Gutters serve several essential functions for your home – like protecting the foundation, roof, and landscaping from water damage. Modern gutter options can accomplish all this while also enhancing curb appeal.
When choosing a gutter system for your home, you may have more options than you think. Two essential decisions you’ll need to make are the style and material of your gutters. These choices will determine the cost, effectiveness, and durability of your gutter system.
The Three Most Common Styles of Gutters
Whether you want gutters that blend with the face of your home or if you’d prefer to make a visual statement, there is a style to match your needs. There are three main styles of residential gutters, and those are K-style, half round, and box gutters.
K-style gutters are the most common type of gutters for homes in the United States. In fact, about 80% of homes feature this style, and you are sure to have seen them many times.
This type of gutter gets its name from the shape of the gutters before installation. The back is flat while the front is decorative which can loosely resemble the letter ‘K’ when viewed from the side. The flat back of the gutters attaches directly to the fascia board – the trim at the bottom of your roof. This method of installation allows the gutters to sit against the roof line and prevents water from damaging your exterior walls. From the street, the decorative front of K-style gutters resembles interior crown molding — giving them a distinguished look.
K-style gutters are typically very strong, and the method of attachment makes them more durable than some other gutter styles. Additionally, this style of gutters is typically the cheapest option to purchase and install. While there are many benefits to K-style gutters, there are also downsides. Namely, the irregular interior shape of K-style gutters makes them more prone to clogs than other styles.
Half-round gutters resemble a pipe that has been halved. This style of gutter is less common for new construction homes than K-style. However, it is popular with historic homes due to its old-fashioned appearance.
This style of gutter is attached with brackets that fasten to the roof’s edge. The top of the gutter typically sits against the edge of the roof to collect water before it flows down your home’s exterior walls.
Half-round gutters hold less water than other styles which makes them more prone to overflowing in certain conditions. Additionally, half-round gutters can be heavy, and the bracket attachments can pull away from your home over time.
However, there are many benefits to half-round gutters as well. For one, the rounded bottom prevents standing water, making the metal less likely to corrode. Additionally, half-round gutters are less prone to clogs due to their smooth interior.
Box style gutters are exactly what they sound like – gutters shaped like boxes. This style of gutter is popular for industrial buildings but can also be used on homes.
Compared to K-style or half round gutters, box style gutters handle significantly more water. This makes them an excellent choice for roofs with very large surface areas.
Rather than being hung on the edge of a roof, box style gutters feature a high back that attaches under the shingles. For this reason, these gutters must be installed with the roof or during roof replacement.
The style of gutters you choose for your home can have a significant impact on curb appeal. When deciding between K-style, half round, and box style gutters, it is important to consider the look of your home and which type of gutter matches your desired appearance. However, style is not the only important choice you need to make when selecting gutters – materials also matter.
The Four Most Common Materials for Gutters
In addition to the style of gutters, you will also need to decide which material you want for your gutter system. In the U.S., the four most common materials are aluminum, steel, copper, and vinyl. Each of these different materials has its own benefits and downsides.
Aluminum is the most popular gutter material due to its light weight, rust resistance, and variety of paint color options. However, aluminum is a relatively soft metal, so gutters made of this material are more prone to warping and denting than gutters made of steel.
Galvanized steel is a stronger option than aluminum, so gutters made from this material can better withstand temperature fluctuations without warping. However, steel gutters are less commonly used than aluminum for a few reasons. For starters, they can be prone to rust, making durability an issue in some climates. In addition, steel is significantly heavier than aluminum – meaning proper installation is even more critical to prevent gutters from pulling away from the roof line.
Copper is the most expensive metal that is commonly used for gutters. While costly, gutters in this material can make a statement – both when new and after they have aged to form a beautiful patina. On the other hand, copper is heavy and relatively soft. This means that copper gutters – like galvanized steel – can pull away from the roofline over time due to their weight. They are also more prone to denting than gutters made from stronger metals.
Vinyl is another option for gutters. This type of gutter doesn’t rust or dent like metal options. However, they bend more easily and are less durable than metal. Color is an additional consideration when choosing vinyl gutters since they are typically only available in white.
With multiple styles and materials to choose from, you have many options when it comes to your home’s gutters. To choose the right combination of durability, cost, and appeal, speak to a roofing company with experience in gutter installation and maintenance. An experienced roofer can help you weigh the options and choose the right type of gutters for your home.
Choose Complete Roofing for All of Your Roofing and Gutter Needs
Complete Roofing is a local, licensed, and insured roofing company with locations on the Mississippi Coast, Alabama Coast, and in Greater New Orleans. Among other services, we install, repair, and replace all types of residential and commercial gutter systems.
With Complete Roofing, you always receive the highest quality craftsmanship, a choice of resilient materials, and outstanding customer service. Our team can answer your questions, help you choose the right material for your budget, and even help file your insurance claim.
To contact a gutter specialist in your area, use the following links for our 3 general areas or click your city for express service:
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Mobile, AL
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Daphne, AL
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Foley, AL
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Orange Beach, AL
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Fairhope, AL
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Gulf Shores, AL
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Biloxi, MS
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Pascagoula, MS
- Roofing and Gutter Services in Gulfport, MS