Chesapeake Roofers: Article About Gutter Systems
More than 100 years ago, wood gutters were the standard way to drain rainwater and melting ice and snow off a roof. However, wooden drainage systems deteriorate quickly and require a great deal of maintenance and repairs. To recreate the look of wood without the maintenance headaches, manufacturers developed fiberglass gutters. Many Chesapeake roofers offer these stylish and functional gutter systems to homeowners who like the classic style of wood but who want to avoid the hassle of dealing with painting and sealing every year. Before deciding upon new fiberglass gutters, there are a few important pieces of information property owners need to know.
Fiberglass has a high tensile strength, which means that it can resist rapid fluctuations in temperature and frequent exposure to moisture. Because it does not corrode, the fiberglass is ideal for environments with high humidity and regular rains. The lightweight nature of fiberglass allows for their installation on homes with metal, slate, clay tile, cedar shake or asphalt shingles.
During the manufacturing process, pigments can be added to the fiberglass material, resulting in a wide range of colors. Customers can choose from stock color options or have gutters made to perfectly match the paint or siding on their homes. The gutters are also available in several profiles, with K style being the most popular option.
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Customized shapes can also be created, with curved pieces available to accommodate historic homes with turrets and bay windows. A gel coating is applied to the molded pieces. This covering resists rust and does not peel or blister. The gutters will not need to be painted and do not develop unsightly stains. Fused seams between pieces means homeowners can enjoy leak free performance from their rooftop.
The ease of installation is a benefit that many homeowners enjoy. Fiberglass gutters can be installed in about one third the amount of time that it takes to install the aluminum variety. The connecting downspout pieces can be fused together with the gutter to create a seamless system that is nearly leak proof.
While there are many reasons to install fiberglass gutters, there are some drawbacks. These gutters will not work with deicing strips during the development of an ice dam. The lightweight nature of the gutters may increase their risk of blowing off during a severe storm. Fiberglass does not have a high fire rating and may not be recommended for homes in areas that may be at an increased risk of wildfires.