Types & Styles of Gutters

Written by holly huntington
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Types & Styles of Gutters
Gutters and downspouts that come loose can lead to damaged home exteriors. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Gutters can add to the attractiveness of your home, but their main focus is to rid your roof of excess water hitting it. You don't want soil erosion at the bottom of your home, near the foundation, and you don't want damage to exterior portions of your home due to faulty gutters either. So make sure you know which gutter type and style you should use for your particular home and roof.

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Types

There are five basic gutter types: aluminium, vinyl, galvanised steel, stainless steel and copper gutters, according to Networx. Aluminium gutters are the most common and are available in different colours, to match with your home's external decor. If you seek an easy-to-install gutter, which is also less likely to rust, vinyl is commonly chosen. Those living in high wind or storm prone areas would be best served with galvanised steel gutters, which are strong enough to handle more damage before needing to be replaced. Another strong gutter--and which projects a shiny look through wear--is the stainless steel gutter. For those who don't mind paying a little more to be guaranteed no rust or rot, copper gutters are the right choice.

Styles

Three gutter styles exist: K-style, box style, and the half-round style. K-style is narrower than the square box style gutter and more modern, fitting more recently built homes better than the older box style or the rounded style. K-style gutters come in 4-inch, 5-inch and 6-inch-wide sizes. The 4-inch-wide K-style is not a commonly used style of gutter, since it is for smaller roofed homes. The 5-inch-wide K-style is preferred for residential homes, instead, while the 6-inch-wide size is preferred for use on buildings with larger roofs. Half-round gutters are approximately 1-inch wider than the K-styles but can be used on residential and larger homes, too. For example, you would use a 6-inch-wide half-round gutter to replace a 5-inch-wide K-style gutter already on your residential home. Box style gutters, which are more square than the K-style, fit older residential homes and buildings better, as they were in existence prior to the K-style, as was half-round styles.

Wide Gutters

The only time you would need a wider gutter than the K-style, box style or rounded style is if your home has a steep-pitched roof or if your roof is made of tile, slate or another hard surface. The tendency is for water to shoot over the gutter when roofs of this steepness or surface are involved, if you do not use wider gutters, according to Old House Web.

Consideration

Your gutter can be delivered in sections, known as sectional gutters, or in one complete piece, known as seamless. An advantage of sectional gutters is you can install them; a disadvantage is they can leak in certain sections more easily than a seamless gutter, which must be installed by a professional.

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