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A guide to replacing gutters

A guide to replacing gutters

Malfunctioning gutters can lead to water damage, erosion and compromised foundations. And mucky ones can be a breeding ground for mould and mosquitoes. Help prevent these problems by replacing gutters when they’re in disrepair. Here's what to consider.

Material

Gutter materials vary in price, durability and function.

Galvanized steel

A popular choice; ranges from $4 to $8 per linear foot; can withstand ladders and fallen tree branches; may rust over time

Aluminum

Favoured over steel because of its anti-rusting qualities; $5 to $9 per linear foot

Vinyl

Easy to cut to size; good DIY option; $3 to $5 per linear foot; may become brittle with age or extreme temperatures

Wood

Used primarily for restoration projects; expensive; $12 to $20 per linear foot; high maintenance

Copper

Aesthetically pleasing; never rusts; expensive; around $15 per linear foot.

Style

Once you’ve selected the material for your new gutters, look into the different types available.

Sectional

Sold in 10- to 22-foot-long pieces and made of vinyl, painted steel or painted aluminum, sectional gutters are particularly easy for DIY installation because they’re made of smaller sections joined by connectors.

Seamless or continuous

Typically aluminum, though they can be found in copper and galvanized steel, seamless gutters join only at corners and downspouts, making them less likely to leak. Call a professional to install them.

Size

Gutter size depends on two factors: regional rainfall and roof dimensions. The most common sizes are 5 to 6 inches, and downspouts typically have a 3- to 4-inch diameter. You can calculate your home's gutter size, but a professional can help eliminate guesswork.

Installation

Hiring a contractor can save time and hassle. Select the right professional with these helpful tips:

  • Interview a few candidates, and check your local Better Business Bureau for any complaints filed against your finalists.
  • Ask for references.
  • Make sure the contractor is licenced in your province.
  • Ask for a copy of their business insurance and workers’ compensation policy to avoid liability.
  • Request a detailed description of the work you’re hiring them to do.

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