Which Gutters and Downspouts are Right for You?
By: Jenni Huynh, January 29, 2016 – 10:44 AM E.T.
In order to know how to choose which gutters and downspouts are the best fit for your home, you must know everything from the different types of gutters and downspouts to their sizes and materials. Consulting a specialist is always recommended. Here’s a quick look at the types, sizes, and materials of gutters and downspouts:
K-Style Gutters are called so because their shape is similar to that of the letter “K”. They are the standard, most commonly chosen gutters and consist of flat bottoms and backs. They’re a tad pricier than Half-Round (U-Style) Gutters – more common in older homes – because they are able to hold twice the volume of water than the latter style. Regarding size, gutters are between 4-6 inches in width, the most popular sizes being 4 or 5 inches.
Downspouts come in different shapes and sizes as well. They can be round, square, rectangular (most common), or made into decorative shapes, like spiral, if so desired, and are either 2 by 3 inches or 3 by 4 inches in size.
There are also different materials to consider, depending on your personal preferences regarding durability, whether you’re installing it yourself or getting professional help, and price, such as:
- Aluminum – Most commonly used material. Lightweight and fairly easy to install if you’re considering doing it yourself. Corrosive and can be painted in a variety of colors. Pretty affordable, whether done by you or a professional. Can be made seamless, which lowers the possibility of leaks; however, doing so can be a bit pricier than standard aluminum.
- Copper – Appealing to the eye. Naturally corroding to an aesthetic finish, making painting unnecessary. Copper as a material is generally expensive depending on the market. Requires professional installation, making this option quite costly.
- Steel – Sturdy and a bit on the heavier side; will corrode if not routinely painted. Can be painted in a variety of colors and is pricey because professional help is strongly recommended.
- Vinyl – Lightweight and can crack in extreme cold weather. Does not corrode, so the need for painting is unnecessary. This material is the least expensive.
- Zinc – Durable and long-lasting. The need for painting is unnecessary. The most expensive material and requires professional installation.
Now that you know a little more about the importance of gutters and downspouts, don’t hesitate to consult a professional about having them installed or replaced to keep your home dry, cozy, and secure.
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