The Ultimate Guide to Gutters, Fascias and Soffits
Gutter systems are vital home improvements for properties located in areas that experience periods of heavy rain falls. They protect homes from storm water and the damages that it can do. A gutter system will help gather and redirect the rainwater that falls on the property’s roof during bad weather. It will help reduce the water and moisture damage that would usually affect homes.
Without a reliable gutter system to direct the rain water away from the property and the adjacent grounds, this water would affect the foundation of the house and cause significant damage to its brickwork, basement, and structure. Heavy rainfall can also affect the roof itself. Water can quite literally slip through the cracks during storms and affect your roof space.
If you live in a wet or rainy climate, having a gutter system that is tailored to your property is the safest way to ensure that your home is protected from dampness, water, and moisture damage. We typically do not give gutters much thought until they become clogged or overflowing, but they save us from costly home repair and maintenance work time and time again. Properties without fascia and gutter systems to direct this rain water away from the grounds and roof often experience significant water damage.
There are several types of gutter systems to help protect properties against storm water damage. What will work best for your home depends on the property’s requirements. The size, location, age, and building materials that your home has will influence its needs in terms of storm damage prevention. You should take into account these factors before deciding which gutter and fascia systems are ideal for your house.
A. The Basics of Guttering and Installing Fascias
There are some important decisional factors that you should take into consideration before deciding on the appropriate gutter and fascia system for your home. Tailoring this system to fit your property’s features and needs is essential to ensuring the best water damage prevention. Knowing the basics of guttering will help you protect your home better. It will also help you make cost-effective decisions when choosing the appropriate guttering and fascia systems for each property.
1. Main Advantages of Quality Guttering, Fascias and Soffits
Energy-efficient homes come with great advantages in terms of energy preservation and reduced costs. However, these modern houses may also be prone to more water damage. Many homes are designed to trap and conserve energy, but, because of that fact, they may also trap moisture. This can cause costly damage to your house.
Roof drainage water can seep into the soil around your house. When that soil becomes soaked, the water inside will travel to the crawl space, basement, foundation, and concrete floor. The air in the home will absorb part of this moisture as well. Air that is saturated with moisture will cause condensation when it meets cold surfaces, which is inevitable. The condensation causes fungal wood-rot that can damage anything from plywood to interior and exterior walls. Once this damage is done, it will be very expensive to fix.
1.1. Keeping Your Home Damp Free
A reliable gutter system will protect your home from condensation and dampness. It controls the amount of stormwater that gets into a structure and limits the damage heavy rainfall can cause. Combining a gutter system with fascias can help prevent moisture from being trapped in your home. Interior and exterior walls, attics, and basements can be protected from dampness and moisture damage this way.
There are several areas on your property that require water drainage systems in order to maintain your home damp free. It is essential to ensure proper ventilation as well as adequate drainage in and around your home. Doing so will prevent moisture and dampness from damaging the structure.
The roof space will require protection from stormwater in order to prevent attic and roofing damage. Installing fascias and soffits on the edge of your property’s eaves will help keep rainwater from seeping through your roof. If your fascias and soffits are rotting or damaged, insects, water, and even small critters may get into your roof. Protecting your roof is important: the stormwater will be drained into the gutters when your roof is efficiently designed.
The gutter system is an essential addition to your property, as it will be responsible for capturing and redirecting the rainwater into the downspouts. To ensure the best water damage protection for your home, you should install a gutter system that is tailored to your home’s size and requirements.
The downspouts are the pipes that help carry the rainwater from the gutters to the actual in-ground drain system. The downspouts should be fitted to your home in order to ensure the best possible water evacuation.
The in-ground drain system consists of several pipes that help redirect the water away from the home and its adjacent grounds. These pipes transport the rainwater into an on-site drain system or a storm drain.
1.2. Transforming the Outer Design of Your House
When it comes to professionally fitted gutters, you can choose the design that best compliments your property. Gutter systems may be a necessity, but the can also help transform the outer design of your home. One of the most important advantages to equipping your home with a tailored gutter system is that you have the ability to control how it will fit into the overall look of the property.
A seamless gutter system is installed on-site for your property. Because it is a continuous length of guttering, it will look as though it were part of the construction itself. This type of system will fit perfectly into each home. This will eliminate the risk of leaky seams along the length and provide better water collection.
