Rain gutters are not exactly your typical “one size or type fits all” type of product. Each home or business has unique needs depending on the building and its climate and surroundings, as well as the budget of the buyer. Read on for an overview of rain gutter types, materials, and sizes.
Rain Gutter Types
The most common type of gutters used in the US are K-style. They’re also the most affordable. They hold more water than an equivalent-sized round gutter, and their unique shape makes them stand up well to bending if they’res hit with something. They’re available in a wide range of materials, and can be made sectional or seamless. Their aesthetic matches well with pretty much any type of architectural style out there.
Many older building use box gutters. They’re fairly durable and easy to fix. Unlike most other gutters, they don’t hang off the edge of the roof. This gives them a nice ‘clean’ look. They fit in the eaves of the house, or on the bottom of the roof. They’re made of wood, and lined with sheets of metal. Sadly, because they’re made of wood, they can rot over time, due to prolonged exposure to air and moisture.
These gutters look like a tube that’s been sawed in half. Many are completely round, although some have a flattened back. They are good for Tuscan or Spanish-style homes due to their smooth appearance. They carry a lot of water due to their width. Water travels through half-round gutters faster than many other types, which helps keep them clean.
Square-line or flat-face gutters are slotted and need to be folded around corners, removing the need for external angels. They’re ideal for garages and carports.
Rain Gutter Materials
Aluminum is rust-proof, and can last 30 years with the proper maintenance. Aluminum gutters don’t hold up well to being struck, however, so a tree branch or heavy ladder might damage them. They’re inexpensive, and their light weight makes them easy to install. They’re available in a wide variety of colors.
Copper is very durable. In fact, copper gutters often outlive their owners. They are more expensive, however. Over time they’ll turn green, giving them an aged appearance. While some find this aesthetic appealing, others are not thrilled with it.
This is a type of galvanized steel that’s treated with a phosphate bath and a chromate dry. This creates a flat gray surface that won’t corrode. It’s also easy to paint because it’s micro-porous. Steel gutters are stronger than aluminum and should last a long time.
Rain Gutter Sizes
5-inch vs. 6-inch gutters
The two most popular gutter sizes are 5-inch and 6-inch. Which one you need depends greatly on your building style, the climate in your area, and the type of gutter you’ve selected. For example, 6-inch K-style gutters can hold almost 50% more water than 5-inch K-style gutters. Generally speaking, 5-inch gutters are used on homes, whereas 6-inch gutters are used on commercial buildings. This can change, though, depending on a few factors.
One thing to consider is your roof size. In a rainstorm, more water will come off a larger roof, which would require a larger gutter. The slope of the roof should also be considered, as a steeper slope brings down more water at once, again requiring a larger gutter. Also, if the climate in your area is one that gets a lot of heavy rainstorms, you may consider a larger gutter.
The fascia board on your home may also be something to think about, as not all fascia boards can support larger gutters. On the other hand, if your home’s fascia boards are very large, you may want larger gutter for aesthetic reasons.
So that’s our overview of rain gutter types, materials, and sizes. We hope it was informative! If you’re in need of rain gutter installation or maintenance, reach out to a local contractor in your area.