Gutter Options in Minnesota

Whether you are already planning on new roofing and will need new gutters to go along with it, or you noticed some wear and tear during spring cleaning, it is helpful to know what is available to you when it comes to replacing a gutter system. If you are a more do-it-yourself type of person, you will need to look into mounting types and other aspects of sectional gutters, as you will likely be installing it in 10-foot sections. Fortunately, DIY gutter systems are widely available and are relatively easy to install. But even if you have the drive to get the job done with your own two hands, you may want to consider a professional job, for a few different reasons.

Residential gutters on house in minnesota
Residential gutters on home in Minnesota

First off, a professional gutter installer will often have a machine on hand that makes seamless gutters, allowing your gutters to be custom-fit to your roof without the added potential for joint leaks that comes with section-based gutters. The shape that it comes in is also up to you, but the most popular shapes are either K-style, which is an ogee shape (and admittedly only distantly resembles its namesake), and fascia, which hides more of the gutter’s structure. Other shapes are also available but are more likely to run the risk of debris buildup and subsequent overflow.

When it comes to materials, the two most inexpensive options are vinyl and aluminum. Vinyl may edge out aluminum when it comes to cost but tends to break down due to the expansion and contraction that comes with the changing of the seasons. On top of being inexpensive, aluminum can be painted, coated, and otherwise altered to be resistant to the elements, easier on the eyes, and so on. There are, as with any project, a few higher-end choices as well. Copper gutters are quite fashionable, wear extremely well, and resist rust, and stainless steel gets a leg up over regular steel (which is more prone to rusting), but both are dramatically more expensive.

Ice build up gutters in Minnesota
Ice build up gutters in Minnesota

Any new gutter installation can be complemented with additional peripherals. You can get covers over the top, filters on the inside, and any number of other value-adding coatings and finishings. Herein lies another reason to go to an installer for your gutter system: simply put, they’ll be able to tell you which add-ons will actually be useful for your situation. As long as they’re already producing some sturdy seamless gutters for you, you might as well take advantage of their professional know-how.

Exterior Siding Has a Tough Job to do in Minnesota’s Tough Climate

Considering how much surface area of your home it covers, exterior siding can be considered just as important, if not more important, than roofing for keeping water out. Especially in the harsh range of weather conditions we see here in Minnesota. There’s quite a bit of overlap between roofing and exterior siding’s purposes and in terms of function and in terms of maintenance. Luckily, just like with a roof, it is generally pretty clear when siding needs to be addressed.

Most signs of degraded siding can be noticed at a glance. Fading, rotting boards, and frequently chipping, cracking, or bubbling paint are two such examples. However, other indicators are not quite as obvious and require closer forms of examination. For instance, the paint job might be staying intact, but a quick poke around with a screwdriver or a finger might reveal that the material underneath is going soft and that rot or mold is present.

diagram of how much moisture it takes to rot or mold housing substrate
Diagram of how much moisture it takes to rot or mold housing substrate.

It is also important to understand that siding, just like roofing, helps insulate your house, and regulate its temperature. If you notice that heating or cooling the house is becoming more difficult, or that your energy bills are increasing for no apparent reason, you may want to have an exterior siding contractor checked out your home.

exterior siding ventilation diagram
Exterior siding ventilation diagram.

When getting your siding replaced, there will be a range of materials available with which to do so. Wood, which may be what you have already depending on the age of the structure, will give a good look to your house. However, just like your roofing, your siding is intended to take a beating from the elements. As such, wood siding requires considerable maintenance, so you may want to opt for a more durable material. Two popular materials that fit the bill are vinyl and aluminum. Each is much more durable than wood, and vinyl in particular is on the more affordable end, but each has its own caveats. Aluminum can experience oxidation, resulting in fading and colored runoff, while vinyl is vulnerable to cracking in the bitter conditions of winter. However, treatments and textures are available for both that can help to mitigate these issues to help keep the water barrier intact.

diagram of exterior siding repelling rain
Diagram of exterior siding repelling rain.

If none of those seem appealing, there is another popular option available: cement siding. While on the more expensive side of siding, it earns its price point. As the name would suggest, it is highly durable, but it imitates the appearance of wood siding, and is produced from recycled materials. To top that all off, it is also low maintenance, so if it fits your budget, it should certainly be considered. The material you choose to run with will ultimately come down to your preferences, but a good contractor will be able to help you consider your options thoroughly.