Seamless gutter systems are typically made from aluminium. As they are made-to-order for a perfect fit for each home, they must be installed by professionals on-site. These systems are a popular choice for homeowners who wish to integrate their guttering into the outer design of their houses.
Unlike plastic or wooden gutters, aluminium gutters are more resilient and require significantly less maintenance work. They can also be fitted in one length, whereas plastic and wooden gutters must be assembled from several pieces. Plastic gutters can become brittle and crack when temperatures drop. They can also shrink because of temperature changes. Wooden gutters are expensive to install and require a significant amount of maintenance. They are rarely used nowadays because of their high cost and impracticality.
Copper and stainless steel are other very popular gutter material options. Although they are more expensive than the aluminium version, they provide resilient and visually appealing guttering. Copper gutters can be installed using the same system as the aluminium seamless gutters, or as half-round sectional systems. However, sectional systems that must be soldered at the joints can prove to be quite expensive depending on the current price of copper.
Despite the added expense, copper is a popular guttering material because of its aesthetically pleasing qualities. Its natural patina ages well, so it does not require any type of finish. Copper is also a resilient material that lasts for a very long time.
Stainless-steel is a very up-scale material that is sometimes used for gutter systems because, just like copper and aluminium, it does not rust. However, it is very expensive to use, which is why it is seldom the choice for guttering home improvement projects.
Seamless guttering is recommended by many guttering professionals because of its versatility. Not only can it be tailored to each home by using continuous length pieces, it can blend in with any outer design and enhance the architectural beauty of each property. It provides a delicate outline to the property and accentuates its shapes and decorations. In a sense, a tailored gutter system is like a perfectly fitting dress or suit. It complements the wearer better than the generic, one-size-fits-all alternatives do.
1.3. Increasing Your Home's Curb Appeal (Real Estate Advantage)
Adding gutters to your home will, of course, help improve its curb appeal. As is the case with many home improvement projects, investing in your property will help increase its market value should you decide to sell it. Many homeowners interested in selling a house will consider making some exterior and interior improvements to the structure before having it appraised.
Because gutters have such an essential purpose, they are considered to be one of the best home improvement projects homeowners can make to increase their property’s market value. Fitting your home with a professional gutter system will never fail to add value to it. Needless to say, a do-it-yourself project involving a plastic, sectional gutter system will have less value than a professionally installed and customized system.
Property appraisal experts advise against making poor quality home repairs. When it comes to the guttering, an improperly functioning system can cause extensive water damage to the home’s interior and foundation. It is important, according to appraisal experts, to install a good quality gutter system that has the appropriate size for your home in order to avoid clogging and drainage problems.
The do-it-yourself approach is not recommended by experts unless you know what you are doing. Otherwise, you could end up using the wrong size and material for your gutter system. This can make the guttering look unreliable and unprofessional. If it is not fitted correctly, it can do more harm than good because of the water damage that can occur due to clogging and leakage.
As long as your gutter system is properly installed and provides adequate water drainage, it is a fail-proof home improvement project. It will add value to your home and increase its curb appeal, as the new owners will know that they have one less issue to worry about if they acquire the property.
2. What to Expect from Quality Guttering Services
There are several advantages to working with professional home improvement contractors. When you use expert guttering services, you have a clear notion of what the completed work will look like and of what the costs will be. You will also have the guarantee of a professional installation. Not only will that help improve your home’s market value, it will also significantly reduce the risks of water damage caused by faulty drainage systems.
One of the most compelling arguments in favour of a professional guttering installation is that it will be custom-made for your particular requirements. Seamless aluminium gutters are affordable and they eliminate the risk of leakage around gutter seams. They have to be made on-site and professionally fitted to your home in order to ensure proper drainage. This type of guttering is one of the most reliable and cost-effective options currently available on the market. Because it requires professional guttering services to install, you will have a quality guarantee if you choose it for your home.
When collaborating with professional home improvement contractors, you also benefit from a free quote prior to the guttering installation. This helps you control and monitor the costs of your project without having to worry about hidden expenses or additional installation equipment being required. It can save you time and effort while guaranteeing an efficient and aesthetically pleasing result that will immensely benefit your home.
