How to Choose the Right Types of Gutters

Gutters are designed to provide a drainage system for your home’s exterior. Their main job is to keep the water directed out and not in, thus protecting the building and foundation from water damage. This drainage system is essential for managing heavy rains, snow, and debris and keeping your property shielded from damage.

A well-functioning gutter system is essential to managing moisture and debris on your property. If you have the wrong size, the wrong type, or lack essential gutter guards – your property is at risk of major damage when the next storm hits.

Are Gutters Necessary?

Gutters are essential to waterproofing any home or structure. Often seen as an unsung hero, gutters are actually what holds everything else together and protect the exterior of your home.

If rainwater is not properly directed away from the foundation, it can seep into the ground, cause soil erosion, seep into the basement, and create mold and mildew growth. Proper gutter drainage keeps the home dry and directs water to proper channels.

The Different Parts of a Gutter System

There are essentially five different parts that make up a gutter system. Each part plays a crucial role in protecting your home.

  • Gutter: The actual gutter trough is the top of the system that first captures the water shedding from the roof.
  • End Cap: The end cap provides a closed end of the gutter system and directs the water to the downspout.
  • Fascia Bracket: This small piece is critical in keeping the gutter attached to your house and supports the gutter from below so it doesn’t bend or break.
  • Downspout: The downspout is also known as a leader, and provides a path that directs water from the gutter to the ground.
  • Downspout Bracket: The downspout bracket(s) keep the downspout secured to the side of the house.
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Types of Gutters

We can classify gutters in Austin, TX in two ways – the material they are made of and the shape in which they are installed.

  1. Based On Material
  • Copper Gutters: Copper is the most durable material for gutter systems. This material never rusts or needs painting and should last 100 years in any climate. After installation, copper oxidizes to a matte brown in a matter of months, and then eventually a blue-green over decades. If you prefer gray gutters you can choose a coated copper material that carries the same benefits.
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Aluminum Gutters: This is perhaps the most popular gutter material option. It’s a low-cost metal that won’t rust and comes in many colors. The light weight of aluminum is appealing but can also make it more prone to denting and bending than heavier metals. A high-quality aluminum gutter will likely last up to 25 years.

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Steel Gutters: Steel gutters are coated in zinc to prevent rust while still providing the strength and durability of steel. Available in seamless or sections; the joints of steel gutters are soldered together, giving you a continuous system that often comes with a 25-year warranty.

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Zinc Gutters: Zinc is a unique metal that has high contraction and expansion rates. This means that the metal itself is adaptable to weather conditions and won’t become brittle or break. The installation process is slightly more complicated, but the lifespan can reach up to 50 years.

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Vinyl Gutters: Vinyl is the least expensive gutter option and the easiest to install. While color choices are limited, vinyl can be painted to match the home. Vinyl can be installed in several shapes and is not susceptible to rust or rot, but it can be worn down by extreme cold or intense heat.

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  1. Based on ShapeK-Style Gutters: This most common gutter shape has a flat bottom and a profiled face that resembles crown molding. It is easily fitted with rectangular downspouts. The K-style gutter handles more than twice the runoff of a half-round of the same width.Half-Round Gutters: A basic semicircular trough with curled front lip that provides a beautiful natural fit on traditional homes. Goes best with round downspouts and tends to drain water more efficiently than rectangular ones.Fascia: A fascia gutter, also known as a box gutter, is designed to be hidden from view. It is installed flush with the fascia board giving the gutter system a clean, streamlined appearance that blends in with the building.V-Style: This style provides a deep v shape rather than a rounded or rectangular bottom. One of the advantages of a V-shape gutter is that it can handle a higher volume of water than some other types of gutters. The angled sides of the gutter allow water to flow more freely, which can help prevent clogs and backups in the system.European Seamless: A seamless gutter system is one continuous piece that runs the entire length of the home. Unlike traditional sectional gutters that are made up of separate pieces that are joined together, seamless gutters are fabricated on-site using a specialized machine. This ensures that it forms the gutter to the exact length needed for the home or building.

Can I Install Gutters Myself

Believe it or not, gutter installation is harder than it looks. It requires a lot of training and experience in order to be installed correctly and of course, requires safely navigating up and down a ladder with heavy power tools.

While there are many obstacles to installation, some homeowners still want to DIY their way through the project. While it is possible to install gutters yourself, it’s important you understand both the advantages and disadvantages to this approach.

  • Pitch: Pitch is one of the most challenging aspects of installing gutters. If your pitch is off, then water will not run freely through your gutters which will lead to damage. For the untrained, installing gutters without the right pitch can lead to hiring professionals after you’ve already done a lot of the work.
  • Cost: It may seem obvious that you can save money by installing gutters yourself. But that’s not always the case. You may have to rent or buy tools you don’t already have, and you still have to pay for the materials. The difference is, if you damage the materials – you have to buy more.
  • Product Availability: Seamless gutters are one of the most sought-after gutter systems because they are more durable and require less maintenance than a sectioned gutter system. Seamless gutters are not an option at big-box stores, so it can be difficult to obtain seamless gutters if you are installing them yourself.

Cost of Installing Gutters

The cost of installing gutters depends on several factors including the size of your home, materials chosen, and the cost of labor in your area. Gutter installation averages cost between $1,000 and $5,600 for 200 linear feet for a brand-new, single-story home.

Each gutter type and material has different costs for installation because of the expertise of the roofing contractor in Austin, TX, or the time required for proper installation.

Signs You May Need to Repair Your Gutters

Gutter repairs can be done easily for most gutter systems. We recommend doing a quarterly check to see if they are working smoothly. If you notice any of the following signs, it might be time to call for a gutter repair service technician.

  • Broken Seams: The seam is the most vulnerable part of your gutter system. If they come apart with age or damage, they can wreak havoc on your gutter system.
  • Cracks, Holes, or Rust Spots: Any of these are sure signs of damage to your gutter system. You may need to replace a section or the entire structure if left unattended.
  • Broken Fasteners: The fasteners are what hold the gutter to the roof, when these break, you open up your roof and outside walls to damage and can even cause water damage to your foundation.
  • Pulling Away from the Roof: If you’ve hammered in the fasteners time and time again and the gutter is still pulling away from the roof, it may be a problem with the fascia boards and it’s time for a gutter replacement.
  • Sagging Gutters: Areas of sagging causes the water to pool in certain sections and spill over. This is a time to consider replacing your gutters.

Don’t Forget About the Gutter Guards

As your gutters catch rainfall, they also catch leaves, sticks, twigs, bugs, debris, trash, and even small animals.

When your gutters become clogged, the entire drainage system is compromised.

Gutter guards prevent this from happening and keep your system clear. They are available in a variety of styles and known by many names such as gutter screens, helmets, or covers but the job is always the same – to keep anything larger than a grain of sand from getting caught and clogging your gutters.


Choosing the Best Gutters

Nearly every home in the United States has a gutter system. They are essential in every climate and almost every type of home or building. Overall, aluminum gutters with gutter guards tend to be the most popular choice due to their affordability, durability, and ease of installation.

However, the best type of gutter or gutter guard for your home may depend on factors such as your budget, the climate in your area, and your personal preferences.

Prime Seamless Gutters and Roofing is the leading gutters and roofing contractor in Austin or San Antonio, TX because of our decades of experience, excellent workmanship, and great products.

We can install beautiful and durable gutters in Texas custom-made to fit your home. Give us a call today!

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