Gutters help divert water flow during rain and storms, which helps to prevent roof damage. A good gutter system adds to the value of a home. Learning about gutter systems can help you decide on a style if you are installing or replacing gutters. There are two main types of gutters, and you also need to consider the drain pipes leading from the gutters down to the ground.
Gutters and Drain Pipes
Round gutters look like half-open tubes. The back, base, and front all form one round curve, leaving the top open to trap rainwater. Sometimes the front curve of this kind of gutter has a special curve or design at the end.
Your other option is K-style gutters, which are popular because of the variety of types that are available. The bottoms and backs of these gutters are flat and almost at a right angle from each other. Meanwhile, the front siding can be a variety of shapes, suitable to your personal style preferences.
The drain pipes that lead down the side of the house are fully covered on all sides and can be four-sided, round, or somewhere in between. Gutters and drain pipes can be painted to suit different preferences, but it must be done with paint that is resistant to water.
Gutter systems can be made from different materials. Typically, they are either vinyl or some type of metal.
Vinyl is not the strongest or most reliable material for gutters, but it is usually cheaper than other materials. Homeowners who want to install their own gutter systems and perform gutter repair often use vinyl. One downside is that extreme cold weather may cause vinyl gutters to crack. Another drawback is that there typically aren't very many colors to choose from.
Steel gutters are heavy and hardy. They tend to hold paint well and will only start to rust after several years. Strong steel gutters are more expensive than vinyl and not well suited to DIY installation.
Aluminum is the most popular type of material for gutter systems. Aluminum is a happy medium between vinyl and steel because it's fairly easy to install, fairly affordable, and not susceptible to cracking as long as it's the right thickness. Best of all, aluminum gutters don't rust the way that steel does.
Other metals used include seamless aluminum, zinc, and copper.
With this information about gutters, homeowners can choose what type of gutter is right for them and whether they want to self-install their gutters or hire a company.