Understanding the Types of Gutters - Central Homes Roofing
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Understanding the Types of Gutters: Which Is Right For Your Home?

Ask a professional for recommendations when choosing your gutters
Read Time: 6 minutes
Jul 11, 2022

The ultimate goal of your guttering system is to protect your home. The best gutters for you are ones that properly direct water away from your home. In order to choose the right gutters, it’s important to know what all of your options are. It’s also a good idea to consult with a professional, who may be able to recommend a type, material, and shape of gutters for your home.

Types of Gutters

seamed white gutters attached to a house

There are two main categories of gutter: seamed and seamless. Within those two types, there are further differences, such as shape, size, and material.

What Are Seamed Gutters?

Seamed gutters are also called sectional gutters. They’re called this because they come in separate sections that are put together when installed. This makes them ideal for homeowners who prefer to DIY their home improvement projects.

Pros of Seamed Gutters

Seamed gutters are ideal for homeowners on a budget. One of the major advantages of seamed gutters is that they’re relatively inexpensive. It’s also possible for homeowners to install them as a DIY project, which means saving money on installation costs.

Other advantages of seamed gutters include:

  • Ideal for DIY projects
  • Availability at home improvement stores
  • Easy installation
  • Sections can be replaced individually
  • Low cost
  • Professional help isn’t required

Cons of Seamed Gutters

While seamed gutters are easy for homeowners to install on their own and can be an inexpensive way to replace gutters, there are some disadvantages, too:

  • May leak more easily
  • Fewer colors are available
  • Fewer styles are available
  • You have to seal the seams

The biggest downside to seamed gutters is that they can leak more easily than seamless gutters. The whole point of your gutters is to protect your home from water damage. If your gutters are leaking, then they’re not doing their job properly.

What Are Seamless Gutters?

a brick house with seamless gutters installed

Seamed gutters are gutters that come in longer sections. These sections don’t have a limit on their length and can run all the way from one corner of your house to another. The only seams in seamless gutters occur at corners.

Pros of Seamless Gutters

One of the most important benefits of seamless gutters is that they are less likely to leak than seamed gutters. This will help them to protect your home better from costly water damage. On top of that, seamless gutters have a nicer appearance. This is because there are fewer visible seams. You’ll also have more color options so that you can choose gutters that better match your home’s appearance.

Seamless gutters last longer than seamed gutters, which can save money over time because you won’t have to replace them as quickly.

Cons of Seamless Gutters

Although seamless gutters do protect your home better, you’re paying for that protection. Seamless gutters cost more and also need to be installed by a professional, which adds to the cost. If you’re on a budget, seamless gutters may not seem like the best option, but they could help you to save more money in the long run by preventing costly water damage.

Gutter Materials

Gutters of both types can come in a variety of different materials, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. These materials include:

  • Vinyl
  • Galvanized steel
  • Aluminum
  • Copper

Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl gutters are only an option if you’re going with seamed gutters. They’re also inexpensive to install. However, you can’t paint vinyl gutters, so there are limited color options.

Pros of Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl gutters are typically inexpensive and also are usually lightweight. This has made them a popular choice for DIYers. Because they’re not metal, they’re resistant to corroding, rust, and fading.

Cons of Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl gutters are soft, so while they won’t rust or get dented, they’re also not as sturdy as other types of gutters. Somewhere like Florida, which gets seasonal hurricanes with strong winds that can damage a home, vinyl gutters may not be the best option. Plus, they can’t be painted, so there are limited color options and you may not be able to find vinyl that matches your home.

Galvanized Steel Gutters

steel gutters installed on a house

Steel gutters are another inexpensive option for gutters. They’re also durable and can withstand weather conditions.

Pros of Steel Gutters

Steel gutters can be either seamed or seamless. It’s also a strong material, so it’s resistant to bad weather and may sustain less damage during a hurricane than other materials might.

Cons of Steel Gutters

On the other hand, steel gutters are also more prone to rusting than other metals. Coatings can help to reduce this risk, however. Steel gutters are also more prone to sagging, which requires more frequent maintenance and repairs.

Aluminum Gutters

aluminum k-shaped gutters on a house with beige siding

Aluminum gutters are strong but also lightweight. Plus, they’re available for both seamless and seamed gutter options.

Pros of Aluminum Gutters

Aluminum gutters are a popular choice for multiple reasons:

  • Long-lasting
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Rust-resistant
  • Available in many colors

Cons of Aluminum Gutters

One of the reasons that aluminum gutters are so popular is that they don’t have many cons. They’re not as strong as copper gutters are, but aluminum is still a strong material. However, it can get dented if something falls onto the gutters.

Copper Gutters

Copper gutters are durable, strong, and rust-resistant. This makes them a popular option for both seamed and seamless gutters. They do have a higher initial cost than other guttering materials, however.

Pros of Copper Gutters

Copper gutters look really good on a house. On top of that, they can last for a long time and can withstand a lot. Cooper is one of the sturdiest materials used for gutters.

Cons of Copper Gutters

A downside of copper gutters is their price. They cost more to install than other gutter materials. However, they can last longer and so won’t need to be replaced as quickly, which could help homeowners to recover some of those costs. Copper gutters are also typically a special request rather than something that’s always in stock.

Gutter Shapes

The final consideration in choosing gutters is the shape of the gutters. Gutter shape refers to how the bed of the gutter looks. You can look at the end of the gutter to see how it’s shaped. The three shapes are:

  • Half-round
  • K-shape
  • Fascia

Half-Round Shaped Gutters

half-round shaped gutters on a house

Half-round shaped gutters are shaped like a U. Copper gutters typically come in this shape. They’re usually wider than they are tall and extend about 6 inches away from the fascia of your house. This shape doesn’t have as much water-carrying capacity as the K-shaped gutters.

K-Shaped Gutters

K-shaped gutters on a house

As its name suggests, K-shaped gutters have a bed that is shaped like an inverted K. While they don’t look like traditional gutters, they’re able to hold more water and are stronger than other gutter shapes.

Fascia Shaped Gutters

Fascia gutters get their name from the fact that they are as tall as the entire fascia. This can make them harder to keep clean, however, because they’re deeper than other gutter shapes.

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