The harsh and variant midwestern climate can take a toll on your rain gutters. The spring and summer feature plenty of precipitation for your gutters to move off of your roof and away from your home. And your gutters don’t get to rest in the winter. Here in Minnesota we see plenty of snow, the 11th most in the country. With all that snow, your gutters have to channel the moisture away from the home and fight against freezing. There are a number of different types of rain gutters, and knowing how each of them perform and operate will help you identify which is the best solution for your home.
How do your rain gutters stand up against the elements? This post will provide you with an overview of rain gutters, the materials they are made from, and the style profiles they are shaped into.
Rain Gutter Materials
Early rain gutters were fashioned out of wood. As you might imagine, they didn’t last long against moisture. Once the technology allowed for rolling metals, metal gutters quickly replaced wood and continue to dominate the market today. The materials that are most popular today for rain gutters include:
Aluminum is the most widely used material to make rain gutters. Aluminum stands up well against corrosion, is lightweight, easy to install, and, to the excitement of homeowners, is very cost-effective. Aluminum gutters are also available in a number of different colors, which is a design plus for accenting the paint color of a home.
Galvanized steel is a steel product that is then coated with a layer of zinc, which enhances the strength of the material. However, galvanized steel is vulnerable to rust. Usually galvanized steel rain gutters will be equipped with leaf guards to protect against blockage, which mitigates the chance of rust.
Vinyl gutters are a cheaper alternative to using aluminum rain gutters. The material is cheap, and the install is easy which provides additional cost savings. The biggest drawback of vinyl gutters is their longevity, which is inferior to some of their metal counterparts.
Copper gutters will hold up visually better than the other gutter types in this list. Copper is not vulnerable to mildew, like the other painted materials are, so they will shine and look great for years. Copper doesn’t run cheap though, and is only slightly stronger and more durable than aluminum.
Rain Gutter Styles
The style of a rain gutters is the shape and profile that the gutter has. Some of the more common ones include:
K Style Gutters
K style gutters are the most popular gutter profile on the market. They are usually made with aluminum. K style gutters vaguely resemble the letter K, which is where they get their name. The outer edge of a K style gutter consists of a short, straight line from the bottom of the gutter, then two opposing curves, followed by another short straight line.
The smooth face of the fascia gutters perform the function of the fascia boards, hiding the edge of the rafter tails from view. Fascia gutters typically can hold more water than other style of gutters, and are most commonly found in the Western part of the United States.
Half Round Gutters
Half round gutters have the appearance of a hallowed piping cut in half, hence the half-round classification. This style of gutter is a more traditional shape of gutter, as it was among the most popular gutters in the first half of the 20th century.
European gutter systems are made from natural weathering metals, like copper, and have been used for centuries. European gutters feature a gutter bed that turns to the outside versus to the inside of the gutter and closely resemble the half round profile.
What is the Best Type of Rain Gutter?
The best combination of material and profile for rain gutters will depend on the specific dimensions of a home’s roof, and the preferences of the homeowner. If you’re looking for a stunning aesthetic, then a copper rain gutter system in a K shape profile or a copper european system is your best option. Looking for a durable and effective option that can be painted to accent your home’s color? Than a K shape aluminum rain gutter system is for you.
No matter what type of home you have, or the unique taste in rain gutters you possess, Gutter Maids can help you with your next gutter cleaning project, and can make sure your existing gutter system is working efficiently with bi-annual cleanings.
Contact us today to schedule a rain gutter cleaning.