Cardinal Roofing and Gutters
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Do you really need Gutters?
There are several reasons to get gutters:
To protect the homes siding from water damage. Rainwater will flow off the roof carrying with it tree debris, dirt and asphalt shingle granules and run down the siding leaving streaks and stains in its wake. The rainwater may even slip behind the siding and cause decay and mold.
As rainwater flows off a roof, a gutters system channels it away, otherwise it will pool around the homes foundation. Water pooling around the home’s foundation increases tremendously the pressure on the basement walls perhaps the point of cracking or shifting the foundation and destabilizing the home. Water flowing through basement cracks will flood it and cause greater cracking. A shifting foundation will damage the framing of the home leaving behind uneven floors, crack walls, warped doors and windows and broken brick chimneys.
Pooling rainwater around the home will also erode soil- perhaps causing gardens to wash away. The carefully graded landscaping around the home that drains water away will wear down causing water runoff to flow towards the home instead. Downspouts are needed to send the flow of rainwater gathered from the roof’s gutters away from the foundation.
Round Steel Gutter
Types of Gutters
There are 3 basic types of Gutters as determined by the shape of their cross section:
K-style gutters have flat bottoms and backs with the front side a decorative shape that mimics crown molding- there are many decorative styles available.
Half-round gutters are half-round tubes usually these are found on older historic homes.
Square gutters are flat on all 3 sides.
K-style gutters have twice the capacity of the half-round type but are a little more expensive.
All types come in 5 and 6- inch widths. The best size gutter depends on the size and slope of your roof and the average maximum rainfall in your area. A standard 5-inch gutter with the larger 3-inch by 4-inch downspouts will handle most situations around the country. Larger 6-inch gutters run the risk of getting weigh down with rainwater left in the gutter turned to ice and pulling away from the house or even falling off.
Residential gutters are made from various metals:
Aluminum is the most widely used material used in prefabricated or seamless gutters (trucks with spool of aluminum metal fabricate the length of gutter need on-site). In regions with snow .032 or .027 gauge is recommended for a longer life span. Aluminum won’t rust, comes in many colors and can be painted.
Copper develops a beautiful patina over time, will not rust, seams and joints must be welded, very expensive, normally used on estates and historic restorations.
Steel is strong but longevity is an issue because even though galvanized steel resists rust it can still rust after 1 to 10 years. Steel can be painted and comes in many colors.
Zinc is durable, develops a patina over time, is expensive, steams and joints must be welded and used primarily on high end homes or on historic homes.
Downspouts come in round, square and decorative shapes, such as twists
in widths from 3 to 6 inches with the most common being 2 inches by 3 and 3 inches by 4. In general, you need on downspout for every 30 to 40 feet of gutter. Adding more downspout will increase the capacity of your gutter system.
Learn about Residential Roofing
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