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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.

Where are you located?

19 Skokie Valley Road, Lake Bluff, IL 60044. Approximately 30 miles north of Chicago.

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.

How much do you overlap the gutter when using a box miter?

It is recommended that you overlap anywhere between 2 and 5 inches.

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 fascia boards and under roof shingles, it 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.

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.

How do I maintain a free flowing gutter system?

Remove leaves, acorns, sticks and other debris from gutters, so rain, 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 leaf guards. Leaf guards 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.

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.

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.

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.

Galvalume
Advantage: Galvalume is a material constructed of steel coated with 55% aluminum and 45% zinc during a continuous hot dipping process. This unique coating protects the steel from corrosion while creating a tough, long-lasting finish. Galvalume will weather uniformly and is resistant to fingerprints and smudging. This material stands up to the weather very well, so if you live in an area that gets heavy rain or snow, this material is an excellent choice.

Disadvantage: Galvalume should not be used in alkaline environments. The aluminum in Galvalume does not hold up well to that type of environment, so galvanized steel may be a better choice in that instance.

Preweathered Zinc
Advantage: Though zinc is not as popular as the other materials on this list, it is one of the best options in terms of durability. Like galvanized steel, zinc is corrosion-resistant and strong. It comes in numerous colors, and though it does not cost quite as much as copper, it does cost more than steel, aluminum, or vinyl. Other considerations include zinc's antifungal nature, which will prevent the growth of fungus, mold, and bacteria, and the fact that you can completely recycle zinc gutters at the end of their exceptionally long lifecycle.

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

Vinyl
Advantage: If you want something that is both affordable and rust- and corrosion-resistant, there's nothing quite like vinyl to fit that need. Vinyl is lightweight, available in numerous colors and patterns, and easy to install.

Disadvantage: In extreme cold temperatures, vinyl can become brittle and crack, and many types of vinyl will fade in direct sunlight over a period of months.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Need Help? Please call us at: (888) 909-RAIN
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