A Property Manager’s Guide To Gutter Installation
Usually, when you think about the start of summer, thoughts of backyard barbecues, toes dipped in cool water and star gazing underneath a clear night sky dance through your mind. However, 2022 had very different plans for the people living in the Pacific Northwest this summer. Thanks to the La Niña weather effect, individuals in Oregon and Washington have experienced lower over-all temperatures as well as record rainfall in June, making the normal summer plans impossible. As we head into the middle of the season, it appears as if we are finally leaving our extra-long springtime and are approaching more typical weather.
As a property manager, crazy weather forecasts can wreak havoc on your maintenance schedule, particularly if the jobs needing to get done require a clear sky and mild wind conditions. Now that July has decided to gift us Pacific Northwesterners with some sunny days, it’s time to jump back into that to-do-list and try to cross off a few necessary tasks before the shortened season comes to a close. Hopefully, as the mid-year deluge of rainfall crashed through your complexes or properties, you were able to make note of which building’s gutters needed replacing, because (finally) now is the perfect time to get those new gutters installed.
Why Do I Even Need Them?
Gutters are the quiet, and often overlooked, protectors of the home. Though rather innocuous in nature, at the first drop of rain, these nifty contraptions funnel water away from a building’s structure. Such a simple invention is able to protect that structure’s foundation, siding, and roofing shingles which helps to prevent water damage and mold growing in or around the home. As a property manager, it is your responsibility to ensure your tenants are living in a structurally sound and safe residence that meets all city and state building codes – having gutters in working condition is part of that equation. However, deciding to get new gutters installed is only part of the battle, next you have to decide which gutter type is going to work best for your property…
There are several aspects of gutter construction you can look at to help determine which type is best for your properties, but to simplify the process, consider these three factors: material, design and whether they are sectional vs seamless. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of gutter, so breaking points of consideration down into three categories can help you properly select the best option for your property.
- Aluminum: one of the most popular choices out there. Aluminum gutters don’t rust or crack easily, are cold resistant, are easier to install and can be painted to match your property’s aesthetic. They are, though, susceptible to denting and splits in the seams resulting in leaks and corrosion over time.
- Vinyl: the most affordable option on the market. Vinyl gutters are dent resistant and will not corrode over time. They are not, however, well-suited for extreme weather conditions and tend to have a much shorter lifespan then it’s metal counterparts.
- Galvanized Steel: an incredible strong choice of gutter material. Galvanized steel gutters are perfect for extreme weather conditions, have a long lifespan and are unlikely to dent or leak. Unfortunately, they are prone to rusting once the protective zinc layer wears off and require more upfront costs then previously mentioned options.
- Zinc: an extremely long-lived gutter type. Zinc gutters are sturdy and completely resistant to rust, warping and fading. The cost per foot tends to be must higher than aluminum or vinyl options, and depending on your roofing type, zinc is also vulnerable to acidic runoff from cedar shingles.
- Copper: an attractive, design-forward pick. Copper gutters are as durable as they are beautiful and have the potential to last for over 100 years in any kind of weather conditions without rusting. However, copper gutters are extremely expensive, require professional installation and maintenance and will form a green patina as time progresses (which may be an undesirable effect for some).
- K-style: the most popular shape, creating a look similar to crown molding. This gutter type is capable of carrying more water than a half-round shape and thanks to the creases that run its whole length, they are also structurally strong. However, while those creases provide stability, they also allow for continued water retention which means a susceptibility to corrosion.
- Fascia: a tall, narrow style that encompasses the entire height of the fascia, hiding the edges of the rafter tails from view. While very secure and visually appealing, these gutters are difficult to clean and require proper maintenance to avoid rotting of the fascia or soffits (the underside pane that supports the fascia).
Half-round: true to the name, these U-shaped gutters are open at the top and offer a classic look to your roofline. This shape of gutter has fallen out of popularity though, due to how easily they clog and overflow.
- Seamed/Sectional: the budget-friendly option. Seamed gutters are easy to make section repairs to by simply replacing the damaged segment with a new piece. Installation is fairly simple and, depending on the material, gutter sections are easy to come by (no waiting period while parts and materials get sent to your location). Seamed gutters are, however, notorious for leaking and require proper sealing at each seam in order to prevent such issues.
- Seamless: the expensive option. While being more costly, seamless gutters offer a sleeker appearance with fewer weak points meaning leaks are less likely to occur (though still possible at corner joints). Should a section of your seamless gutters fail, however, the entire length must be replaced or the damaged area cut-out and replaced, professional installation is required.
The Next Step
Gutters are not something to be skimped on when you live in an area like the Pacific Northwest. Investing in a new gutter system now, can save you from the tons of heartache down the road due to a faulty drainage system. Not to mention, dented or broken gutters haphazardly attached to an apartment or rental’s roofline are never a good look to potential renters. Take advantage of this long awaited dry season and hire a reliable, professional gutter installation service to ensure the best quality of work is achieved on your schedule. At Snugs, we have been fabricating, installing and repairing gutters for all building types for years now. So allow our experienced crew to install your property’s new gutter systems and breathe easy knowing that’s one less thing to worry about!
Snugs Pro Wash, Inc, dba SNUGS Services, has been providing high quality Pressure Washing Services in Portland, OR since 1995. Started as a residential pressure washing and roof cleaning service, SNUGS is now one of the leading exterior cleaning companies in the Northwest. From our humble beginnings as a man with a truck and a trailer we have grown to become a multi-million dollar company serving corporate customers, name brands, and mom and pop companies alike.