8 Roofing Mistakes for New Homeowners

The roof is likened to a woman’s hair; it is your home’s crowning glory. A woman garbed with expensive, classy clothes will never have the confidence if she’s having a bad hair day. The same is true for your home. The exterior may attract people at first glance, but the roof will clinch the value of a home.

Many new homeowners think that the foundation warrants more attention than the roof. However, every homeowner should realize that the roof protects everything in their house – the foundation, exterior, interior, and even the lawn. This article discusses common roofing mistakes that threaten every homeowner’s safety and budget.

Every homeowner should realize that the roof protects everything in their house – the foundation, exterior, interior, and even the lawn.

Qualities of a Good Roof

  1. A good roof effectively drains the water to avoid any standing water that may cause rotting and damage to your roof and other parts of the house. Even flat roofs have a slight slope to drain the water off the roof.
  2. It protects the building’s interiors and occupants from the elements.
  3. A good quality roof incorporates insulation in the roof assembly.
  4. It also contributes to the overall look of the house.

Advantages of a High-Quality Roof

  1. A high-quality roof helps conserve energy from heating during the winter and air conditioning during the hot months.
  2. Sellers can demand a good price for their houses.
  3. A well-maintained roof lowers your insurance premiums.
  4. It saves you a lot of money from repairs and potential damage to your belongings.

Common Roofing Mistakes for Newly-Constructed Homes

Constructing a new home gives you more freedom on the materials to use and the layout and design of your home. A bad roof will compromise your investment and can cause the denial of your insurance claims.

1. Installing the Wrong Roof Type

Some roofs are not suitable in certain states. Metal roofings are not the best choice for hurricane-prone states, while asphalt and tile roof shingles are not best for heavily-snowed states. Before you buy the materials for your roof, refer to the most common type used in your neighborhood. Also, ask among contractors what type of roof they recommend in your state.

2. Not Investing in High-Quality Roofing Materials

Invest in high-quality roofing materials suitable for your location, as mentioned earlier. Different roofing materials have different service lives. Tile and metal roofs last the longest with more than 50 years of service life, followed by asphalt shingles.

Understand, though, that the roof has two main components. The supporting structure should be sturdy enough to support the roofing material. In most modern structures, the materials used on the joists, trusses, and rafters are cast iron or steel, while some still use lumber.

3. Doing a DIY Roof Installation

DIYers are most notorious for these mistakes. Though some home projects are good for DIYs, installing the roof is a different issue. Professional roofing contractors have a checklist of the issues they need to check during and after the installation. You may avoid cracked shingles, missing vents, a poor tilt of the gutter, and other issues if you hire a professional roof contractor.

4. Hiring a Low-Bid Roofing Contractor

When hiring a contractor for your roof installation, go for reputable and trusted roofing contractors rather than cheap ones. On the same note, getting a pricey contractor doesn’t guarantee quality work. Check your roofing contractor’s reputation, and don’t hire the first contractor either. Instead, compare quotes and services, including the estimate of working days.

5. Not Considering the Use of Solar Shingles

Solar shingles are long-term investments that new homeowners should consider. Though the installation is pricey, the long-term benefits you can get from producing your electricity are worth the investment. They also last for 20-25 years, and since they function as a roof and solar power generator, even if the solar panel no longer functions, you don’t need to replace the shingles immediately.

Common Roofing Mistakes for Newly-Acquired Homes

First-time homebuyers commit several mistakes that may cost them their hard-earned money. However, Forbes points out that bad roofing is a deal-breaker when buying a house. Here are common pitfalls you should avoid before making an offer for your new house. 

6. Not Checking the Integrity of the Roof

Constructing a new home is not an option for many people, so they buy second-hand homes instead. Your real estate agent may have the best photos, but before deciding to buy that home, check the structure of the house, especially the roof. Check the attic and the ceiling to see if there are watermarks from leaks.

7. Ignoring the Gutters

Though the gutters are technically not part of the roof, they tell a story about the integrity of the house. Check the gutters because clogged or damaged gutters can lead to issues with the foundation and walls of the house.

8. Repairing Instead of Replacing the Roof

Some homeowners may opt for a house with a compromised roof because of the lower price. If the overall structural integrity is sound, but the roof needs replacement because it is past its service life, don’t hesitate to invest in replacing the roof.

