4 Types of Gutters and Which One’s Perfect for Your Home
Not all gutters are created equal. Depending on a lot of factors like your roof’s style and profile, the weather conditions in your area and your budget, the type of gutters that you’re going to need may vary.
And since there are a lot of options available out there, it’s easy to get lost and confused. That’s why in this piece, we’re going to lay out the differences, pros and cons of four of the most commonly used types of gutter in Sydney and throughout Australia.
Hopefully, by the end of this piece, you’ll be able to weigh your options and decide which one’s the best for your home.
As the name suggests, these are the type of gutters that are attached directly to your home’s fascia system. If you have no idea what fascia boards are, these are the siding panels that are normally found under the edge of your roof.
Also called “eaves gutters”, these gutters are probably the most commonly used type of gutters, especially in western countries, as they fit a majority of the roof profiles of modern houses.
Here’s why you should choose fascia gutter for your home
They are very accessible and easy to install and maintain.
Fascia gutters are relatively larger compared to other gutter types so they can handle large amounts of water. This is perfect if you have a large roof over your head.
The aesthetic appeal of these gutters will perfectly match your modern home.
Here’s why fascia gutters are not for you:
If you are into DIY, these are not the materials to mess with. It would be better if you hire professionals to install them
Since these gutters can handle large amounts of rainwater, they can also accumulate piles of dirt and debris so maintaining them can be quite a challenge.
This type of gutter is one of the most popular styles of gutters not just today, but also for the past 50 years.
K-style gutters are characterised by a decorative style that resembles regular crown mouldings. They also come with a flat back for easy installation of fascia boards.
The coolest things about K-style gutters:
They have a seamless finish, providing a cleaner look to your gutters
They are basically seamless gutters, making them less prone to leaks compared to gutters that are made of sections or segments
One disadvantage of K-style gutters:
Based on what we hear from homeowners, cleaning these can be quite a challenge.
They have relatively deep bases and enough corners that collect sediments and dirt unintentionally.
These gutters are long pipes that are cut in half, forming a U-shaped gutter. They are normally used as replacements in older or historic homes because they resemble the gutters that were used back in the day. However, they are also used in some modern homes that were designed to replicate a vintage house.
Unlike the K-style, half-round gutters are not nailed directly to the fascia boards. Since they do not have any flat side, they are installed onto the fascia boards using brackets.
Why you should consider installing half-round gutters on your house:
Based on experience, this kind of gutter is a lot easier to clean. Thanks to its smooth and rounded surface, rainwater easily washes out the debris into the downspout.
If you live in a vintage house, where the original gutters were rounded, these gutters are the perfect match. They can make your home look brand new, without stripping off the vintage aesthetic.
Why shouldn’t you install half-round gutters:
If you have a modern-looking house defined by clean straight lines, having a rounded gutter may not be the best idea.
Unlike the first few types that we listed here, concealed gutters are the type of gutters that are installed behind the fascia boards, or completely tucked in between two roof decks, to make them look completely invisible from the outside.
These types of gutters can make your roof lines a lot cleaner since you won’t see any fixtures from the ground.
However, choosing concealed gutters over fascia boards is more than just an aesthetic choice. Especially in commercial spaces. Concealed gutters don’t take away the space on the fascia boards where banners, signs and ads are normally fixed.
So, why should you opt for concealed gutters for your home?
If you are gunning for a minimalistic home, concealing your gutters is the best way to go.
While they are normally used in stores and commercial places, they are very much doable in residential houses as well.
What are the disadvantages of having concealed gutters?
If not installed properly, these types of gutters can be problematic because they won’t drain rainwater properly.
In any case that it overflows, the water has no other place to go but flow at the top of the soffit until it reaches the bottom plates, causing everything to rot and deteriorate over time.
The materials that you’ll need for your gutters may vary depending on your preferences, the style of your roof, and your budget. Just ask the roofers that you’re going to hire about your choices.
Below are only some of your best options and their pros and cons so you could choose the best one for you and your humble home:
This is the most popular material for gutters. Most fascia and k-style gutters that you see in your neighbourhood are probably made of this material.
Here’s why it’s the best gutter material for your home:
Rusting is the least of your problems
It’s relatively lightweight, making it easier to install
Can be painted to match your roof’s aesthetic
Can last up to 25 years
The only disadvantage:
It may get bent or dented by weather elements and could be an eye sore if not repaired immediately.
Some people prefer copper gutters simply because they match that vintage and classic look of the old design of their historic house.
Although copper gutters have a very distinctive shine when brand new, the weather-worn aesthetic that it gets over time is what makes them very appealing to some homeowners.
Here’s why you should explore this option, too:
Its overall aesthetic is a thing of beauty
Painting is not required
It’s durable and can withstand extreme weather elements
Warping and rusting are the least of your problems
Why copper gutters are not for you:
It’s incredibly expensive
It’s the not best option for DIY projects
Galvanized steel gutters
Steel gutters are generally much more durable than aluminum gutters. They are galvanized to increase resistance and make it last longer than the regular ones.
Galvanized steel gutters normally can take beatings for 10 to 15 years and will need either restorations or repairs after that. Because they can last that long, they’re also one of the most recommended gutter materials of all time.
If you need more convincing, here’s why they’re the best choice for your home:
They can withstand extreme weather conditions
They can be painted to match your roof’s paint
It’s relatively cheaper than other gutter materials like copper or stainless steel
Here’s why you might not like galvanized steel gutters:
While they may have increased resistance to rust, they will still rust no matter what
They’re heavy so installing them can be quite a challenge
Vinyl gutters are the type of gutters that are made of PVC plastics. Of all the materials listed here, these are probably the least commonly used material for gutters; however, they are slowly becoming more popular because of the advantages of installing them in your home.
Below are only some of the advantages of this material:
They are pretty lightweight so you can install them easily
They are rust and corrosion-resistant since they’re made of PVCs
Vinyl gutters are incredibly cheap as they may cost a few dollars per linear foot only
If you live in a coastal area, this gutter type won’t be damaged by salty air
They’re paintable to match your roof’s paint
It may be cheap, but they come with a few disadvantages as well:
Vinyl gutters are not as durable as the other materials we’ve mentioned
In extreme freezing weather, these gutters may crack
Colours may fade due to sunlight exposure
How to choose the best gutters for your home
Aside from the advantages and disadvantages of these gutters that we just laid out, there are other elements that you need to factor in to determine which gutters you should buy.
Below are only some of the factors that you need to take into consideration:
The size of your roof – the size of your roof will have an impact on how huge your gutters should be. The larger your roof is, the more water it may accumulate so you’ll need a gutter type that can handle such volume.
The number of downspouts you’ll need for your gutter system will also depend on the size of your roof.
The weather conditions in your area – if you live in a state or region where rainstorms regularly occur, you will need gutters with a large capacity to collect rainwater.
On the other hand, if you live in a winter country where snowstorms are a normal thing, you must make sure your gutters are pretty sturdy to make sure they can handle the weight of the snow.