Wednesday, May 27th, 2015
Image via enjosmith on Flickr
Homeowners are well aware of the importance of gutters to their homes and why it is so necessary to keep gutters clear of leaves, twigs, and other debris. A clogged gutter can lead to all kinds of costly problems, including damaged gutters, roof leaks, and landscaping damage.
One way to prevent such damage is to consider seamless gutters instead of traditional sectioned gutters. Without seams, there is less opportunity for debris to gather so they don't clog as easily.
Both systems have advantages and disadvantages depending on the type of home you own, the location you live in, and much more. Read below for a comprehensive comparison of regular and seamless gutters.
Traditional gutters come in pre-cut sections which are easy to assemble, but those sections must be sealed or soldered at the joints. Sectioned gutters are available in a variety of materials, including steel, copper, aluminum, and vinyl.
Steel is easily the strongest material, so it is good for areas that experience extreme weather, heavy rains, and lots of snow. Steel also has a tendency to rust when in contact with moisture, and can be fairly heavy to lift and support when installed.
Copper and aluminum are also strong, but do not rust. With regular maintenance, these types of gutters can last for decades. Aluminum gutters also come in a wide variety of colors, which means you won't have to paint them unless you're trying to match their color to your home.
Vinyl has been gaining in popularity because it is lightweight, does not rust, is extremely easy to install, and does not require painting or any other kind of aesthetic maintenance. Homeowners on a tight budget will find regular vinyl gutters very appealing because they are the least expensive gutters on the market and are very easy to install.
Vinyl’s main drawback is durability. It tends to develop cracks and deteriorate when exposed to extensive heat and dryness or intensely cold weather. Also, heavy rains can cause warping that may ruin or damage functionality. Vinyl can also become seriously damaged if clogs are not promptly attended to.
Seamless gutters are generally stronger than traditional gutters, so they are ideal for use with systems that often become clogged and are not immediately cleaned. Seamless gutters are constructed of many of the same materials as traditional gutters, but come in single pieces that are not sectioned. These single pieces are cut on-site using a machine that is fed with sheets of the chosen material. This process makes seamless installation unsuitable for do-it-yourself projects.
Because they are not sectioned, they only have seams at corners and at the downspout. This limits opportunity for leakage to occur. While it is not true that there is no chance of leakage, it is true that seamless gutters leak far less than traditional gutters.
Seamless gutters tend to be more expensive compared to their traditional counterparts, and they can also be somewhat difficult to install. Homeowners on a tight budget should be wary of the cost associated with installing a seamless system, but if the reduced maintenance, and longer life of this type of gutter system appeals to you, then seamless is the way to go.
Which gutter system is best for your home may not be immediately obvious. If your home sits beneath overhanging trees, the leaves or pine needles they drop could become destructive forces and cause leaks or even clogs. Seamless gutters may be slightly more expensive to install, but you'll save so much money in repairs over the years that they're sure to pay for themselves. If you have questions about which type of gutter system might be best for your home, don't hesitate to contact the professionals at LeafGuard Gutters and Roofing in Northeast Wisconsin for guidance.