Although the roof is very important, homeowners should not neglect other parts of the house.

Take Note

Although the roof is very important, homeowners should not neglect other parts of the house. Do a periodic maintenance check to see that your new home is ready for the changing seasons. 

How to Clean Your Gutters Like a Pro and How to Maintain Them

When you find your gutters on the ground after a heavy snowfall or your basement flooded when it rains, you’re in need of urgent gutter maintenance. Aside from potential damage to your roof, damaged or clogged gutters also promote mold growth on your walls and ceiling. It is, therefore, wise to maintain your gutters before they turn into a financial and safety nightmare.

However, many homeowners fail to understand the gravity of keeping their gutters clean and maintaining them. Here are fail-safe tips to keep your gutters in tiptop condition and save yourself thousands of dollars in repairs or replacement costs.

Many homeowners fail to understand the gravity of keeping their gutter clean and maintaining it.

Determine How You Want to Do It

There are several ways that you can adopt to clean your gutters. Find one that best fits your preference, budget, and safety.

From the Ground

Don’t worry if you’re afraid of heights. You can still clean your gutter even when standing on the ground by running water from a garden hose with a telescopic curved hose attachment. The downside of this method is that most of the debris runs to your downspout and may cause further clogging. It is not the best method for deep cleaning your gutters. However, you can use this method to maintain your gutter.

Using a Ladder

Standing on a ladder is an excellent option to clean your gutter with a gutter pole to pull the debris toward you and scoop them out of the gutter with a gutter scoop. Get a sturdy ladder and, if possible, a harness to give you an added layer of protection. This method is best if your gutter does not have balled debris.

On the Roof

If you don’t feel very safe on the ladder, sit or stand on the roof to scoop out the debris in the gutter. Sitting on the rope is best if you have balled or wet debris in the gutter. You may also use a blower to give a quick clean if your gutter is dry. However, it is best to use a backpack blower to give you unimpeded movement.

Reasons Why You Should Clean Your Gutter

Here are the top 5 reasons why cleaning the gutter and maintaining them in pristine condition are important.

Blocked Gutters Can Damage Your Roof

The roof is an expensive investment. One way to secure your roof is to maintain the cleanliness of the gutter.

It Can Potentially Damage Your Foundation

According to home contractors, repairing your home foundation costs up to $10,000, depending on the materials used and the damage (Home Advisor). It is, therefore, better to repair your gutter than spend several thousand on repair and replacement.

Promotes Mildew Growth

Aside from damage to your gutter, mildew growth on your walls may cost thousands of dollars. Add to this amount the medical expense you’ll incur if you don’t catch the mildew infection early on. In more serious cases, black mold may even cause mold poisoning leading to serious health issues such as mood changes and memory loss.

Flooded Basement

Flooded basements result in a compromised foundation, rotting and leaking of the floor, and damage to your HVAC and heating systems. Look out for signs of basement flooding and leakages, such as water stains on the floor, mineral build-up, and cracks on the foundation.

How to Keep Your Gutters in Good Shape

These simple and time-tested tips will keep your gutters in good shape for easy maintenance:

Install a Gutter Guard

Gutter guards or gutter screens reduce the need for cleaning your gutter periodically and potentially protect your house in fire-prone areas. However, the gutter guard is not fool-proof protection. It may promote the growth of moss and algae in your gutter and put an additional strain on your roof. Also, bees and wasps are known to build their nests on gutter guards, so it is also important to give your gutters a periodic check even if you installed a gutter guard.

Winterize Your Gutters

Install heat cables to prevent damage to your gutters and downspouts from ice build-up during winter. Take it to a notch higher by using a sensor-controller model that automatically responds to temperature changes. It may cost you money but will save your house in the long run.  

Check Gutter Position

Sometimes the elevation of your gutters is the primary reason for clogging because the tilt is not enough to allow the water to flow properly. On the other hand, an overly tilted gutter drains water too forcefully, damaging your lawn, roof, and home exterior. If the placement is wrong, have it refitted before it causes irreparable damage.

Trim Tree Branches

Trim tree branches that hang over your house and gutter. Aside from leaves and twigs that fall into the gutter to clog it, heavy storms may topple that tree causing damage to your roof and gutter system.

Keep your gutters in good shape.

