perform the gutter work to be done on your property is truly worthwhile.