Believe it or not many homes, particularly older ones, were built without rain Gutters to help direct water safely away from rooftops and back into the ground in designated areas. If your home lacks Gutters, if you are building a new house or if you are ready to make some improvements to your existing structure, here’s a brief overview of the different types of rain gutter styles available on the market today.
Rain Gutter Shape
Gutters generally come in two basic shapes: half round and so-called K style. K style accounts for around 80 percent of products installed across America, because they are an all-purpose work horse and are the least expensive high-efficiency option.
Homeowners who choose half round designs do so generally for aesthetic reasons: this type of gutter really adds a touch of elegance to the look of any home’s exterior, especially if made from copper. No matter which shape you decide on, experts agree that the fewer seams in the design, the better. Too many seams in a continuous system increase the likelihood of the conduit getting clogged with debris and leaves and slow the draining process. So your best bet is to opt for seamless. Most all-purpose Gutters come in 5 or 6 inch models: your contractor can help you decide which type will be best to suit your needs.
Aluminum and vinyl: These two materials are the most cost-effective and are the easiest to install because of their lightweight properties. Many homeowners choose to paint their aluminum Gutters to match their trim so that the system doesn’t “show” as much.
Steel: Gutters made from steel are extremely strong and are much less susceptible to damage from debris, wind or ice. Because of the higher cost associated with this material, it is not the standard for new home construction. However, if you are looking to replace your existing aluminum Gutters because they simply are not doing the job in response to your state’s extreme weather, retrofitting with steel products makes cost-effective sense.
Copper and Zinc: Most often seen in half-round designs, Gutters made from these types of metals weather naturally and beautifully. Homeowners who choose these metals do so because they add a classic finishing touch to home exteriors; for this reason, they are usually used for luxury homes.
Although some homeowners are experienced and committed do-it-yourselfers who can install Gutters effectively, most of us would benefit instead from the services of a professional who specializes in rain Gutters or in system installation in the state where you live. If you’re choosing to live in a home without a good roof drainage system, you are definitely putting your investment at risk.