Types of Gutters That You Should Know

gutter types

There are different types of gutters with respect to materials, sizes and styles. We listed here the most common to serve as your quick and easy reference.

Box Gutter

This type of gutter is used mostly on commercial and light industrial buildings because it is capable of holding a large volume of water. Unlike most gutters, box gutters do not hang on the edge of the roof.

Half Round Gutter

The shape distinguishes this type of gutter from other gutter types. It may be made of plastic or metal. Seamless half round gutters are available, which can be installed on the site.

Seamless Gutter

Unlike the traditional sectional gutters, seamless gutters are made and installed on site and have no seams, eliminating most of the causes of leaks. However, they cost more than most sectional gutters.

Fascia Gutter

This one is fixed to a fascia board under the roof. Fascia gutter is customized and affixed to the end of rafter, serving another purpose as fascia board.

Integral Gutter

A style that was popular during the 1960s, integral gutters can hold more rainwater than other gutter types. Its main problem is the potential for leaks since it is inserted between the ends of the fascia and rafters on sloped roofs. Inspection every few years is highly recommended with repairs on the lining to be made every 5 to 10 years.

Copper Gutter

This is an elegant type of gutter that is preferred more for its looks. It costs more – up to 3 time – but is durable and lasts a long time. To ensure a long lifespan, the fasteners must also be made of copper.

Steel Gutter

Galvanized steel is the most common material used for steel gutters. Compared to other materials, steel gutters are heavy to work with, which may not go well with people who prefer to install the gutters themselves.

Aluminum Gutter

This is the most common type of gutter used today. It does not rust and is available in different colors. You can even paint over it. Aluminum gutter may be bought in different thicknesses.

Vinyl Gutter

One of the cheapest gutter materials available and preferred by budget-conscious homeowners. Its drawback is its lack of durability and susceptibility to ultraviolet rays. It is also prone to discoloration.

Wood Gutter

This is not a common type of gutter. You will not normally see one unless you pass by a house undergoing restoration work. Wood gutters were sourced from old growth cedar trees that are no longer widely available today.

Seven Unconventional and Creative Uses of Rain Gutters San Diego


Rain gutters San Diego collect runoff water from the roof and direct them to the ground through downspouts. They help preserve the foundation and protect the house itself from the unwanted effects of water and moisture.

Do you know that there are other creative uses for rain gutters, old and new alike? These are just some of them:

1. Gutter Shelves and Racks

This one is not only a space saver but a money saver too. You can mount gutters on the wall and they are perfect to hold those books, flowers, decors and even dishes and shoes. Unlike traditional shelves, these gutter shelves cost much less and could even be sourced from discarded gutters.

2. Gutter Chairs and Tables

If you have the skills and inclination to do things yourself, you can fashion chairs and tables from gutter sections by affixing them together to form different shapes of chairs and tables. Of course, you have to buy foam seats and wooden or glass top for the tables.

3. Gutter Picnic Table Trough

With a little carpentry skills and tools, you can install a gutter trough in the middle of your picnic table for a unique outdoor entertainment. You can use the gutter trough as a cooler box by putting ice and drinks together, or a giant holder for ice cream.

4. Gutter Gardens

If you like gardening but do not have the space for a garden, you can use discarded rain gutters San Diego to grow plants, fruits and vegetables. They will not occupy precious real estate on the ground because you can just hang them on the wall, ceiling, balcony and windows.

5. Gutter Cable Holders

We all see this very-familiar sight – arrays of cables lying tangled under our tables from computers, printers, telephone lines, video players and game consoles. Affix a section of gutter on a horizontal line just underneath the table and place all the cables and wires there.

6. Gutter Irrigation

If you have a spacious garden with plants everywhere, you can use gutter sections strategically arranged like steps to direct water from the roof towards where you need them to water your plants.

7. Gutter Race Tracks

Kids will love this. Place gutter sections of appropriate length on a ramp and use them as race tracks where your kids can see which cars travel farthest and the fastest. Cap both ends, put water and place the gutter sections on the table and you can use them for boat races.

