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· How are your products shipped?
· Where are you located?
· What is the purpose of gutter and downspout systems?
· How much do you overlap the gutter when using a box miter?
· What if the gutter and downspout system functions improperly?
· How should a gutter be pitched?
· How do I maintain a free flowing gutter system?
· Do you recommend contractors in my area?
· How are gutters sized?
· How do you determine the size of Downspout to use?
· What are the advantages and disadvantages of the various metals you offer?
· What is (Copper) Patina?
· Can the naturally occurring green patina of copper be accelerated by artificial chemicals?
· How can the original copper color be protected from weathering after installation?
· What is the role of solder in a copper system?
· What is Lead Coated Copper?
· Why was Lead Coated Copper developed?
· What is the purpose of the lead in Lead Coated copper?
· Can you paint Lead Coated Copper?
· Will Lead Coated Copper Patina?
· What is galvanic corrosion and how can it be prevented?
· Why would I choose a Half Round Gutter System?
· What are the advantages and disadvantages of Half Round Gutters?

How are your products shipped?

All of our gutters and downspouts are shipped in specially made crates to prevent damage. Our shipping methods have been extensively tested to ensure your product arrives at its destination damage free. We ship via Common Carrier or UPS and can accommodate next day and 2nd day air shipments.
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Where are you located?

We are located approximately 30 miles north of Chicago.
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What is the purpose of gutter and downspout systems?

The purpose of gutter and downspout systems is to collect rainwater from the roof and direct it away from the building foundation by means of downspout extensions, splash blocks, or underground drain lines.
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How much do you overlap the gutter when using a box miter?

It is recommended that you overlap anywhere between 2 and 5 inches.
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What if the gutter and downspout system functions improperly?

An improperly functioning gutter and leader system can contribute to water and ice backing up against fascias and under roof shingles, can damage soffits, and can discolor or deteriorate siding materials. Faulty gutters and leaders can also lead to soil erosion adjacent to buildings and serious water and foundation displacement problems in basements and crawl spaces. Other signs of a faulty system are rotted wood, cracked and blistering paint, worn mortar joints, and settling cracks in patios, walkways and driveways.
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How should a gutter be pitched?

Gutters should be sloped a minimum of 1 inch for every 40 feet of run. Standing water may indicate a sagging or incorrectly pitched gutter.
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How do I maintain a free flowing gutter system?

Remove leaves, acorns, sticks and other debris from gutters, so melting snow and ice can flow freely. This can prevent ice damming - a condition where water is unable to properly drain through the gutters and instead seeps into the house causing water to drip from the ceiling and walls. You may also consider installing gutter screens. Screens prevent debris from entering the gutter. When cleaning your gutters, make sure to “flush out” the downspouts with a hose to ensure there are no obstructions inside the downspout.
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Do you recommend contractors in my area?

RainTrade does not specifically recommend contractors in your area, however we do recommend visiting the CDA's (Copper Developmental Association) website at www.copper.org. The CDA has compiled a list of the best architectural copper contractors in the US and Canada into an interactive database. To retrieve a list of contractors for your particular location please click here.
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How are gutters sized?

Gutters are often sized according to the roof area they drain.

· 5" K-style gutters are the residential industry's standard.
· 6" K-style gutters are used for larger roofs.
· Half Round gutters are typically sized 1 inch wider than K-style to provide the equivalent capacity.

Wider gutters may be required for certain hard surface roofing materials, such as slate and tile, or used on steeply-pitched roofs, to prevent water from shooting over the gutter. Gutters should be positioned tight against roofing materials and the fascia.
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How do you determine the size of Downspout to use?

Downspout diameters are sized according to the roof area they drain. A rule of thumb used in the industry is that a 2x3 inch downspout will suffice for a 600 sq. ft. of roof, a 3x4 inch downspout for 1,200 sq. ft. of roof, and 4x5 inch downspout for 2000 sq. ft. of roof. The typical downspout size for a 5” K-style gutter is 2x3 inches, but 3x4 inches is preferable because it is less likely to become clogged and is easier to clean out.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of the various metals you offer for your Gutter Systems?

Aluminum
Advantage: Low cost, and relatively easily maintained. Available in 20 colors. Easily installed. Limited 20 year warranty on baked on enamel coating.

Disadvantage: Expands twice as much as steel and 50 percent more than copper. Less strong than steel or copper. Can be dented (especially in lighter thickness such as .027) more easily than other gutter materials.

Galvanized Steel
Advantage: Galvanized Steel is stronger than aluminum at equivalent thickness and contracts one-half as much. Steel is popular in Northern states with snow and ice conditions.

Disadvantage: Galvanized Steel will rust over time. Galvanized finishes are rarely cleaned or primed properly and when field painted, the paint can fail prematurely. Hot-dipped galvanized gutters are preferred over other galvanized finishes, but are not recommended for nautical environments unless the coil has been pre-coated.

Copper
Advantage: Considered a quality, premium product. An appropriate material for historic preservation projects. Copper patina (See Copper Patina below) blends well with many roofing products. Low maintenance, does not require paint. Will not rust and is well suited for nautical environments. The most durable and longest lasting material currently available for gutters.

Disadvantage: More costly than alternative materials. Requires skilled installers for cutting and soldering of joints and transitions.

Lead Coated Copper
Advantage: Provides an alternative color to architectural copper applications. In addition, lead-coated copper runoff fulfills the objective of providing a metal whose runoff staining is compatible with light-colored materials such as masonry, limestone, stucco and light painted woodwork. Can be painted more effectively than copper.

