Get Your Mind Out of the Gutter
by Hoffman Weber Construction, on May 30, 2013
Many Midwesterners have a love-hate relationship with their homes’ rain gutters. They recognize the importance of moving rainwater off the roof and away from the foundation to keep basements dry and to avoid waterfalls over entries. But they are equally vexed by seasonal fall leaf clogs, winter ice dams and midsummer leaks that can be daunting to reach and fix.
If your mind is in the gutter, consider a seamless solution from Hoffman Weber Construction. Okay. Full disclosure. No gutter (or relationship) is completely seamless. You will have joints at corners. But that’s far fewer leak points than if you install short-section preformed gutters from the home center. Hoffman Weber builds each full-length, custom gutter to size on site.
Fewer is Better
Reducing gutter joints matters because every seam is a potential leak point and detracts from the streamlined look. What’s more, the sealant creates ridges that catch sediment such as roofing granules and slow the flow. So the less sealant that’s needed the better the water moves.
You can count on Hoffman Weber to size your seamless gutter and downspouts properly for the roof area. A 5-in. deep K-style gutter with one 2x3-in. downspout will drain about 600 SF of roof, whereas a 6-in. deep gutter with a 3x4-in. downspout will handle twice that area. Most homes are built with 1x6 fascia boards that are too short for the high capacity gutters. But adding a second downspout effectively doubles the rain handling capability of the shallower gutter. Long, steep roofs usually require the larger gutters.
What Really Matters
Height, pitch and hangers are the three most important aspects of a quality gutter installation. The outside top edge of the gutter should be below the angle of the roof plane so it doesn’t catch ice that slides down the roof. The pitch should be sufficient that water drains toward to downspout but not so fast that it is unable to cushion impact of the falling water. Most important, gutter hangers should allow the gutters to expand and contract with changing temperature.
Old style spike and ferrule hangers were the worst because the nails fought expansion and rafter-tails provided the weakest points of attachment. Eventually, the nails loosened in the wood’s end grain and the gutters sagged. Hidden floating hangers secured through the roof sheathing and into the tops of the rafters while replacing roofing provide the best attachment. But floating, invisible hangers screwed to rafter ends are nearly as strong and just as attractive.
Roll formed aluminum used in seamless gutters comes in three thicknesses: light (.025 gauge), medium (.027 gauge) and heavy (.032 gauge). The thicker material is most resistant to damage. Hoffman Weber uses primary rather than recycled aluminum because thickness (strength) is more reliably consistent.
Keep It Clean
Hoffman Weber offers a number of leaf control products designed to keep gutters clean and minimize maintenance. Be sure to tell us if your home is prone to ice dams. If needed we can install heat tape along the eaves, inside the gutter and down the downspout before mounting the leaf guards. We also can address lack of attic wind blocking, ventilation, air sealing and insulation that cause the dams.
Make a Date With Hoffman Weber
Contact Hoffman Weber for a free Zero Pressure Consultation. A seamless gutter expert will take measurements, recommend the best solution and give you a detailed price quote. You’re going to love your new gutters.