Final Note

Even if you want to do a DIY cleaning for your gutters, sometimes you must accept that some jobs are too hard to do alone. Hire a professional cleaner to deep clean your gutters, then have them install a gutter guard. 

What Is The Average Cost to Have Rain Gutters Installed?

Gutters are very important to a house, aside from improving its aesthetics. Except for well-informed homeowners, most don’t realize the layers of protection that gutters give to a house. Technically, gutters are not part of the roof, but if homeowners neglect to maintain the gutters, it can lead to serious issues, including compromised foundations and moldy walls.

Average Cost of Installing Rain Gutters

Replacing gutters and downspouts costs a lot, depending on your material. An average 2400 sq ft house with a 150 linear foot gutter and 4 downspouts will cost roughly $3000 (materials and labor costs) if the installers use aluminum for the materials (Forbes). Here is the average cost of gutters and downspouts according to materials using the same dimensions of the sample house above.  

Material OnlyLowest Estimate (linear foot)Median Estimate (linear foot)Highest Estimate (linear foot)
Aluminum (seamless)$2$2.50$3
Aluminum (sectional)$2.50-$2.80$2.80- $3.10$3-$3.30
Vinyl (sectional) $2 
Galvalume$2 $3

Labor costs for installing a gutter range from $1-$7 per linear foot. Factors affecting labor costs are:

  • Height of the house
  • Number of corners
  • Type of gutter
  • Extra reinforcements
  • Steepness of the roof
  • Subcontracting labor
  • Location of the house

For example, gutter installation on two-story houses with a very steep roof costs more than on a single-story house with a slightly sloping roof. Installing gutters in cities is also pricier compared to the suburbs and rural areas.

Replacing gutters and downspouts costs a lot, depending on your material.

Materials Used for Rain Gutters

There are 6 commonly used materials for rain gutters; each has its pros and cons.


Aluminum gutters are the most commonly used because they don’t rust, are lightweight, and are very affordable. They can last up to 20 years if installed properly. Seamless gutters are more resistant to mid-run leaks. However, they are also more expensive. Sectional gutters are prone to leaks but are easy for DIY installations


Vinyl is the least expensive but also the least durable of gutter materials. However, vinyl gutters are also heavier and can cause an added strain on your roof. They are also prone to sagging, especially when heavy with debris and water. This gutter material is best for small, one-story houses.


Copper gutter material and installation are very expensive. When copper oxidizes, it develops a green patina that protects the gutter. This material is best for older houses. However, they don’t last as long as aluminum gutters. 

Galvanized Steel

Galvanized steel gutters are superior to aluminum in terms of strength and sturdiness. They can withstand extreme weather conditions and are best installed in hurricane-prone and heavily snowed areas. The downside of these gutters is the price, but they can last up to 30 years.  


Galvalume uses steel coated with aluminum and zinc to improve its strength and resistance to rust. They cost roughly the same as aluminum gutters but are heavier and sturdier. Galvalume gutters are the most durable of gutter materials.


Zinc gutters use zinc alloy mixed with titanium and copper. They are more expensive than aluminum gutters and last up to 40 years if properly installed. Zinc gutters are best used on older houses because they don’t need a painting job. Instead, it develops a slightly green patina because of the copper in its structure.

Importance of Gutters

Homeowners install gutters because it improves the overall look of the house. However, there are more important reasons why gutters are necessary for any house. Maintaining gutters is a must to keep a house in good shape.

Protects the Foundation

Gutters protect the house’s foundation by directing water away from the house through the downspouts. When water pools around the house, it can cause leaks to the foundation, thus compromising the house’s structural integrity.

Keeps Water Out of the Basement

Pooling water may also leak into the basement, potentially damaging your HVAC and electrical installations and leading to electrocution. Watermarks in the basement may mean leaks on the foundation.

Prevents Excessive Moisture on the Walls

Excessive moisture in the house promotes mold and mildew growth, which is a health threat, especially if you have babies or an asthmatic person.

Affects Insurance Cost

Damaged gutters may affect the insurance cost of a house and in some situations, insurance claims get denied because of sagging or mangled gutters.

