Your home is an expensive investment. It is natural to spend time and money on maintenance and upgrades, both inside and out. Landscaping, painting, roofing, and siding are things most commonly considered. Many people, however, forget about the gutters, which are important as well. If you are replacing an existing system, or adding a new one, you should know which types of gutters are available.
Every gutter falls under one of two general shape groups. Half-round gutters, also called round gutters, have a half-circle shape along the bottom. They are often chosen for historical buildings and homes because of the antique appearance round gutters can provide. Some homeowners, however, choose this style because it has a greater capacity.
A k-style gutter, on the other hand, is the more popular of the gutter styles because its flat-shaped bottom and decorative front edge shaping can provide a more modern look. In choosing your shape, consider how your roof gutters design can pull the look of your home together.
- Copper – Copper gutters are a common choice with the half-round style. They do not need to bepainted because they develop a beautiful coloring over time. Copper does not rust. Installation is often longer because the seams will need to be welded to ensure there are no leaks.
- Steel – If extra strength is what you need, steel gutters are an option. This option is ideal for climates that receive heavy rain or snow. They require stronger mounting and often require additional boards to be mounted to for added strength. Galvanized gutters are strong, but rust resistance begins to wear off within a few years, often needing replacing within 10 years. This gutter material can be found pre-painted in numerous colors, or it can be custom painted.
- Aluminum – Aluminum gutters are a popular choice for homeowners. The material is lighter and resistant to rust. It is also easy to paint and quicker to install. Seamless gutters are often made from aluminum on site. The biggest benefit of seamless gutters such as these is that there are no potential seam leaks. The installer runs sheets of aluminum through a special forming machine, removing the need to transport large amounts of preformed gutter.
- Vinyl – Vinyl gutters, also called plastic gutters, are one of the less expensive options available. They are lightweight, much quicker to install, and are often available in colors that match vinyl siding. These plastic gutters do not rust. One downside of vinyl gutters is that they can crack with severely cold temperatures. Dark colors may also fade quickly from sunlight exposure.
- Wood – Wood gutters are not very common choices, but there are restoration experts who choose them to maintain original historical value, if these gutters previously existed. They are extremely expensive options. Wood gutters are also very hard to maintain. The wood must be heavily sealed, and the gutter system must be cleaned more frequently to avoid warping. This option is not generally recommended for standard installations.
- Fascia – Fascia gutters are custom gutters. They are usually seamless, with a rectangular shape. Fascia gutters are attached to the fascia panels that cover roof rafter ends. These are the best gutters for homeowners who prefer a neat exterior look without soffit panels. You can choose any type of available gutter material for this type of rain gutter system.
Gutter systems contain several different parts. In addition to the main sections of the gutters, there may also be elbows, downspouts, drop outlets, and end caps. Each of these pieces, and more, are joined to other pieces to ensure that water is properly diverted away from your home and foundation. It is important to note that many of the connector pieces might not be made from the same gutter material you have chosen. Part of a downspout end, for example, might need to be flexible plastic tubing to control where rainwater is diverted.
Let Us Help You Choose the Best Gutter for Your Home
There are numerous options for gutters. When choosing from the types of gutters available, there are a few considerations to help. Think about your climate, how often you expect to replace your gutters, and the look you want. Additionally, your budget should be a big factor. For assistance with choosing and installing your gutters, call us at 210-899-6786 or contact us on our form.