Avoid getting gutted when it comes to your gutter inspection estimate.
Some basic information will go a long way toward making sure you get an accurate and honest gutter installation estimate. You’ll need to know a little about how gutters work and how to look for common problems. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll be able to make sure the gutter inspection you get is legitimate.
Let’s Talk Gutters 101
The “Big 3” gutter factors you need to consider are downspouts, materials, and hanging.
A big misconception when it comes to gutters is that wider, bigger gutters are always going to be able to handle more water. While it’s true that if you get a lot of rain you may need a bigger gutter, it’s just as possible that you really need additional downspouts. Even widening the opening of the downspout can greatly increase the amount of rain your gutter can handle.
Gutters come in either metal or plastic. Metal is more expensive, but it’s also sturdier. Not only that, but it expands and contracts much less with the seasons and temperature fluctuations. If your roofline has a lot of corners, expansion could cause problems, so it’s important to keep this in mind.
Finally, how are the gutters hung? There are a few different types of hangars, but what you need to know is that the wider a hanger is, the more secure and sturdy it’s going to be.
What Does a Good Gutter Inspection Look Like?
You can’t spot a bad inspection if you don’t know what a good one looks like! Here are the things an honest inspector will be looking for and explaining to you. If they miss any of these steps, don’t hesitate to get another opinion.
The first step is to get an accurate gutter estimation from a roofing professional. Before your inspection, take a walk around the house to see what you notice. Doing this will help you to be sure the inspector catches everything.
A good roofing inspector will check for these things in your current setup and make sure they’re up to snuff:
- Any dips or valleys in the gutter allow rain to pool and sit there, attracting mosquitos and shortening the life of your gutter. Everything should be in a straight and steady line.
- A clogged downspout makes your gutter as good as useless. The inspection should include a check of each one to make sure it’s clear.
- An overflow test (blocking the downspout and filling the gutter) will show any problem places and ensure that if overflow occurs it’s in the correct spot.
- Paint that is chipped and discolored or wipes off in a dusty smear is a sign of damage. This gutter does not have a lot of time before it fails completely.
- Corners and connections can be weak spots. Look for “striping” on the house; that is, water damage that looks like drips down the side of the house.
- The board that the gutter attaches to is called the fascia. If you see signs of mold or rot on the fascia, there’s a good chance that’s a damaged spot.
Gutter Inspections: To Repair or Replace?
Always get an estimate for repair and replacement. When comparing prices from different companies, use this simple formula to get a fair estimate: price divided by years of expected life. You may find that roof replacement is a more affordable option. Either way, now you’re prepared to make an informed decision.
At Cornerstone Roofing, we are proud to be your trusted experts in gutter inspection. We know you need a gutter installation estimate you can trust, so contact us today to get the information you need to make the best decision possible.