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February 8, 2022

What Are the Different Types of Gutters?

Is it time for new gutters? Do you know what style of gutters is best for your house? Gutters collect and carry away rainwater that falls on the roof and prevent it from pooling around the foundation which can cause water damage. There are several different gutter types available on the market today, each offering its own advantages and disadvantages. From different gutter styles and materials to sectional and seamless rain gutters, here is everything you need to know about the different types of gutters.

What Are the Common Gutter Styles?

While there are many different gutter styles, the term can be confusing. When it comes to gutter styles, this includes type or shape, material, size, and construction style.

When it comes to the shape or type of gutter, K-style is the most common type. However, other types include half-round, box, fascia, and custom. While they all work basically the same, each different type has its own pros and cons.

Gutter styles also come in a variety of different materials. Although aluminum is very popular, gutters also come in vinyl, steel, zink, and copper. Each material offers different benefits depending on your location and other factors.

Gutter size is another important factor in the overall style. 5- and 6-inch gutters are the most common, but other common sizes are 4- and 7-inch. The exact size you need depends on the average rainfall in your area and where you are installing the gutters.

Finally, there are two gutter construction styles. Seamless gutters are custom-cut or manufactured to fit your home perfectly. Whereas sectional gutters are assembled from prefabricated pieces of gutter material. Seamless gutters are less likely to leak than sectional ones.

Different Types of Gutter Shapes

There are several main styles or types of gutter shapes that are commonly used.

  • K-style gutters: These are the most popular type of gutter and are shaped like the letter “K”. They have a flat bottom and a decorative, curved front. They are available in a variety of sizes and materials, including aluminum, copper, and vinyl.
  • Half-round gutters: These gutters have a half-circle shape and are typically made of aluminum, copper, or steel. They are often used on historic homes or buildings with a more traditional architectural style.
  • Box gutters: These gutters are typically installed on commercial buildings and have a rectangular shape. They are designed to be integrated into the building’s roofline, so they are not as visible as other gutters types.
  • Fascia gutters: These gutters are attached directly to the fascia board, which is the vertical board that runs along the roofline. They are often used on homes with a contemporary or modern design.
  • Custom gutters: In some cases, gutters may need to be custom-made to fit a specific building design or to accommodate unusual rooflines. Custom gutters can be made from a variety of materials, including copper, aluminum, and steel.

Popular Rain Gutter Materials

There are several common gutter materials that are used in the construction of gutters:

  • Aluminum: This is the most popular material for gutters due to its durability, lightweight, and resistance to rust and corrosion. It is also easy to install aluminum gutters and they come in a variety of colors.
  • Copper: Copper gutters are popular for their aesthetic appeal and durability. They are more expensive than other materials and require professional installation, but they are resistant to rust and corrosion and can last for many years.
  • Steel: Steel gutters are strong and durable, but they are prone to rust and require regular maintenance. They are less expensive than copper but more expensive than aluminum. Galvanized steel gutters are coated in zinc to reduce rusting. Stainless steel gutters offer a stylish finish similar to chrome but come at a higher cost.
  • Vinyl: Vinyl gutters are lightweight, easy to install, and affordable. They are available in a variety of colors and are resistant to rust and corrosion, but they are not as durable as other materials and can crack or warp over time.
  • Zinc: Zinc gutters are durable and long-lasting, with a lifespan of up to 50 years. They are resistant to rust and corrosion and are available in a variety of colors. However, they are more expensive than other materials and require professional installation.

Gutter Construction Style

The two different types of gutter construction styles are seamless and sectional.

  • Seamless gutters: These gutters are made from a single piece of material that is custom-cut to fit the length of the roofline. They are manufactured on-site using a special machine that forms the gutters to the exact dimensions required. Seamless gutters have fewer joints than sectional gutters, which makes them less prone to leaks and clogs.
  • Sectional gutters: These gutters are made from pre-cut sections that are assembled on-site to fit the length of the roofline. They are available in standard lengths and are joined together using connectors or seams. Sectional gutters have more joints than seamless gutters, which can increase the risk of leaks and clogs.

In general, seamless gutters are considered to be more durable and long-lasting than sectional gutters, as they have fewer joints that can wear down over time. They also require less maintenance, as there are no seams or connectors that can trap debris and cause clogs.

However, seamless gutters are more expensive than sectional gutters. They also require professional installation using specialized equipment. Sectional gutters are more affordable and can be installed by homeowners with basic DIY skills.

Common Gutter Sizes

The most common gutter sizes are 5 inches and 6 inches, although other sizes are also available. The size of a gutter refers to the width of the opening at the top of the gutter, which determines how much water the gutter can handle.

Here are some common gutter sizes and their typical applications:

  • 5-inch gutters: These gutters are the most common size for residential homes. They can handle a moderate amount of rainfall and are suitable for most standard-sized roofs.
  • 6-inch gutters: These gutters are typically used for larger roofs or areas with heavy rainfall. They can handle a greater volume of water than 5-inch gutters, which reduces the risk of overflowing or clogging.
  • 4-inch gutters: These gutters are smaller than 5-inch gutters and are generally used for small structures such as sheds, garages, or small additions.
  • 7-inch gutters: These gutters are less common and are typically used in areas with very heavy rainfall or on large commercial buildings.

It’s important to choose the right size gutter for your home or building based on the size of the roof, the amount of rainfall in your area, and the potential for clogs and overflows. A professional gutter installer can help you choose the right size gutter for your specific needs.
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