Types of Rain Gutters

types of rain gutters
No doubt about it: It can a bit daunting to review the available options for rain gutters and try to decide which type’s best for your house.

Over the past centuries, creative builders have fashioned gutters from all kinds of different materials, including wood and stone. These days, though, you’re choosing among different varieties, shapes, and sizes of metal gutters, and the factors you’re considering include cost, ease of installation, and durability.

U’s & K’s

A few decades ago, U-shaped or half-round gutters were still widespread, but these days the so-called “K-style” (or ogee) type is more standard. These gutters have flat backs and bottoms and a decorative front of varying curvature and shape, and are usually either 5 or 6 inches in width.
Types of Metal Used for Modern Gutters

The most popular material for gutter construction is aluminum, valued for its rust- and corrosion-resistance, its affordability, and its straightforward setup. And the specific kind of aluminum gutter at the head of the pack is seamless aluminum, delivered to the house in a roll and custom-fitted to the eaves.

Some homeowners opt for copper gutters, heavier and more expensive than aluminum types but similarly rust-resistant. Gutters made from galvanized steel are also popular, although they’re more prone to rust and also on the pricier side of things. Vinyl makes a cheap and lightweight option, but it’s less sturdy and durable than aluminum.

The Problem: Clogging

A disadvantage of traditional half-round or K-style gutters is they’re fully open to the elements, which allows leaves, twigs, and other debris to accumulate within. (Squirrels love stowing stockpiles of acorns in these gutters, too, not incidentally.) The resulting clog can cause backups and overspills during rainfall.

The LeafGuard Alternative

Looking for an alternative to this standard setup and the clogging problem? Well, you do have another choice: the patented LeafGuard gutter. This innovative single-piece gutter sports an integrated curved hood that blocks debris from entering, but–through the physics of liquid adhesion–efficiently channels runoff into the trough.

Because they don’t clog–and because their ScratchGuard® finish resists chipping, cracking, and peeling–LeafGuard gutters are essentially maintenance-free. Not only that, but they’re fabricated on-site from roll-formed aluminum that’s 20 percent thicker than that used in standard counterparts. That means durable, leak-free gutters. The capacious 3″-x-4″ downspouts, meanwhile, ensure you’ve got a drainage system prepared for even the most intense deluges.

It’s mighty hard to argue with the LeafGuard gutter: a setup that stands up to heavy rain–and the hard knocks of the elements in general–without clogging or leaking. We’d say the choice is pretty clear…