How Much Do Copper Gutters Cost?

copper gutters cost

The two most common gutter materials today are metal and plastic. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages in terms of durability and cost. Metal gutters such as aluminum, stainless steel and copper are known for their durability and long lifespan. However, they cost more compared to other materials.

Copper gutter is touted to be the most prestigious rain gutter system. Its price easily validates this claim as copper gutter is the most expensive type in the market. However, its functionality and great aesthetic appeal more than justify the steep price tag.

So how much do copper gutters cost? Let us make a comparison of prices with the other more common metal gutter, aluminum.

Price Comparison between Copper and Aluminum Gutters

A standard aluminum gutter will cost around $3.50 to $7.00 per linear foot while a copper gutter will run around $18.50 to $26.00 per linear foot.

An average 2-story, 2,000 sq. ft. house requires 200 linear feet of rain gutter to optimally drain out rainwater from the roof. An aluminum gutter will cost the homeowner approximately $700 to $1,400 (the price includes both material and labor) for this house.

For a copper gutter system on the same house, the owner will have to spend around $3,700 to $5,200 (again, the price includes both material and labor).

Based on these figures, the average cost of a copper gutter is 3 to 5 times more than aluminum gutter.

We add a disclaimer here that the prices quoted above are estimates since the rates will vary depending upon the location of the house, prices of materials and contractors’ rate.

Reasons Why Copper Gutters are Expensive

Why does copper gutter cost more than an aluminum gutter? Here are some of the reasons:

  • Copper alloy costs more than aluminum.
  • Contractors spend more time to install copper gutters and use extra care to prevent premature staining. They use special gloves during installation.
  • Additional works are required for copper gutter such as extra soldering on the joints, which means more labor cost.
  • You need copper accessories and fasteners to use with the copper gutters. Aluminum hangers will damage copper. You can use other metals though such as stainless steel and brass.

All these being said, the primary consideration of homeowners who are thinking about using copper gutters for their homes should be whether they really love the look of copper on their roofs. The high cost involved should be justified by the owners’ personal satisfaction of seeing copper gutters hanging on their homes.

Five Most Common Gutter Installation Mistakes

gutter installation

While gutter installation can be done by homeowners themselves, they must avoid committing mistakes that could endanger the occupants’ safety or damage the house because of improper gutter installation.

These are the five most common mistakes related to gutter installation and ways to avoid them:

1. Wrong Pitch Calculation

Gutters are installed with a slight pitch to allow water to flow down towards the downspouts. The pitch is normally one to two inches of decline for every forty feet of gutter length. This also allows dirt and debris to flow down and keep the gutter clean and clog-free. Amateur roofers and beginners usually forget to give the gutter this slight pitch.

2. Wrong Gutter Type

Buying gutters can sometimes be confusing because they come in different sizes, gauges, materials and shapes. Problems occur when you select the wrong gutter type for your home. Buy the most durable material within your budget. Consult with your roof contractor or supplier on the right size and width of gutter suited for your home. Most houses today use a 26 gauge 5 to 6-inch wide K-style aluminum gutter.

3. Wrong Gutter Location

People assume that since rainwater runs off the edge of the roof then they should place the gutters also on the roof’s edge. This is actually wrong practice because water tends to pull back up on the underside of the roof through capillary action and drips down under the roof. It will slide down the fascia and soffit, damaging boards along the way. Position the gutter a few inches under the roof to prevent this from happening. Another solution is installing drip edge under the first course of shingles.

4. Improper Welding of Seams

Sectional gutters have to be welded together and sealed to prevent water leakage. The seams are the weakest points of gutters and usually the areas where problems occur. Exposure to harsh weather and extreme temperatures could crack the seams and damage the gutter. Be careful when welding together and sealing seams because they present the biggest potential problem. If seamless rain gutters are available in your area, use them instead.

5. Inadequate Hanger Spacing

Gutters are fixed to the roof with the use of hangers that must be carefully spaced together to provide a proper lift and support to the gutter. The spacing between the hangers are around three feet or less. Gutters could sag from improper spacing of the support system and tug at the whole gutter system. Left alone, the gutter could eventually rip off the side of your home. Check the instructions of the manufacturers and place the hanger accordingly.

