In this month’s post, we’ll review the pros and cons of different gutter styles and materials so you go into finding a gutter contactor armed with the knowledge to make the right choice.
We’ll go over
- Seamless vs sectional gutters
- Gutter materials
- Gutter styles
Seamed vs. seamless gutters
Sectional, or seamed, gutters are gutters sold in pieces and then patched together to make one larger gutter system. They are usually connected via a snap system or adhesive, and generally come in 10 to 20-foot pieces. To cut down a piece to make it fit, the installer will generally use a hacksaw. They are easy to install, and often the choice for DIY gutter projects.
While these types of gutters are cheaper and can be easier to install, they are known for leaking and failing continuously over time. Since the gutters are sections and not one continuous gutter system, the seams can slowly separate and leak.
- Easy to install
- Lower cost
- Don’t last as long
- Will eventually leak
Built from a single piece of material, seamless gutters require no joints or fasteners for it to run the length of your home. The length is cut from a long piece of gutter, allowing it to be professionally cut to the exact length needed for your home.
Since there are no seams, leaks are far less common with seamless gutters. This also reduces the amount of debris that gets caught in the gutter, leading to less maintenance and upkeep.
Lastly, since they are made from one piece of material and higher quality, they look better and will accentuate the aesthetics of your home more fluidly.
- Nearly maintenance free (when protected with
- Gutter Guards)
- Longer lasting
- More aesthetically pleasing
- Professional installation required
Make sure you know the questions to ask any gutter installation company before you sign on the dotted line!
Copper gutters are a favorite material for seamless gutters due to their high-quality, sturdiness, and ability to resist rust. They are also extremely strong and sturdy, with the ability to better withstand falling debris, a must for any home here in the rainy Portland and Seattle area. A high-quality copper gutter installed by gutter installation experts can last generations if properly maintained.
In addition to their quality construction, copper gutters also look incredible and are perfect for period homes. Copper gutters are a beautiful option for any Pacific Northwest home looking for a long lasting gutter.
- Do not rust
- Available as seamless gutters
- Higher initial investment
These are one of the most popular styles of gutters for a reason! Aluminum gutters are rust resistant and fully weatherproof. Unlike other lightweight gutter materials, aluminum gutters still are not susceptible to more damage when it’s cold out, making them the strongest lightweight material out there!
They are also easy to paint over, meaning you can paint them to match your home, a great option for homes looking to have a high-quality gutter the blends in with the unique aesthetic of your home.
- Lightweight, but still strong
- Do not rust
- Available as seamless gutters
- Can be painted any color
- Not strong as copper (but still strong)
- Can be dented
Vinyl gutters are a common gutter material due to their cheap price and lightweight. This combination of factors, and the fact that many sectional gutters are made from it, have made them a favorite of DIY gutters over the years.
While vinyl gutters are cheap initially, they also do not last nearly as long as a copper or aluminum gutters. Vinyl gutters have a tendency to be brittle and easily crack as time goes on, meaning they will eventually start leaking, causing damage to your home. When installed poorly, they’ll also start to sag, meaning more leaking and even further damage.
While these may be okay in mild climates without much rain, here in the Pacific Northwest a stronger, more stable gutter material is always needed.
- Low initial cost
- Only produced as sectional gutters
- Not good in cold weather
- Tendency to sag
Half round gutters
Considered an outdated style of gutter, half-round gutters are gutters made in a “U” shape and are an appealing look for certain home looking for a more historical aesthetic. Given their more complicated design and focus on looks, they are generally more expensive to install without any functional advantage.
- Aesthetic appeal for some homes
- More expensive with zero functional advantages
- More difficult to install
- Higher cost
The most popular gutter style on the market, K-style gutters are easy to instal and the most durable option on the market. Known for their “K” shape when looked at from the side, these gutters curve out on the bottom and resemble crown molding.
K-style gutters are much more durable then half-round, withstanding fallen debris more effectively, leading to less bending and other damage. They can also hold more water, making them perfect for the harsh weather here in the Pacific Northwest.
K-style gutters are the style of choice for seamless gutters and come in a wide-variety of materials, making them as versatile as they are durable.
- Can hold more water
- Multiple materials available
- Easy to install
- K-style gutters are almost always the right choice!
Fascia gutters are installed directly onto a fascia board, or the siding panel that is between your gutter and the exterior wall of your home.
Fascia gutters are often larger than k-style or half-round gutters, making them perfect for extreme weather and homes and buildings with large roofs given their ability to handle large and sudden rushes of water. They are also extremely secure and will hold up to extreme storms and other weather.
- Great for extreme weather
- Can handle a lot of water
- Aesthetic appeal
- Can be difficult to install yourself
- Higher maintenance when not protected by Gutter Guards
Want to Make Maintaining Your Gutters Easier?
Gutter guards might be right for you. Gutter guards go on top of your gutters and will…
- Require virtually no maintenance
- Never clog
- Protect your gutters and home from weather damage
- Be covered by our lifetime warranty
Any questions about the right gutter style and material for you? Contact us today to find out more and to schedule a complimentary inspection and in-home consultation.