There are a lot of considerations to make when it comes to choosing the gutters for your home. You need to think about the style of your home, the materials that will work best, and how much maintenance you’re willing to do.
Many types with unique benefits are available to fit various homes. We’ll go over some of the best types, highlighting the pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision about which gutter system is right for you. So without further ado, let’s get started.
In this article:
- Parts and Components
- Which Type Should You Choose
- The Longevity of Gutters
- Frequently Asked Questions
Parts and Components
These are the pipes that carry rainwater from your gutters to a more suitable location. You can customize these downspouts based on how many you need and which direction they should be pointed to. As such, they may not always come as part of the package when you buy gutter systems, so make sure to plan accordingly.
2. Downspout Elbow
This is an important component that can make your rain gutters work better. It connects the downspout to the main trunk, and it’s curved so that any water flowing from high spots will flow to lower ones instead of coming back up and spilling over the edges.
3. Pipe Cleats
These are used to attach the gutter system to your home. You can choose from many different types of fasteners, including screws or nails. Some systems even use adhesives that won’t damage your siding.
4. End Caps
These final pieces are used to cap off the end of each downspout. Again, you can choose from many different types, depending on how you want your gutters to look.
A basic option is a half-round end, but it’s not the most stylish. A more modern option is a square end that comes in many colors and finishes.
These are used to attach your gutters to your home. They can vary in design, depending on the system you choose. Some use straps, while others use brackets or hangers made of plastic or metal.
This is a metal ring placed at the top of each downspout. It provides extra support and protection for gutters, so it’s important to choose one to resist rust and other weather damage.
7. Mitered Corner
These are perfect for any home style because they come in four different styles. The first is for homes built with mitered corners, and it’s cut to fit neatly over the corner. The second comes with a smooth bend that works particularly well with Victorian-style homes.
A third type has a more decorative shape and allows you to cut it to fit around any design element. Finally, the last is square and can easily be used as a transition between different types.
Aluminum gutters are lightweight and easy to work with. If your home needs new gutters, aluminum is one of the easiest materials to install. It also comes in various colors, including white which can help reflect sunlight if you live in an area where the sun beats down hard on your roof.
However, these aren’t the best for areas where you get a lot of precipitation. If your area gets lots of snow, ice, or heavy rain, aluminum can end up bending or warping.
A more expensive option, copper is the perfect choice for homes of distinction. It’s durable and corrosion-resistant, making it a top choice in areas that get lots of precipitation like rain or snow. Copper gutters that go with the patina of age also give your home an old-world feel.
However, if you live in an area where you get more hail than precipitation, this might not be the best choice for you. You’d need to replace copper gutters more often if your roof gets hit with hail regularly.
Although it’s a good option for average rainfall areas, zinc is susceptible to corrosion. Because of this, they’re not the best choice for areas that get a lot of snow or ice.
Zinc is one of the easiest to maintain and clean out, making it a good option if you don’t want to put too much work into maintenance.
Galvanized steel gutters are great for homes that get lots of snow or ice since this type is more resistant to corrosion.
However, it might not be the best choice if you live in an area with lots of precipitation. Galvanized steel is one of the less expensive options, making it a good choice for those looking to stay within a budget.
If you’re looking for a cost-effective option, vinyl is one of the most budget-friendly options out there. In addition, they come in an array of colors and styles, making them versatile enough to work with multiple homes.
They also require little maintenance, meaning that they’re low on upkeep too. However, they aren’t as durable as other types. If you live in an area where the rain falls hard, thick, and fast, you might want to look at a stronger option. The material can also be easily bent by ice dams – which means that they’re not a good choice for areas with lots of snowfall.
A combination of steel and aluminum, galvalume gutters combine the durability of steel with the lightweight nature of aluminum. As a result, they’re strong and resistant to rust, making them a good choice for homes in any climate.
However, this material can be difficult to work with. If you hire a company with experience installing these, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you try to install them yourself, it might end up being difficult and time-consuming.
This type of gutter is incredibly popular and can be seen in many different types of homes, especially older ones.
The design is beautiful and gives your home a classic feel that’s both classy and sophisticated. They’re tough to install but worth the effort for their aesthetic value.
However, if you live in an area with lots of ice or snow, this might not be the best option for you. Ogee gutters tend to overflow during hard weather, causing damage to your home and foundation.