Gutter Replacement Costs

Gutter replacement costs $2-$3 per linear foot, costlier than the original installation because replacement entails the removal of damaged gutters and disposal of waste. However, replacing damaged fascia boards will cost you an additional $6-$20 per linear foot, depending on the extent of damage and height of the gutter placement. The downspout is also part of the gutter system, so homeowners should not neglect their upkeep.

Replacement entails the removal of damaged gutters and disposal of waste.

Before Installing the Gutters

Another helpful tip from Spout Gutters, a trustworthy company specializing in gutter installation, focuses more on functionality rather than form when considering rain gutters installation. Ask the contractor what works best for the house design so that the gutter won’t clash with the roof. Also, it is best to hire a single contractor for the installation of the roof and gutters rather than hiring them separately.

7 DIY Gutter Maintenance Tips to Protect Your Home

Knowing how to clean your gutters is a must-have skill for any responsible homeowner. Before anything else, keep in mind that gutters need to effectively perform only one crucial thing — guide rainwater to the ground. That said, gutter maintenance might seem daunting at first glance. Don’t worry, though. It doesn’t have to be such a hassle. Take these seven DIY maintenance tips to heart so you won’t have to worry about your gutters breaking apart.

1. Clean Your Gutters Regularly

Yes, you might be too busy or too tired, but consistency is the key here. Like every other material, gutters deteriorate over time. But the more often you clean them, the higher the chances of preventing more significant problems later on. Obviously, early spring and late fall are the best times to clean your gutters out. You’ll be at risk of a heat stroke during the summer, and gutter maintenance during the winter will be such a hassle. Consider using a leaf blower to remove the majority of the gunk that has built up in between each section of the gutter.

Like every other material, gutters deteriorate over time.

2. Get Rid of Debris on The Roof

Any debris on the roof, such as leaves, branches, or dead birds will eventually fall off into your gutter system. When this happens, no matter how small or insignificant it might seem, it will accumulate and eventually clog up the water-channeling system. This results in much more annoying issues that’ll need extensive repair. So climb the roof to clean out the mess up there. Do this at least once a week if you can.

3. How to Clean the Downspout

The downspout is just as important as the gutter system. It’s much harder to clear when clogged up with leaves and debris. What happens then? Over a prolonged period, water will accumulate, causing all kinds of problems ranging from leakage into your foundation or even overloading your roof resulting in a collapse. There are two ways how you can clean your downspout:

  1. The simplest method is to simply knock on different sides of the downspout so that the entrapped debris will eventually fall off and come out the other end.
  2. The other way is to get a handheld auger and feed it to the top or bottom of the downspout, depending on where the clog is. Be careful with this operation, and always remember to gear up and wear protective equipment.

4. Take Care of Issues Immediately

Don’t wait until the issue has gotten out of hand because then it’ll cost more to fix, and/or it might become a safety hazard. For example: if there is a clog in your gutter and water can’t flow through, eventually this will cause some flooding along the edges of your property -basically wherever the clog is located- especially during rainstorms when loads of rainwater could fill up and spill out.

5. Clean Out the Gutters Before Winter

Winter is the most challenging time to clean your gutters. It’s almost close to impossible, actually. Why? Because on top of the snow that’ll blanket your roof, the ice might solidify along with the debris making it more difficult to remove. If you don’t want junk such as leaves and dirt building up throughout winter (and sticking), you should get a head start and do some gutter cleaning before winter comes. 

On top of the snow that’ll blanket your roof, the ice might solidify along with the debris making it more difficult to remove.

6. Check for Rust and Holes

If your gutters are made of aluminum or steel, you’ll need to inspect them often for rust and damage. If there’s too much rust or even small holes in the gutter system, it needs to be fixed immediately before water builds up and destroys more than just your gutter.

7. Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, DIY projects are not enough to solve your gutter problems. If you have tried all the tips mentioned above but still cannot get rid of the clogs, or if your gutter badly needs an immediate repair, don’t hesitate to call a professional. Yes, it’ll cost you money, but you’re actually saving up by preventing the problem from escalating. But still, don’t settle for any random person claiming to be a gutter expert. Make sure to do your research and hire a legitimate professional.

If you still cannot get rid of the clogs, or if your gutter badly needs an immediate repair, don’t hesitate to call a professional.


Gutters are essential in keeping your home safe from water accumulation that can cause moisture damage inside walls. However, like any system in houses, gutters need proper maintenance and care as well to ensure years of good service.