Does your home need a new set of gutters? Adding clean, new gutters can eliminate a lot of problems that you were having with your roof, such as overflow from clogs and potential contribution to ice dams. But if you're going to replace your old gutters with seamless models, be prepared for a few changes. Most of them are good changes. However, there are a few quirks that you need to know about.
There Are Seams, Just Fewer of Them
Seamless gutters are called that because the main portions of the gutters that run along your roof are made from one piece. There are no seams in the long pieces you normally see. However, that doesn't mean that seamless gutters are completely seamless -- they're not. There are seams at the corners, of course. Plus, where the gutter meets a downspout or another connection will have its own seams as well. So you still need to check around the gutters for signs of leaks at the seams, and for signs of corrosion along the areas that don't have seams. Certainly, seamless gutters cut down on the risk of leaks. But you should be aware that you'll still have to inspect them from time to time to see if the few seams that are present are still in good shape.
Professional Help Needed
Seamless gutters are cut to fit your home, and that does mean that they are not a DIY project. You will have to contact a gutter installation company to have these cut and installed. It can be a disappointment to enthusiastic DIYers to find out they can't work on this project themselves. If you're planning to call a professional anyway, though, then this won't be an issue for you.
Color Availability and Fastness
Many seamless gutters use a baked-on layer of enamel to coat the gutters. That means that there's no flaking paint that you'll have to replace every year. However, enamel can be chipped, so you should find out what sort of cosmetic warranty the gutter company offers. The really good news here is that these gutters are available in many colors, so you'll likely never have to worry about not being able to match a color for repairs.
Ice Dams and Clogs
New gutters aren't going to do anything to stop ice dams if your home's insulation is terrible. At the same time that you get the gutters replaced, have the insulation in your home's attic or crawlspace inspected and replaced if necessary. Also note that while seamless gutters have a tendency to clog less (no seams in those long portions means no bumpy spots that can snag leaves flowing in the water to the downspouts), they can still clog -- so schedule inspections on a regular basis.
The companies that you get bids from can show you what sort of maintenance plan they offer to keep the new gutters in good shape. Seamless gutters have a lot of advantages, and with the right care, they can perform well for years.