B. Gutter Design Ideas
Choosing the ideal gutter design for your home will depend on the architectural style that it has and on the overall look that you want to achieve when improving the property. Unless you are restoring a large historical estate and want every little detail to be representative of the era in which the property was built, your best option for gutter designs is choosing a versatile and adaptable system.
There are several gutter design systems that can be easily integrated into the architectural style of a home without compromising its appearance. Try to choose a cost-effective alternative that will fit in with the property’s appearance without requiring a large budget. Many modern guttering options can help you achieve a cohesive and visually pleasing outer design while adequately protecting your home from water damage.
1. Seamless Gutter Design
As mentioned before, seamless guttering requires professional installation because of its highly effective design. These systems eliminate the risk of potentially leaky gutter seams along their lengths, making them one of the most popular choices for modern guttering. They are made by machine to the exact length that is needed for each project. Professional guttering services craft and install them directly at your home in order to ensure a perfect fit.
Because of how precise and efficient they are, seamless gutters have become the most popular professional guttering option. Seamless gutters are typically made from aluminium, but stainless-steel or copper can also be used to make them.
Aluminium is the most commonly chosen material for seamless gutter systems because it is relatively inexpensive and it does not rust. Steel is sometimes used for particularly windy areas because it is sturdier than aluminium, but few situations usually require this pricy alternative. Professional home improvement contractors will not recommend the use of steel for seamless gutters unless there is an increased likelihood of damage from trees or wind occurring.
Seamless gutters are assembled by mounting troughs on the eaves. The troughs are then joined at the edges and corners by using special connecting components on both the outside and the inside. Downspout outlets are also fixed into the corners at this time. Besides minimising leakage risks, seamless gutters also have the advantage of being easier to clean and maintain. They are less likely to become clogged than other systems, so you don’t have to clean them out as often. You can also resort to professional guttering services for the more thorough gutter cleaning that these systems require.
2. Choosing Colour and Material for Fascias and Soffits
Fascias and soffits are important for both function and design. They help integrate the eaves and keep your roofing safe from water damage. You can choose from a variety of styles, colours, and materials in order to suit your needs.
On most modern homes, the edge of the roof is covered with a fascia. The fascia is a piece of aluminium of vinyl that covers the wood in order to protect it from water damage. It the wood lining your roof is damaged by water it can begin to rot. This rot will then extend to your roof causing leakage.
Soffits are used to provide a finish to the uncovered area under the roof edge. Using soffits will cover that edge while allowing proper ventilation in the attic. With older homes, soffits and fascias might require replacement or even installation if they are lacking.
Materials used for soffits include wood, aluminium, and vinyl. Using wooden soffit can ensure that your home has a rustic look, but it rots and warps more easily. It requires regular painting and sealing because of that fact, and it typically lasts less than other types of soffit, even with the proper maintenance. Vinyl and aluminium soffits are the preferred options for durability and long life as they do not rot or fade and they require less maintenance. Fascia is typically made from either vinyl or aluminium as it is meant to protect the wood beneath it from water damage.
Colour and style options for both fascias and soffits are varied. They can help you maintain a cohesive outer design for your home when installing or upgrading your gutter system. You should choose colours that match your property’s siding and overall appearance. Although the standard colour for soffit and fascia is white, manufacturers now offer a wide palette of other colours. However, if you require a unique colour that you can’t find ready-made, you can paint soffits and fascias yourself to make them match your home.
3. Top 3 Gutter Design Ideas
Copper gutters can be a great aesthetic addition to your property while providing durability and reliable drainage. Copper does not rust and its powerful, warm colour is very visually appealing. Although it is more expensive than aluminium, copper guttering requires no finish and it is a popular option because of the beautiful Verdigris colour that its patina has after the passing of time. Because of its durability and appealing colour, copper guttering is the go-to option for homeowners that want their drainage systems to age well and last as long as the house. They can be installed as seamless or as half-round sectional systems. Sectional systems can be visually stunning but very expensive. The seamless systems are cheaper than the sectional ones, but they will still cost significantly more than aluminium ones.
Aluminium gutters are the most popular professional guttering systems nowadays because they are cost-efficient and versatile. They fit well into any architectural style or outer design, which makes them timeless. They are less expensive than their copper or stainless steel counterparts and they never rot. Aluminium is more likely to be of a more consistent quality than other materials and it is the most cost-effective option for guttering nowadays. It is recommended by most professional guttering services.
