When selecting the proper gutters and downspouts for your home, it’s necessary to calculate the appropriate size. While the most common gutter size might be suitable for many homes, you don’t want to assume it’s right for yours. The wrong gutter size could easily overwhelm your system and damage your foundation, not to mention the gutters themselves. The simplest way of determining the right size gutter is to discuss options with a trusted gutter expert. However, no matter what kind of property you own, if a contractor suggests the standard, it’s essential to ask, “Is the standard size enough?”
Available Gutter Sizes
Gutters come in various styles and sizes, and correctly matching gutter size to the area of your roof is extremely important. The measurements involved are very different for each gutter style because the amount of water they can handle varies widely—further, each style’s maximum carrying capacity changes according to their sizes.
Choosing the right gutter size is not as complicated as it sounds, and the measurements you’ll need to keep handy are pretty straightforward.
The standard gutter system size most home builders and contractors install will usually be one of two size combinations:
- 5-inch gutters connected to 2×3-inch downspouts
- 6-inch gutters connected to 3×4-inch downspouts
The size you’ll need depends primarily on the area of your roof, your roof pitch, and the style of gutters used. K-style gutters can handle a much higher volume of water than half-round gutters. One inch of rainfall translates to 600 gallons of water running through your gutters for every 1,000 square feet of roof area – meaning you don’t want to under-calculate gutter and downspout sizes.
5-inch size gutters are adequate for roofs under 5,500 square feet with K-style gutters and roofs under 2,500 square feet with half-round gutters. Though it might save you a small amount of money in the short run, a 5-inch gutter system is usually not the wisest choice; however, it may be just fine for very compact properties in particularly dry climates.
6-inch size gutters are usually the minimum needed for larger homes and commercial buildings, or even to be sure you’re protected in the event of future record-breaking storms. For K-style gutters, 6 inches is adequate for roofs with square footage between 5,500 and 7,900 – while for Half-Round gutters, 6 inches is only sufficient on roofs with square footage between 2,500 and 3,840.
For anything bigger than this, you’ll need to go with 7- or 8-inch gutters (which will likely also necessitate larger downspouts), but these options are typically used on larger commercial buildings.
What Gutter Size is Right for Your Home?
Getting the right size gutter system is extremely important, as an inadequate size could cause more problems than having no gutter system. When in doubt, install the next largest size up – especially in areas with heavy rain or snowfall or if you use half-round gutters. In most cases, K-style gutters are the better way to go for their greater capacity and resilience.
The Right-Sized Gutters, Professionally Installed
Aerotech is a highly experienced, fully insured, and locally trusted gutter installation company, taking the guesswork out of gutter design with the best materials and installation techniques in the industry. We use 6-inch gutters because they can handle double the volume of water of 5-inch gutters, and we want to ensure your property is protected from water damage for years to come.
For the most expert gutter installations, don’t hesitate to contact Aerotech and ask for a quote today – it will save you immeasurable amounts of time and complications.