Rain diversion is essential for human and home health. To facilitate water flow away from the home, many homeowners choose seamless guttering over the seams and gaps of traditional guttering. We examined rain data, home improvement expert advice, and seamless guttering manufacturer documentation to see whether seamless gutters need regular cleaning to provide a clog-free water redirection process.
While seamless gutters reduce maintenance, you will still need to clean them twice a year to help avoid:
- Gutter Sag
- Roof Damage
- House Staining
- Pest Infestation
- Foundation Damage
Read on to check out seamless guttering processes from creation to cleaning. Explore installation, materials, durability, and warranty information to discover how seamless gutters compare to traditional seamed gutters for cost, appearance, and maintenance.
How important are gutters for home stability?
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Per data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), a 40x70 foot roof receives 1,743 gallons of water during a 1-inch rainstorm. This immense water flow can cause home damage. The USGS rainfall calculator allows you to see how much rain may fall on your home during a rain event. Moisture-resistant homes are essential for both human and house wellness.
The Gutter and Downspouts Guide provided by the United States Department of Energy Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) highlights common moisture issues when water is not directed away from the house foundation. Water allowed to penetrate the home may cause mold and rot, which are common moisture issues.
What seamless gutter considerations are important for home health?
Debris collected in gutters can soak up water. The debris prohibits proper water movement through the drain system. When gutters are clogged, water does not have a channel to exit via the downspout and will begin to flow over the gutter sides. The home fascia may start to rot because of this moisture abundance.
Clogged drains may make the gutter heavy enough to pull away from the home or fall to the ground, especially if the heavy gutter is attached to the rotting fascia. With nowhere to go via the guttering, water may begin to stand on roof areas causing leaks and interior damage. Falling or sagging guttering may cause damage to the home from the falling gutter itself or through rot, mold, foundation issues, or basement flooding.
What seamless gutter considerations are important for human health?
Sagging or falling gutters provide yard safety considerations. Mold accumulation provides an additional concern for the home’s occupants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advises mold allergens and irritants can cause health problems in humans. Molds may cause asthma, lung, skin, eyes, and throat issues for both mold-allergic and non-allergic people. Do-it-yourself mold testing kits provide an easy and affordable way to see if mold may be a problem in your home.
How are seamless gutters constructed?
Seamless gutter installations include channels and downspouts. Because special roll-form equipment and skills are required, most homeowners leave manufacturing and installation to the professionals. Seamless gutter contractors create the channels onsite to exact roof measurements.
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Material choice, color, and size dictate seamless gutter cost and durability. Prices typically range from $4 to $20 per linear foot. Seamless gutters are available in 3 to 7-inch formats; the most common size is 5 inches. Each additional inch handles 40% more water at a higher rate.
Gutter installation professionals form seamless gutters as a continuous run from aluminum (most common), vinyl (least durable), steel, zinc, and copper. Copper, steel, and copper gutters are best able to withstand damage. Screws secure seamless gutters to the home. Check out this Youtube video to see how a gutter machine works.
What are the benefits of seamless gutters?
Compared to traditional gutters, seamless gutters are typically stronger and provide a better roof-to-basement water protection system. The full roof-edge gutter channel length dramatically reduces the number of seams. The seamless design offers a smooth and robust water flow system to divert water away from the home.
Initial seamless gutter cost for material and installation is higher than for traditional seamed gutters. Increased warranty coverage, reduced maintenance cost, improved overall home protection, and expected endurance significantly offset this initial cost. Typical seamless gutter warranties range from 20 years to lifetime coverage.
Seamless gutters are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional seamed gutters. Seamless guttering provides a custom fit with a variety of materials and color finishes. As a bonus, seamless gutters improve home curb appeal and may increase home value.
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Are seamless gutters easier to clean than traditional gutters?
Dirt, leaves, pine needles, and sticks collect at the seams of traditional gutters. This causes clogs and reduces the flow needed to carry water away from your home’s roof and foundation. Traditional gutters require continuous cleaning to clear debris and clogs.
Since the only joints are at the corners, seamless gutter installations do not accumulate debris like traditional sectioned gutters. The smooth full-roof seamless gutter length facilitates water and potential clog flow through the drain system. This reduces and facilitates needed cleaning.
Seamless gutters require less maintenance; however, they still require regular inspection with debris removal to maintain drain system integrity. A telescopic water-fed pole like the Guttermaster Classic from Amazon will allow you to clean gutters without climbing a ladder. This cleaning tool utilizes your garden hose and the 12’ telescopic wand (combined with your height) to reach gutters for most 2-story homes.
How do I know if my gutters need cleaning?
Clean gutters twice per year. In the spring, clean to prepare for spring rains. In the fall, remove leaves, pine needles, and other debris. To better ensure peak functionality, inspect once per week when leaves are falling and clean when needed. A drone with hover capability may assist in your gutter inspection and cleaning processes.
If you choose to climb a ladder for gutter inspection, a ladder stabilizer may protect you and your gutters.
Some indicators that gutters need cleaning include:
- Gutters are sagging or pulling away from the house.
- Insects or other pests have made homes and breeding grounds in your gutters.
- Staining is present on the home siding.
- Water is leaking from gutters.
- Water is accumulating around the home foundation.
Can gutters be cleaned in the winter?
In addition to biannual gutter cleaning, perform monthly winter gutter inspection. Remove any debris to avoid frozen gutters that do not allow proper melting snow and ice runoff. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), ice, snow, and wind cause insured losses due to frozen gutters. Properly draining gutters reduce roof water accumulation and gutter repairs caused by heavy ice and debris. If gutter icing is an issue, you may need to utilize a gutter deicing cable to protect your gutters and home.
Are gutter guards worth the investment?
Gutter guards greatly diminish cleaning and maintenance requirements, especially for those who have many large trees. Some installers will create gutter guards (also known as leaf guards) as part of the seamless gutter system. LeafTek Gutter Guard Protection from Amazon offers two colors and multiple options for sizing and quantity. A video is available to allow you to see how they work.
Many homeowners leave gutter guard installation to the professionals. Depending on the gutter guard type and whether the installer or homeowner supplies materials, gutter guards with professional install may cost from $3 to $30 per linear foot. Many gutter guards come with a no-clog guarantee that includes professional cleaning.
While gutter guards greatly assist with clog prevention, regular inspection is required to ensure debris is not restricting the water flow. Because ice dams occur above the gutter, gutter guards do not eliminate ice issues.
Seamless gutter installations greatly reduce maintenance and cleaning effort compared to traditional sectioned guttering. Homeowners who clean gutters twice per year increase rain diversion and decrease overall issues caused by clogged heavy channels. Monthly gutter checks are needed in the winter to ensure debris is not in gutters to freeze and add weight to the gutter and home structure.
Read our Clean Gutters from the Ground post for some ways to ease the cleaning process.