This type of gutter is the most common choice across America. They’re easy to maintain, simple to install and give your home a more modern feel.
However, because they’re so sturdy, it can be difficult to work with them if you try to do some DIY projects on your own. So if you plan to install these yourself, it’s best to have some professional help to not damage or puncture them.
This type of gutter has a rounded top, creating a simple yet stylish design. They’re popular among homeowners who live in modern or contemporary homes.
They also have smooth bottoms, so you don’t need to worry about blockages. However, they tend to come loose if not properly installed. If you’re looking for an option that’s a bit more durable, this isn’t the perfect pick.
This type of gutter is similar to the half-rounded but has a more round finish. As a result, they’re less likely to come loose than the previous option, making them a good choice if you want something secure.
However, they can be difficult to install yourself unless you know what you’re doing. If you try installing these without any experience or guidance, you might end up puncturing or damaging them.
These are popular among homeowners who want a sleek and stylish look for their homes. They’re also an excellent choice if you live in a more temperate climate.
They have sloped sections that allow water to flow through while being durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of heavy rain or snowfall during winter. However, they can be damaged if not installed properly. If you’re inexperienced, it’s best to have a professional handle the task.
These are made from a single piece of metal, making them incredibly durable. They’re also fantastic choices if you live in an area where the rain starts as snow because they won’t sag or warp.
However, there aren’t many styles to choose from, so it might be difficult to find one that matches your home’s exterior.
These are popular because they’re very easy to install. It’s a great choice if you want a hassle-free installation process and don’t have any time to spare for complicated projects.
However, this type of gutter isn’t as durable as others, so it might not be the best option for homes that receive lots of heavy snowfall.
If you want a gutter that adds a pop of color to your home, this is the option for you. It’s become incredibly popular in recent years and continues to be a growing trend among homeowners.
However, these might not be as durable as some other options on the market. So if you live in an area with lots of rain or snow, this might not be the best choice.
If you want something natural to showcase the beauty of your home without making an eye-catching statement, this is the perfect pick. It’s also more durable than its colorful counterparts, so it won’t need any repairs or replacements for some time.
However, there aren’t as many color options compared to different gutter styles, making it somewhat restrictive. If you don’t like the available colors, you might have to stick with a different style.
If you want to install your gutters yourself, this is the best size for DIY projects. It’s also a good choice if you don’t have much time or budget to spare.
However, if you live in an area where heavy rain and snowfall are common, these might not be enough. They can also become overwhelmed during a large storm, causing the gutters to back up and overflow.
These gutters are a good choice if you want something a bit more durable. You can also use them to replace your existing gutter system without having to spend extra money.
However, they aren’t the best for homeowners who don’t have much time or patience for complicated projects because installation can be difficult and time-consuming.
These are some of the most common kinds of guards to use with your gutter system. They’re incredibly easy to install, which is a big plus for busy homeowners. You can also find them in neutral colors that match most gutters on the market today.
However, these mesh guards can become damaged while you’re cleaning your gutters if you use the wrong tools to remove any leaves, twigs, or branches.
If you have many trees in your yard, this is the best gutter guard to use because it’ll protect your gutters from falling leaves and other debris. Plus, screens are less likely to become damaged compared to mesh options.
However, they aren’t as easy to install as mesh guards, so it might be best to hire a professional if you don’t have a lot of experience with DIY projects.
These are great choices if you want something that keeps your gutters open even during heavy rains or snow. You can also install them without any tools, so they’re incredibly easy to attach.
However, installation is more difficult than other guards on the market, which might not be ideal for homeowners who don’t have much experience with DIY projects.
These are some of the most durable gutter guards on the market, which is great if you want something that won’t need to be replaced for a long time. Plus, they’re easy to install, so even inexperienced homeowners can do it with ease.
However, your gutters might have trouble draining during large storms because foam wedges restrict the water flow.
Which Type Should You Choose
If you want to protect your gutters without spending too much money or time, 5-inch gutter guards are a good option. However, if you’re the DIY type of homeowner, 6-inch gutters with mesh screens are also a solid choice.
Of course, you can also choose another gutter style on the market today. Which ones are best for your house? It’s hard to tell because it depends on your needs and preferences.
