What You Need To Know About Gutters


Gutters come in various materials, sizes and colors. It is no surprise then, why consumers feel so perplexed when it comes to purchasing the right gutter system for their home.

Wood, vinyl, aluminum, steel and copper are some of the materials that gutters and downspouts are made of. Wood is the least popular because of its high maintenance and price. Vinyl is great for do-it-yourselfers and can be found at home-improvement centers. Aluminum gutters are the most common. Primary aluminum is the thickest and most consistent kind. Avoid secondary aluminum, a recycled product that’s often plagued by inconsistent thickness. Metal gutters are made in sheet metal shops and require gutter specialists to install them.

Types of Gutters

Sectional types are sold in 10ft. to 22ft. long pieces. They are either made of vinyl, painted aluminum or pre-painted steel. Gutter sections are joined together by snap-in-place connectors. All sectional systems have end caps, corner pieces and drop outlets for connecting to downspouts. The negative to sectional systems is that there is a potential for leaks through the seams. One positive is that they can be installed by either the homeowner or by a professional installer.

Seamless gutters are the most popular type today. The biggest selling point is that they don’t have any seams which could potentially leak. The sections join only at inside and outside corners and at downspout outlets. Seam¬less gutters are usually formed from aluminum that has a baked-on finish, but they may be made from copper or factory-painted steel. They are made with a special machine that’s brought to your home by a gutter contractor. These types of gutters can not be installed by do-it-yourselfers.