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Gutter Installation and Cleaning 101: An Interview with Mike Schoeppler of Gutter Systems of Asheville

By Mike Schoeppler

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Gutter Systems Of Asheville has been serving the WNC area for 15 years. We specialize in seamless gutters and leaf protection systems for both residential and commercial applications.

Is there something that most people don't know about gutter installation that they should know?

Yes there is. Most residential houses come standard with 5" K-style gutters. What most people don't know is that this style gutter is also available in a larger 6" size for just 50 cents a foot more. The 6" gutter can handle about twice the capacity of rain water as the 5" gutter can. If you have a steep roof, metal roof or perhaps both, it is highly recommended that you have the larger 6" gutters. On most houses the cost difference is just $50-$75 so why not just have the larger size put up if your replacing them anyway. It's better to have more than you need than not enough.

What are the main types of gutters to choose from, and do you have any recommendations specifically for most houses?

Rain gutters are available in many different shapes, sizes and materials such as the traditional K-style or Box style or the popular Half Round style that is often used on custom homes. Any of these styles can be made in your choice of aluminum, copper, galvanized steel or galvalume.

Do you suggest installing a gutter guard in order to prevent build-up?

Absolutely YES. We can't stress this enough. If you install a quality gutter guard on your gutters, they will probably last forever. Homeowners don't realize how much stress is caused to the gutter system by first letting them accumulate debris which leads to downspout blockage that leads to hundreds of pounds of standing water trapped inside the gutters. Next comes the additional damage that occurs every time someone attempts to clean them out. Usually, someone starts by leaning a ladder against the gutter in order to get up there to clean them. In short, most gutters are made of aluminum and are not designed to be handled often because it damages easily. Most importantly comes the safety aspect of it. The #1 reason every house should have a quality leaf guard system is to eliminate the risk of having someone fall off either the ladder or the roof. In 2012, there were over 164,000 reported ladder falls due to cleaning gutters. Some people think because they hire someone else to clean their gutters that it suddenly isn't dangerous anymore. The average cost to install a quality aluminum leaf guard system is about $800. I can't imagine why any homeowner wouldn't have one installed. It's probably the best money you can spend on your home.

What are the basics of gutter cleaning and how often should it be done?

If you are going to clean your own gutters, it should be done 4 times a year. Once mid way through spring. Again after spring. Again half way through fall and again after the last leaf has fallen.

What are some of the biggest benefits of having your gutter cleaned regularly?

Keeping your gutters clean will help prevent costly damages to your home from water getting into the soffits, walls, siding, basement and foundation.

Do you have any tips for homeowners who haven't done much (or any) cleaning and aren't sure what condition their gutters are in?

If you are uncertain of the condition of your homes gutters, have a reputable and insured company come out and give you an inspection and estimate if necessary on what is needed to bring the gutter system up to optimum working order. This service is usually free so why not take advantage of it.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

Gutter Systems Of Asheville can be reached at 828-620-0200 or on line at www.guttersystemsofasheville.com.

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