For this reason, it’s best to think about your house and what would fit the best. You may also want to consult with a professional who can help you make the right choice.
Some options are more efficient and cost-effective for certain house types. But, you should also consider the weather and how much rain you get each year. And, don’t forget to think about the trees around your house since this can determine how frequently you’ll have to clean.
The Longevity of Gutters
Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter what style or type of gutter you use. They won’t last forever, and they may need repairs after a few years, depending on how many storms your area experiences. During heavy rain or snowfall, water can erode the foundation of your gutters, so you’ll have to replace them every ten years at least.
However, you can extend their life by adding guards during installation. Guards are usually made of aluminum that is more resistant to water than copper or steel. This means they’ll last longer and may not need reparations after a few years or so.
As long as you take care of them properly (clean out debris every few months, etc.), you can expect your gutters to be around for a long time. For example, aluminum can last approximately 20 years, while copper ones can last 50 years with proper care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you Reuse Gutters?
It’s possible to reuse gutter materials, but you should only do it if they’re in excellent condition. If there are any holes or other damage, you will have to replace them instead of repurposing them because this could cause even more problems.
However, a professional can take a look at your gutters and tell you whether or not they can be reused.
Can you Sell Old Gutters?
You can sell your old gutters, but you won’t get much for them. In addition, they tend to be in bad condition because they’ve been exposed to water, so it’s best not to include these in your home improvement project if possible.
Instead, you can sell them to a scrap metal dealer. They tend to buy gutters and other metal objects for cheap, which is perfect if you’re working with a tight budget.
How to Prevent Gutters from Overflowing?
One of the best ways to prevent overflowing is by installing mesh screens. These are perfect for homes in areas that experience lots of rainfall during the summer because they keep water draining instead of pooling or overflowing.
However, you can also use tarps if a mesh isn’t available. Just make sure the tarp covers at least one section so that water can flow down easily.
Install gutter guards if you don’t want to clean out debris every few months. They’re usually made out of aluminum or another lightweight metal that’s rust-resistant. This means they’ll last longer and take less time to install compared to other guards on the market.
They may be a bit more expensive, but they’re worth the investment if you want to save time and effort.
Is it a Good Idea to Paint Gutters?
Experienced homeowners may want to repaint their gutters because it could improve the appearance of your home. However, you should always clean out your gutters before painting because it could lead to other issues.
For example, dirt and debris will stick to the paint, which means you’ll have to clean them again in a few weeks or months. This causes additional trouble and will make your gutters look bad.
The best way to paint is to use exterior metal paint (this is what professionals use) or another rust-resistant type of paint that’s specifically made for gutters.
Do Gutters Really Work?
Gutters are essential for most people. Without them, water piles up and causes extensive damage to your home.
During the winter, gutters are especially helpful because they prevent ice dams from forming, which can cause serious leakage problems. This ultimately saves you money in the long run because you won’t have to hire a plumber or other professional to fix any severe issues that may arise.
Who Can Install Gutters?
Anyone can install gutters with the right experience and training. However, most people hire professionals because it’s easier to complete the project without trouble or problems.
If you decide to install them on your own, make sure you have all the necessary tools before starting this project. You should also know how to properly cut down metal sheets if gutters are made out of this material.
There are a lot of factors to consider when installing gutters, including where they should start and end.
What is the Best Way to Clean Gutters?
If you want to clean your gutters, make sure you hire a professional or at least rent a pressure washer from your local hardware store. This will help you remove most debris, although you’ll still need to use a bucket and other cleaning tools to remove all the dirt, grime, leaves, and other particles.
This method only takes a couple of hours, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble with this process. Just make sure you don’t fall off a ladder or step in the wrong area because it can lead to some serious injuries.
How Often Should Gutters be Cleaned?
You should check them every month to ensure they’re free of debris. If you live in an area that frequently has strong winds or rainstorms, gutters may become clogged more often, so it’s best to check them every week instead of waiting a few months before cleaning them out again. Although this might seem like too often, it’s best to do a bit of cleaning every two weeks than waiting for everything to clog.
If you want to get really aggressive with your cleaning, you can clean twice per month or once per week. Just make sure you don’t do it during extremely windy days unless you’re completely comfortable with the risk of climbing on top of a ladder.