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Seamless aluminium gutters are a welcome replacement for the steel gutters of years past. Aluminium gutters are lightweight, durable and inexpensive, and modern seamless varieties claim to eliminate the leaking problem that plagues traditional aluminium gutters. Before you invest in seamless varieties of aluminium gutters, examine some of the common drawbacks that dissuade some consumers.
A number of gutters come in do-it-yourself kits so that homeowners can install their own gutter systems and eliminate the need for professional installation. Despite their lightweight, seamless aluminium gutters are difficult to install without a team of assistants. Seamless gutters are not manufactured in convenient short sections that are easily manoeuvred by one person. Instead, to create the seamless pieces, the sections are produced in single, long pieces that must be installed by multiple people.
Traditional aluminium gutters are cut to fit, so standard sizes are suitable for most homes. Seamless gutters are offered in a limited range of standard sizes, but to achieve the seamless design, longer pieces must be custom ordered to size to fit your home. Seamless aluminium gutters are still a cost-effective option for gutters, but the added cost of custom sizing is a disadvantage for most homeowners.
Seamless gutters do not feature seams along the length of gutter across the front of the house, but the gutters are not truly seamless. The joints at the corners of the home, at the ends of the gutters and at the outlet tube all contain seams. Any seam has the potential to develop a leak over time. Seamless gutters have fewer seams than traditional gutters, but they are not impervious to leaks.
Aluminium is largely considered one of the most cost-effective and durable options for gutters, but seamless aluminium gutters are not completely resistant to damage. Like all aluminium gutters, seamless gutters are vulnerable to dents or bends in the gutter due to debris. Most dents won't impede the function of your gutters, but large dents that require repair present a problem for seamless gutters. If a section of your seamless gutter needs replacement, you'll either have to cut out and replace a portion of your gutter and create a seam, or replace the entire gutter.
- Ask the Builder: Aluminum Gutters Traditional vs. Seamless
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- "Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Roofing & Siding: Install, Finish, Repair, Maintain"; Bryan Trandem; 2004
- Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images