Wood gutters are still used for historically and architecturally accurate restorations. They are visually stunning and compliment vintage properties but they require considerable maintenance. They are quite expensive and heavy, so modern day demand for them has decreased considerably. They are only produced by select lumber dealers nowadays because of that fact. Wood gutters are beautiful but they require a yearly treatment with linseed oil in order to help increase their natural water resistance. They can also be painted but, because paint cracks and peels when exposed to moisture, they will require regular repainting.
C. How to Choose the Best Fascias and Soffits for Your Home Design
It is important to take into account more than colours and materials when choosing the best fascias and soffits for your home. Other aspects such as style, cost, ventilation, and water resistance should be taken into account before deciding on the right soffits and fascias for each case. Your budget, preferences and needs will also greatly influence what the best option will be for you.
1. Estimate the Quality vs. Price
It is important to choose a professional home improvement contractor when installing a gutter system. Try to find out more information about the contractor you are considering hiring beforehand. It is important to know that the company installing your guttering works with trained professionals and good quality equipment and materials.
Anyone with a budget can acquire a seamless gutter machine, so check which materials are being used before choosing a contractor. Some firms may be able to offer significantly lower rates because of the lower-grade materials that they use. Some of these materials may be sub-par and last considerably less than good quality materials do. It is also important that your gutter system is installed properly, so make sure that the company you hire has a professional team for that.
When you decide on the gutter, fascia, and soffits to use for your home, shop around for a good quote. Professional firms will offer free, non-obligational quotes based on your needs and your property. Make an informed decision about which materials work best for you by finding out more about the quality and cost of each before purchasing anything. Take the price and the quality of a material into consideration to figure out if it is an investment worth making.
2. Choose Designs that Fit into Your Current Home Look
Seamless aluminium gutter systems are versatile in terms of style. Fascias and soffits are, however, considered trim materials and the colours and styles you choose can strongly change the overall look of your home. Because of that fact, they come in a wide variety of textures, materials, and colours. Make sure to choose a style that will complement the outer design of your property. You can successfully use fascias and soffits to enhance the architectural style and beauty of your home. You can get some helpful advice by setting up an appointment with a designer or an architect. Professional guttering services can also provide you with important information concerning the best options for your property.
3. Choose Materials for Weather Protection
It is recommended that you choose materials that will provide adequate weather protection for your home. Depending on your property and on the weather conditions in your area, your needs will vary. The most common problems caused by rainwater are water and moisture damage.
Water damage is easy to spot, as it results in roof leaks and wet or flooded basements. Water soaks into materials that should be kept dry and damages them. This can lead to many problems such as loss of structural integrity and fungal infestations.
Moisture damage occurs when warm, moisture saturated air condenses when it comes in contact with a cold surface. It can permeate any surface and cause wood rot. It is also more difficult to see, as often begins in hidden areas of the structure.
D. Gutter Maintenance Tips from Experts
Gutter maintenance is a vital part of keeping your drainage system and your roof covering safe and clean. It prevents future problems that will require more costly repairs. In order to prevent more serious issues from occurring over time, it is important to maintain your gutter system in good working order.
1. Advantages of Regular Gutter Maintenance
Regular gutter maintenance will help you remove any sort of debris from your roof covering. Most commonly, you can find branches and fallen leaves in your gutters. These particles will clog your gutters and drainage system if you do not clean them out every once in a while. By removing this debris from your gutter system, you will prevent any damage that may occur because of clogging during heavy rainfall. Good gutter maintenance routines will ensure a longer lifespan for your guttering and the better functionality of your drainage system.
2. Small Gutter Maintenance Tasks to do By Yourself as a Home Owner
In order to make sure that your gutters stay clean, there are a few necessary maintenance tasks that you have to perform at least twice a year. Some more complex procedures might require an expert hand, but there are smaller tasks that you can perform yourself in order to ensure that your gutters are in great shape throughout the year:
3. Gutter Maintenance Tasks Best Left to Experts
You can perform small cleaning and maintenance tasks to improve the state of your gutters, but there are some procedures better left to the experts. Consider hiring a gutter cleaning service to help you perform the more complex maintenance tasks in order to ensure that they are completed with professional equipment and by using the right techniques. There are some important gutter cleaning tasks that professionals can perform to keep your gutters in good shape: