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What Are The Different Types Of Gutters?

What Are The Different Types Of Gutters?

Gutters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so choosing new gutters for your home can be stressful. What types of gutters are out there, and what makes them so different?

There are a multitude of gutter material options available to the consumer. Each comes with its own pros and cons.

Vinyl

Pros

  • Vinyl is light weight and flexible which makes it easy to install. Sections also easily snap together (great for those who are thinking of a DIY project).
  • Very inexpensive to install.
  • Very quiet when rain, snow, or ice are running through vinyl gutters.
  • Found in most common gutter shapes.

Cons

  • Vinyl has a relatively short lifespan. Depending on the climate you live in, vinyl will last up to 20 years (in moderate climate) or under 10 (if owner is not careful).
  • Not ideal for harsh climates as they tend to bend with heavy rain or snow.

Aluminum

Pros

  • Very inexpensive.
  • Not only does aluminum resist rust like vinyl, but it also will resist thinning (aka it is hard for hail or snow to wear metal away).
  • Come in over 25 different colors which allows you to easily match your house.
  • Will last over 20 years in nearly any climate as well as withstand cold climates.

Cons

  • Aluminum doesn’t bend like vinyl; however, it will dent. Larger dents may become a problem in performance.
  • Crazy temperature changes will cause aluminum to expand and contract. This could cause cracking, splitting, etc.
  • You will likely have to repaint aluminum as the enamel that they are coated with will chip with wear and tear.

Copper

Pros

  • These will add beauty and value to a home as they are high end
  • Very durable
  • Joints between sections are soldered together. This eliminates the need for periodic maintenance and sealant.
  • Can be customized on-sit to fit perfectly onto your home.

Cons

  • Extremely expensive.
  • Installation is very labor-intensive.
  • Shiny copper color will eventually fade into green patina.

Steel

Pros

  • Just like aluminum and copper, steel gutters are resistant to rust.
  • Steel outperforms aluminum in both resisting damage and warping.
  • Can be customized on-site to fit perfectly onto your home.

Cons

  • Could become susceptible to rust as the protective layer of zinc wears off.
  • Protective zinc layer is hard to discern; therefore, rust could go unnoticed for a long period of time.
  • Heavier metal which makes installation more labor-intensive.

Another difference are their profiles.

K-style gutters look like crown molding and are also referred to as “ogee” gutters. K-style gutters are by far the most popular in the US can exist in a multitude of materials. Residential gutters are normally available in either a 5 or 6 inch. The 5-inch K configured gutter includes a 2×3 inch downspout. A larger, 6-inch, K-style gutter comes with a 3×4 inch downspout. One single foot of a 5-inch, K-style gutter is able to accommodate 1.2 gallons of water, where the 6-inch can hold 2 liters.

Half-round, or U shaped, gutters are just plain classic. They adorn historic architecture. Copper is a popular choice where half-round gutters are concerned, but the shape can also be found in aluminum. These gutters have a smaller trough, and therefore, smaller water capacity.

Box gutters, or square gutters, are another type of gutter similar to that of a K-gutter in regards to their deep, wide troughs; however, they lack the decorative contours of the K-style. Instead, they resemble ancient Greek and Roman cornices as they used to unobtrusively sit inside flat-roofed buildings. This is a great option if you aren’t looking for an exposed, visually pleasing gutter.

Believe it or not, there are also two different types of gutter systems to choose from.

Traditional Gutters

These seamed gutters are the least common and best for a DIY gutter job. They are already pre-manufactured, made of steel, and last about 20 years, if cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. Because they are galvanized, they do tend to rust quickly and the larger cross sections make it simple for pests to seep in. The other hard part about these gutters is that they require a paint job after being installed. This also means that the paint needs to be maintained to ensure a good visual appeal. As these are not custom designed to your home, the areas where they come together aren’t seamless and in turn actually accumulate a great amount of debris (it gets caught on the edges).

Seamless Gutters

Professionals normally prefer to install seamless gutters, which offer a multitude of advantages over the traditional system. Seamless gutters are designed specifically for your home. As the name suggests, they are also seamless, which means debris doesn’t build up as easily around the welded areas. They do not have breaks and expansion joints at regular intervals like the traditional system; therefore, leaks and wear downs are less common. This also means that pests have a harder time trying to get into these gutters. They also require less maintenance, no large clean-up cost, and are able to be hung more securely. Seamless gutters come in a variety of colors and styles which make it easy to match your home’s exterior.

 

With so many different types of gutters how can make the best decision for your home? Contact the experts today from Gutter Professionals, Inc. for more information about gutter installation on your home.

 

POSTED ON April 12, 2017 // 0 COMMENTS

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