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Consumer How To Choose Guide 2015

Dalton Daily CItizen, Dalton Magazine

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50 The Daily Citizen ◆ HOW TO CHOOSE GUIDE 2015 Gutters may be more important than you think. They don't just collect leaves and debris that you have to clean out later. They are responsible for keeping rain water away from the foundation of your home. Standing water will cause severe dam- age to the exterior and interior of your house. The design of the structure or where you live doesn't matter. A quality gutter system can divert water away from the foundation. Installing and maintaining this system will save your home from needless structural dam- age. Gutters consist of several types of materials, including steel, aluminum or copper. The materials you choose will depend on your budget and personal pref- erence. Prior to shopping for gutters, inspect your home after a heavy rainstorm. Look at how rain runs from, or toward, the structure. Once you have determined the flow of water on your property, you can figure out how to position your gutters for optimal effect. Your observations will also help you choose which gutter materials are best suited for your needs. Each material has advantages and disadvantages, so examine each choice carefully before making a final decision. Steel gutters Steel gutters are the most common type. Chances are, you already have this type of gutter installed on your home. Its strong material makes it an ideal choice. Steel can withstand a variety of extreme weather conditions that would be detrimental to the materials. One of the big disadvantages of this material is its tendency to rust. Without proper maintenance, steel gutters will look unsightly. They will also become porous and ineffective. Special sprays and applications will prevent rust. With regular maintenance, steel gutters will last for many years. Copper gutters When you want your home to have a stylish, attractive appearance, install cop- per gutters. Copper gutters can carry water better than the more traditional steel option. They are also very strong. However, copper gutters can be expen- sive. They require regular work to main- tain their color and luster. If left untreated, the material can dull with age, turning green and brown. But it will not destroy the integrity of the gutter. If you prefer your gutters remain shiny and gold, proper maintenance is neces- sary. Aluminum gutters The most inexpensive and lightweight choice is aluminum gutters. Do-it-your- selfers choose this type because they are so easy to install. Aluminum sometimes has difficulty standing up against the elements. The material is fairly weak. If you live in a cli- mate that includes snow, ice, damaging winds or strong hail storms, your gutters will probably only last in the short term. Of course, there other considerations besides materials. Budget, average weath- er conditions, maintenance work and per- sonal taste will all factor into your deci- sion. Budget-conscious people might select aluminum gutters. People who care about aesthetics will likely opt for copper gut- ters. Homeowners who prefer longevity should pick steel gutters. Shop around for the best quality gutter system you can afford. If you are planning to use a professional for installation, gath- er reviews and opinions to ensure you receive excellent, quality service. H OW TO CHOOSE GUTTERS FOR WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW k j There are several factors to consider when deciding which type of gutters you want. Steel gutters are the most common type, and they are made to last for a long time. k j Aluminum gutters are the most affordable and easy to install, but they are not as druable and won't last long in bad weather climates. Copper gutters are stylish, very strong, and they can carry water better than steel gutters. YOUR HOME

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