Though most people think choosing gutters is relatively simple, many are surprised by the high number of gutter styles, materials, and cosmetic choices available. With so many considerations – all with their own pros and cons – how do you choose the right one? While it depends on your exact property and needs, we’ll cover the basic aspects of each gutter style and material to make upgrading your gutters as easy as possible and ensure you feel confident in your decisions when speaking with a gutter expert.
When comparing gutter styles, you’ll come across three main options:
- Box Gutters
Each style has a unique appearance and functionality and depending on the material, an assortment of colors to choose from as well. There are also distinct advantages and disadvantages to each of the three standard gutter styles.
The most common type of gutter, K-style gutters have a unique contoured shape that matches many homes’ crown molding. When the K-style gutter’s color is matched with the home’s accent colors, it creates an extremely uniform and modern look. Functionally, K-style gutters can handle a high volume of water and are highly durable.
A simple half-cylindrical shape, half-round gutters are often seen on older and more rustic homes. They are usually made from copper, but other materials are also available. Half-round installations require added hardware, requiring more labor to install.
The totally smoothed and rounded interior surface of half-round gutters results in almost no standing water at all, reducing corrosion and clogs. However, they are also less sturdy, much heavier, and provide lower water capacity than K-style gutters.
Box-style gutters are commonly used on commercial or industrial buildings. Their huge water capacity is necessary for large roofs, which deliver more water all at once to the gutter system. Rather than hanging them on the side of the roof, Box Gutters are usually integrated under the roofing material during construction to ensure water doesn’t spill over the sides. These are the most self-contained and voluminous gutters – but by far more labor-intensive to install and repair.
Common Gutter Materials
Each gutter style is available in aluminum, copper, vinyl, and galvanized steel. Each material also has its own advantages and disadvantages and combining the most appropriate gutter style and material for your home takes an experienced eye.
Its extra lightweight and affordability give aluminum gutters tremendous advantages, along with its high resistance to rust and the widest assortment of colors. Being highly malleable, it’s also easy to form, making it the preferred material for most consumer-grade gutter manufacturers. However, cheaper aluminum tends to have a shorter lifespan, especially in areas with highly dynamic temperature fluctuations.
Galvanized steel is unparalleled for its strength, making it especially suitable for box-style gutters. If galvanized steel gutters are hung at the edge of a roof, however, they are much more prone to pulling away over time. They are also more costly and rust more easily. Further, galvanized steel is not as easily shaped by most manufacturers, and there are fewer color choices than aluminum gutters.
Copper gutters create an incredibly stylish and upscale look, and they are a thicker gauge than aluminum. The resilience of copper is somewhere between that of aluminum and steel – but the resilience is closer to aluminum, while the weight is closer to steel. This often necessitates extra hardware, especially for copper half-round gutters. There are few finish and tint options with copper gutters, and they are the most costly material.
Vinyl is often preferred by DIYers because it is easy to install and incredibly cheap. However, they are highly prone to bending, especially in the hot sun. Also, manufacturers currently do not produce different colors, and white is the only vinyl color option currently available.
High-Quality Gutter Materials with Expert Installation
Since there are many gutter styles, materials, and color combinations to choose from, the fastest and most effective option is to take the guesswork out of the equation and enlist the help of a dedicated gutter installation professional. Aerotech is a fully insured gutter maintenance and installation expert, and we provide industry-leading materials with expert gutter installations.
We specialize in seamless aluminum gutters of the finest caliber, selected for their high resistance to rust and lower installation costs for the customer. If you have further gutter installation questions or to request a quote, don’t hesitate to contact Aerotech – our friendly service providers will be glad to assist you.