Most places in America receive about 30 inches of rain per year. To handle that rain, a house needs good gutters. Only a few roof designs can get away with ignoring this vital addition.
The best type of gutters depends on the roof and home design you have. Climate also plays a role in deciding on ideal gutters.
Keep reading, and we’ll go over different types of gutters, including materials and styles.
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Different Types of Gutters
Aesthetic concerns come into play when choosing different types of gutters. Choosing between K-type, fascia, or half-round gutters has more to do with how you want your home to look than gutter function.
K-type gutters draw their name from the K-like shape they take when viewed from the side. Most homes constructed since the 1960s have K-type gutters. These gutters carry more rainwater than other gutters, but the harsher angles can accumulate debris, making them harder to clean.
Half round gutters get their name from being tubes cut in half. Older homes often have half round gutters, and historic neighborhoods may require this type of gutter. Installation takes more time and effort, but cleaning goes more quickly than with K-type gutters.
Fascia gutters must be custom-shaped for your home’s roof rather than made out of individual segments. They lack seams, making them easier to maintain, but the cost of gutters increases due to the requirement of custom work.
Most modern gutters use some type of metal in their construction, as wood gutters rot with heavy rain exposure. Fascia gutters must use aluminum, but segmented gutters can use zinc, vinyl, steel, or copper as well.
Aluminum and vinyl gutters provide cost-effective rain protection. Aluminum can dent or bend, and vinyl can become brittle in hot climates, but these gutters usually last 20 to 25 years. Expect to pay for gutter repair when these types of gutters dent or crack.
Zinc copes poorly with wet, salty air in coastal areas but beats many other options on durability. Zinc gutters can last as long as 50 years but require welding during installation.
Steel gutters hold up well to the elements but need regular cleaning to avoid rusting. While steel gutters do not require professional installation, they tend to be hefty, so DIY installation comes with many risks.
Copper gutters have unparalleled durability and can last up to a century without rusting or warping. They also have a distinctive look, especially as they develop a green patina. Expect to pay a premium for the combination of look and durability copper offers.
Consider Budget and Look
When you choose between different types of gutters, you’ll need to think about all of these considerations. How much time can you spare for maintenance and cleaning? How comfortable are you doing the work yourself?
Considering changing more than just your gutters? Take a look at some of our other articles on home repair and maintenance. We’ll give you tips, tricks, and considerations for just about any improvement.