Home Maintenance 101: All About Gutters

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If you need to replace your old gutter system or are just looking to change it up, the first decision you need to make is what type of gutter would be most appropriate? The best one would be one that can quickly and effectively transport water away from your home’s foundation and safeguard the siding. Apart from that, it would all come down to aesthetics and your budget.

What Are Seamed or Sectional Gutters?

Gutters come in seamed or sectional and seamless types. Seamed gutters come in 10-foot long pieces that are attached using hangers to the fascia of your home. They can be installed either through snapping pieces together using joiners or simply through overlapping them.

Seamed gutters are available in vinyl and metal options, including aluminum, galvanized steel and copper. Vinyl gutters can’t be painted and are heavy, but are very resistant to corroding, fading and rusting. Metal gutters, on the other hand, are more lightweight.

DIY enthusiasts usually prefer seamed gutters because they’re cheaper than seamless ones and are easier to work with. Plus, if one portion gets damaged, you can try to remove it and replace it yourself without affecting the integrity of your entire gutter system. This is, of course, considering that you have excellent DIY skills.

However, seamed steel gutters typically only come in brown or white, while vinyl only comes in white that can’t be painted. If that water accumulates in your gutter system, because of debris, for instance, it might leak from the seams in between sections.

What Are Seamless Gutters?

Worker installing a seamless gutterIf you want more color options, a smoother look and reduced leakage, seamless rain gutters are the way to go. They don’t have a length limit and can be installed from one far corner to another seamlessly. Because seamless gutters don’t have any seams, it’s impossible for them to leak midpoint, but can leak at corner joints and over the top of the joints.

They can maintain your roofline’s smooth aesthetic and you can easily match it to your home since aluminum comes in many different colors. Seamless rain gutters, however, are only available in aluminum and you can’t install it by yourself.

Different Gutter Shapes

Gutters come in three basic shapes: the K shape, half-round shape and fascia shape. The K shape is the most popular and looks similar to crown molding. K-shaped gutters are very structurally solid and capable of carrying more water than fascia and half-round gutters.

Half-round gutters have a U shape and look more traditional than K-shape gutter systems. Fascia shape gutters are narrow and tall and encompass the fascia’s entire height. They are, however, harder to clean than K shape and half-round gutters because of their depth.

So whether you want a gutter system that can match your home perfectly or just want to make your gutter system more efficient, there’s a gutter system out there that can meet your particular requirements. Consult an experienced rain gutter contractor to figure out which gutter system will function best for your budget and the look of your home.

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