If you’re having trouble with your gutters, you’re not alone. Every house needs gutter replacement after a while, because everything gives out eventually. Sometimes the gutters become severely hail damaged, other times they become detached from the house. You don’t want to put off new gutter installation, because damaged gutters can lead to a host of problems (including foundation damage, believe it or not).
If you fancy yourself a do-it-yourselfer, you might think “I’ll just handle the gutter replacement myself.” Well, you might not be surprised, especially after our blog about not handling your own roof replacement, that we don’t think that’s the best idea. Here are a few of the best reasons to leave gutter replacement and repair to a gutter contractor.
The Fall Danger
We’ll start with what might be the most obvious reason to leave your gutter replacement to professionals: your safety. Gutters, especially those on a roof with more than one story, can get pretty high off the ground. If you’re not, say, a professional exterior house painter, you’re probably not accustomed to spending hours on a ladder like pro gutter installers are.
What could happen? Well, the most common occurrence is that DIY’ers will overextend their reach and lose their balance on the ladder. When that happens, the average fall is about 18 feet, which is more than enough to break a leg. Some people land on their fronts, which can knock the wind out and crack ribs. Other people land on their air conditioners (either ground units, or, painfully, taking out a window unit on the way down). Paralysis is a possibility. Any emergency room visit is probably going to cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Even those that don’t suffer any broken bones can jar their bodies so much that they’ll end up feeling the effects of the fall for the rest of their lives.
Wait, we’re not done! Why were you on the ladder in the first place? Oh yeah, the gutters! Now that you’ve fallen to the ground, there’s no one holding the gutter in place. Down comes to the gutter on top of you. That’s not good.
We’re not just talking about serious injury, either. Have you ever heard the rough estimate of mortality when falling? Fall from 10 feet and you have a 10-percent chance of dying. Fall from 90 feet and you have a 90-percent chance of dying. So, if your gutters are 20-feet off the ground and you fall, you have a one-in-five chance of dying. Not great odds.
The Cutting Danger
Gutters can’t be very heavy or they won’t be able to stay connected to your house. In order to make them as lightweight as possible, they are made from very thin strips of metal that have been bent into a gutter-like shape.
Any very thin piece of metal with a sharp edge is basically a knife. If you’re not accustomed to working with them like a gutter installation expert is, you could cut yourself severely (with either the tools used to cut them or with the gutter itself.) You don’t want to cut your hand while you’re cutting the gutters, scratch your face or your eye while your lifting them to be attached to the house, or have super-sharp gutters fall on top of you after you fall to the ground like we mentioned above.
Okay, now that we’ve gotten “serious injury and death” out of the way, let’s take a look at some other practical reasons you’ll want to leave gutter replacement to the experts.
You’re Not Buying Your Gutters In Bulk
You might think that you will save money by purchasing your own gutters. We’re here to break the news to you: probably not.
In most cases, the more you buy the less you have to pay. That’s why buying cans of chicken in a six pack from the local big box store will save you money. But when you’re purchasing your gutters, you’re not buying them in bulk. The average house doesn’t use an inordinate amount of materials such as gutters, downspouts, adhesives, clips, and hangers, so there’s no reason for the retailer to sweeten the deal with a discount.
Now we don’t mean to brag, but we do get discounts. We have relationships with suppliers and have for years, and they want our return business. We’re also buying in bulk, so we’re getting even better deals. Sure, you’re going to pay for the labor of installing them, but it’s very likely you’ll be saving money on the physical gutters themselves.
They’re Awkward To Get Home
Gutters aren’t exactly easy to deal with. They’re long pieces of metal that are easy to bend and dent (more on that in a moment). If you have a car, SUV, or regular-sized truck, it’s going to be crazy-hard getting them home. And you don’t want to ride home with the gutters sticking out the back of a vehicles, because, like we said, they’re easy to bend. Speaking of which…
They’re Easy To Bend
Did we mention that they’re easy to bend? We did? Good, because they are easy to bend.
Sure, gutters can last for decades, but the biggest threat they face is improper installation; this is the point at which they’re most likely to get damaged. While they might hold up well against the weather, they still have to be lightweight and are therefore somewhat fragile during installation. Gutters can be twisted, ladders can bump against them, a hammer can miss the mark and hit the gutter instead of the spike.
When you’re handling your own gutter installation, you have to make a decision once some damage occurs. You can leave it as is, which looks bad and might affect how well the gutter works, or you can take down the damaged part, head back to the store for a replacement, and reinstall it. Neither is a very fun option.
Have we convinced you yet? You might think we’re exaggerating, but the dangers and inconveniences of performing your own gutter replacement are very real. Thousands of people have to head to the emergency room each year because they’re fallen off a ladder, and many more start a gutter project and never quite get it right, which cause the gutters to malfunction and dump water in the right place.
Doing it yourself might sound like a good option, but trust us when we say that there’s more to gutter installation than you might think. We’re there to get you the best gutters and installation in the Mt. Juliet area, so be sure to contact Bluebird Construction today!