Disadvantage: More costly than alternative materials. Requires skilled installers for cutting and soldering of joints and transitions.
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What is (Copper) Patina?

Typically allowed to weather naturally, copper develops a blue-green coloration resulting from the formation of a protective copper oxide patina. During the initial weeks of exposure, particularly in a humid atmosphere or in areas of frequent rainfall, radical color changes often take place with iridescent pinks, oranges and reds interspersed with brassy yellows, blues, greens and purples. During continued exposure, these interference colors fade and are replaced by relatively uniform russet brown shades referred to as statuary or oxidized finishes. In industrial and nautical atmospheres, the natural patina generally forms in approximately five to seven years. In rural atmospheres, where the quantity of air-born sulfur dioxide is relatively low, patina formation may not reach a dominant stage for 10 to 14 years. In arid environments, the basic sulfate patina may never form due to the lack of sufficient moisture. Similarly, exposed horizontal surfaces develop the patina more rapidly than sloping surfaces which, in turn, patinate more rapidly than vertical surfaces. The critical variable, in all instances, is the dwell time of moisture on the exposed surfaces.

The progressive oxide, sulfide and sulfate films which develop on copper exposed to the atmosphere are quite thin, two to three thousandths of an inch and highly adherent, but with relatively low abrasion resistance. Neither the oxide nor sulfide films are particularly corrosion resistant. The sulfate patina, on the other hand, is highly resistant to all forms of atmospheric corrosion, once it has had an opportunity to form completely. It thus significantly increases the durability and, hence, the service life of copper roofing and flashing.

The natural weathering cycle of copper is illustrated by the 12 sequential color plates in the Weathering Chart below.

Unexposed 4 Months 8 Months
1 Year 2 Years 3 Years
4 Years 5 Years 7 Years
10 Years 15 Years 25-30 Years
property of www.copper.org
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Can the naturally occurring green patina of copper be accelerated by artificial chemicals?

Due to the precise temperature, humidity and chemical requirements, it is generally not recommended that copper be artificially patinated in the field. However, there are field applied prepatination systems that, with proper training, have proven successful. The patina is produced using patented chemical processes that result in patina chemical conversion coatings that carry extensive warranties.
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How can the original copper color be protected from weathering after installation?

There is no permanent protection system that will protect copper from weathering. There are clear coatings that will provide short-term protection for exterior applications and longer-term protection for interior applications.
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What is the role of solder in a copper system?

In roof and wall systems where water-tight seams are required, soldering is specified. A soldered seam will join two pieces of copper or steel into a cohesive, watertight unit that will expand and contract as one piece. Well soldered seams are, in many cases, stronger than the original base material and will provide many years of satisfactory service.
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What is Lead Coated Copper?

Lead-coated copper is copper in sheet or strip form coated on both sides with lead. The lead coating is applied to the copper by hot dipping the sheet or strip in a bath of molten lead.
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Why was Lead Coated Copper developed?

Lead coated copper was developed and gained widespread use between the turn of the century and World War I. Its development was spurred by two principal desires: to provide a metal for roofing and flashing with the appearance and corrosion resistance of lead at a lower cost and with significantly less dead weight; and to provide a roofing and flashing material whose runoff stains would be compatible with light painted woodwork and light colored masonry, particularly the more porous materials including limestone, mortar and concrete. Lead coated copper fulfills the first objective and very nearly satisfies the second. The stains produced range from light to dark gray in color and resemble the natural atmospheric weathering of the masonry or paint.
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What is the purpose of the lead in Lead Coated copper?

Lead coated copper is the copper industry's response for a strong, durable, easy-to-install gray metal finish on a copper substrate. The material has been available since the early 1900s.

Lead coated copper does not extend the life of copper. Its purpose is to provide an alternative color to architectural copper applications. In addition, lead coated copper runoff fulfills the objective of providing a metal whose runoff staining is compatible with light-colored materials such as masonry, limestone, stucco and light painted woodwork.
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Can you paint Lead Coated Copper?

Lead coated copper takes paint readily and holds it well. In fact, the durability of properly applied paint is usually enhanced by the lead coating, provided that the paint selected is suitable for the purpose.
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Will Lead Coated Copper Patina?

Lead Coated Copper will not patina like regular copper. When permitted to weather naturally, lead-coated copper gradually darkens to a soft gray color.
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What is galvanic corrosion and how can it be prevented?

Metals are rated according to their nobility ratings. When dissimilar metals are in contact with each other in the presence of oxygen and moisture, the more noble metal will corrode the less noble. Copper is one of the most noble of metals and must be separated from other less noble metals. Contact between dissimilar metals should always be avoided. If contact cannot be avoided, the adjacent surfaces should be painted with bituminous or zinc chromate primers or paints. Taping or gasketing with non-absorptive materials is also effective.

Care should be taken to prevent the wash from copper surfaces onto adjacent, exposed less noble metal surfaces, since the traces of copper salts carried in the wash can accelerate the corrosion of less noble metals.
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Why would I choose a Half Round Gutter System?

Half-round gutters were the traditional gutter style on homes built before 1950 and remain a popular choice on historic renovation projects, traditional renovations, and new upscale custom housing.

The simple lines of half-round gutters compliment heavily textured materials such as slate, shakes, and tiles. Where crown moldings exist in lieu of fascias, half-round gutters can be easily hung from the roof. Where fascia exist, fascia brackets may also be used.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of Half Round Gutters?

Advantages: Appropriate for both historic restoration and new construction, both contemporary and traditional. Attractive and durable.

Disadvantages: Higher initial material and labor cost than some other gutter products. Not generally used on non-custom housing.
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