Why are gutters and downspouts so important anyway? Very simply, gutters collect the rain water that falls on your roof and carries it away, through the downspouts and onto an area on the ground away from your property. Doing this keeps your basement or crawl space dry and literally protects the foundation of your property. Re-directing the water also helps preserve your topsoil around your property, protects the siding of your home from stains and damage caused by the back-splash. This can also protect your doors and windows from damage caused by water that can seep through.
Gutters can be made from different materials, including aluminum,stainless steel, vinyl material, galvanized steel, copper and even wood (Older homes and many commercial properties have gutters built in as part of the structure. These are then lined with often times with copper.) Most homes use gutters that are made of aluminum because they’re economical and they don’t rust! Vinyl gutters are inexpensive but they have a tendency to get brittle over time, especially when exposed to the extreme hot and cold temperatures that we have here in the Toledo area. Galvanized steel has to be soldered in order to connect the gutter pieces, which is another added cost. But the main problem with galvanized steel gutters is that they will eventually rust. Gutters made of copper, stainless-steel and wood are expensive. For these reasons, most property owners decide that aluminum gutters are the way to go.
Gutters normally come in two different shapes or “profiles”: “U-shaped”(also referred to as, “half-round”) and the “k-style”. The k-style gets it name from the fact that when seen from the side, they resemble the letter, “K”. Even though they’re smaller, the “k-style” can actually hold more water than the “half-round” gutter. Most homes today have the “k-style” gutter profile.
Gutters also come in different sizes. The size is measured across the opening at the top, which is the widest part. 5-inch (wide) gutters are usually used for homes, while a 6-inch gutter is generally used for commercial properties. Gutter downspouts come in various sizes also. The size of the downspout is the width of the diameter and downspouts are usually 2 x 3 inches or 3 x 4 inches.
One thing to be aware of that the aluminum used in making gutters comes in different thicknesses. The thicker the material, the better. You’ll find that some gutter companies will use 0.025 inch or 0.019-inch thickness of aluminum in order to cut corners and try and save money. Gutter Man Gutters uses 0.027-inch gauge aluminum for residential gutters and 0.032 inch gauge for commercial properties. If you’re getting bids, insist on a written estimate that specifies the type and size of the material that will be used for your gutters.
The biggest decision to make when getting new gutters is whether to go with “sectional “ gutters or seamless gutters. Sectional gutters are separate gutter pieces that are connected together. Connectors join together the separate gutter sections to each other and to the downspouts. The main problem with sectional gutters is that leaks can (and often do ) occur at the areas where the gutter and downspout sections are connected.
Seamless gutters are made from a continuous roll of aluminum that’s extruded from a machine and made to the specific length needed. The advantage is that there are no seams that can leak. It should be pointed out that even seamless gutters have to be connected at the corners as well as at the downspout sections. But the size of the area is minimal and with the proper installation by a professional, this should be easily handled to ensure that your gutter system will provide years of great service without problems.
Do you have any questions about what type of gutters would be best for your property? Or would you like an estimate to know how much your gutters would cost? Just give use a call or just fill out the contact form on the side of the page and we’ll be in touch shortly!