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Home | Our Blog | Rain Gutters: Material, Size, Style and Comparison

Rain Gutters: Material, Size, Style and Comparison

posted on Dec 23, 2019

If you’ve ever dealt with building or buying a house, then you know that there are hundreds of important details that require research and attention. One of those things is rain gutters. The purpose of this article is to answer the most common questions including types of gutters, materials, sizes, and styles, as well as tips on how to choose the perfect rain gutter for your home. After reading this, you will have a full understanding of the issue and will know how to choose the gutters.

First of all, it’s necessary to determine what a rain gutter is as well as its purpose. It’s a special system that prevents rainwater from flowing into the house and redirects it outside. In order to avoid issues that water can cause, it’s important to choose the right gutter. To do that, we need to categorize them according to the following criteria:

  1. Material
  2. Size
  3. Style
  4. Seamless vs. Sectional

Rain Gutter Material Choices

The first thing that you need to choose is the material of your gutters as it is an essential step for a successful installation. In order to determine the best material for rain gutters, there are several common options to review:

  • Vinyl
  • Aluminum
  • Galvanized Steel
  • Wood
  • Copper

Let’s do a rain gutter material comparison to learn the advantages of each material.

Vinyl Gutters

Right now, one of the most common choices is vinyl. The main advantage of this type of rain gutter is its price. Compared to the others, vinyl is relatively cheap. In addition to this, it does not require special skills during installation since it’s light-weight; in some cases, it can be done without professional help.  As for the disadvantages of vinyl rain gutters, some argue that they will not serve for as many years as ones from other materials. They may need replacing in several years.

Rain Gutters

Aluminum Gutters

The next common type of rain gutter is aluminum. This material will be not as cheap as vinyl, but it’s still affordable. It has several important advantages. First, it will last for a long time. The installation process is also fairly easy since the material is lightweight. Aluminum gutters will not crack or rust over the years. This material also allows for seamless gutters and offers a wide range of colors to choose from. Of course, there are some cons as well. One of the main disadvantages is that aluminum rain gutters are more sensitive to temperatures. That’s why extreme cold or hot weather can make a lot of damage. Moreover, you will need to repaint the gutters after some time as the color will fade and change.

Copper Gutters

Another option to go for is a copper rain gutter. This is a luxury material that’s definitely on the more expensive side. However, the price comes with several advantages. First of all, copper gutters are appealing and will be a high-end addition to any house. Moreover, the material is strong and long-lasting, which will prevent rusting, cracking, and leaking. They can also be used to make seamless gutter systems. Despite numerous pros, there are still some cons. As we’ve already mentioned, it is expensive. The installation process is complex and will require professional help that can be costly and time-consuming.

Galvanized Steel and Wood Gutters

Other materials that can be used for rain gutters are galvanized steel and wood. The former is made from steel with a protective top layer of zinc. One of its advantages is that it will serve longer as it has that top layer that will provide protection from rust and cracks. Moreover, the material is strong. Nevertheless, there are some disadvantages. The zinc layer will eventually wear off and it can lead to rust and breakage. Also, the installation will not be easy since galvanized steel is a heavy material. Generally, it can complicate the process and make it harder to install the drains properly. As for the wood, this option was used commonly in the past. Its strength is this material’s advantage. However, to make it work, you need to coat it with special layers regularly. Consequently, downspouts will need constant attention.

Rain Gutter Sizes

The sizes of rain gutters are pretty standard. Generally, there are two size options available on the market: 5-inch and 6-inch. The difference between these two is not that significant, but the latter will be able to handle more water flow. How should you choose your gutter according to size? Well, it usually depends on the house’s roof and its characteristics. As for the other sizes, it can be customized if needed. However, the majority of the roofs will require standard sizes of 5- and 6-inches.

Styles of Rain Gutters

The next step in choosing the perfect rain gutter is selecting a style. There are several options that you can choose from:

K-Style

The shape of the gutter resembles the letter K. One side is straight while the other one is curved. If we were to determine the advantages of K-Style option, there are several. For example, it’s usually available in multiple colors and materials. Professionals also state that they hold water well and are not prone to breaking or bending.

U-Shaped

Another common style option of rain gutters includes the U-shaped ones. This technique of making the gutter half-round was widely used in the past. However, today it’s not very popular to install for several reasons. First of all, it holds the water flow worse than modern K-style gutters. They are also more expensive compared to alternatives. The installation process is also complicated and can rarely be done without professional help. The advantage that U-Shape gutters have is their stylish appearance.

Rain Gutters

Seamless vs. Sectional Rain Gutters

The last decision you’ll have to make when it comes to rain gutters is choosing between seamless and sectional ones. The latter is the most common option that is constructed from several small pieces combined into one system. As for seamless, their main characteristic is that they are made from one piece of material without any parts. The main advantages of seamless systems are that they are much less likely to leak than sectional, and they also look better. However, they are typically more expensive. Sectional gutters can also look nice and serve a lifetime if they’re made from good materials and are installed properly.

To sum everything up, the purpose of the article was to answer one simple, yet complex question: What are the best gutters to buy? Unfortunately, there’s no single answer that’s good for everyone. Nevertheless, we hope that this article has given you a thorough review and enough comparison details to help you find a perfect match. Using your own criteria, you can decide which rain gutters will be best for you and your home.

Posted on Dec 23, 2019 in Roof

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