Roof Leak Detection: Six Most Common Causes of Leaks

roof leak detection

A leaky roof is a common problem. Each one of us has experienced it to varying degrees in our lives. In fact, roof leak is one of the most common problems for houses and buildings.

Leaky roofs occur because of different causes. Sometimes all it takes is a simple visual inspection of your roof to identify the cause; at other times, you have to call the services of a professional roofer just to determine the source of the problem.

To help you easily identify the causes of the problem, we listed below its six most common causes to make your roof leak detection easier:

1. Clogged Gutters

You can easily verify if your gutter is clogged when it is raining, and no water is trickling out of the downspout. Leaves, dirt and debris are the most common culprits of a clogged gutter. Regular inspection and maintenance cleaning will prevent this from happening.

2. Damaged Shingles

Shingles eventually degrade through time and constant exposure to harsh elements. The time will come when they finally crack, erode, sustain damage or be blown off the roof. Identifying broken or missing shingles is easy though since they are the exterior layer of the roof and can easily be seen.

3. Damaged Skylights

Skylights enhance the aesthetic appeal of your house and allow sunlight to penetrate the interior of the house for more natural lighting. They are, however, a common cause of leaks due to improper installation or damage sustained over time. Observing a regular maintenance schedule helps prevent this problem.

4. Cracked Flashing

Flashing is used to provide water protection to the roof and usually placed on joints, seams and other transition points. Since flashing is made of metal, it is susceptible to corrosion, rust, dent and bending from strong winds, accidental bumping or shift in structure. Damaged flashing could lead to tricky water leaks that only professional contractors could identify and repair.

5. Cracked Chimneys

One of the places first inspected for leaks are chimneys. Whether your chimney is made from brick, stone or metal, the material deteriorates with time and could sustain cracks, corrosion or swelling making it susceptible to water leaks.

6. Ventilation and Plumbing Leaks

Some houses have their plumbing and ventilation systems run through their roofs. While this is not advisable, it is a fact that many houses have such setup. If you experience a leak on your roof, and you have hoses and pipes used for plumbing and ventilation situated near it, the likely cause of the leak is from the ventilation or plumbing system.

How the Different Gutter Protection Systems Work


A basic question that homeowners face when installing gutters is whether to use an open gutter or one with a guard. A gutter guard is designed to stop leaves, debris and other materials from falling into the gutter and preventing the free flow of water. A primary consideration in going for a gutter guard is the added costs to the gutters.

Short and Long Term Benefits of Gutter Protection System

The extra expense in the initial installation of gutter guards is offset by its short and long term benefits. Cleaning gutters can be hazardous to your health as when you slip off the ladder or roof and sustain injuries. The reduction of maintenance work and expenses brought by an effective gutter protection system justifies its added cost.

Types of Gutter Protection System

  1. Gutter Guards. Broadly speaking, devices used to cover gutters and protect them from being clogged by dirt and debris are commonly referred to as gutter guards, gutter covers and gutter hoods. While the designs and functions may vary, their objectives are the same to maintain the functionality of gutters to drain water into the downspout. These devices —are add-on systems that are put on top of gutters to deflect leaves and debris from entering and accumulating in the gutter and are attached through the use of nails or screws.
  2. Gutter Screens. Another type of gutter protection system are the gutter screens, which are made of different materials including plastic, steel and aluminum. They are placed on top of gutters to ensure the free flow of water by preventing debris from getting into the gutter. This gutter protection design is also called a mesh gutter guard because the sheets placed on top of the gutter is filled with holes, the sizes of which vary, that sift out debris but allow water to fall in.
  3. Gutter Inserts. While gutter guards and hoods are put on top of gutters, gutter inserts are placed in the gutter itself to repel leaves and debris while allowing the flow of rainwater to pass through the material. Gutter inserts are usually made of foam or rounded plastic bristles that do not affect the free flow of water in the gutter. Among the gutter protection systems, gutter inserts are considered the least effective.
  4. Built-In Gutter Guards. Gutters with built-in guards are also available. These come pre-manufactured in one piece with a curved design that allows rainwater to travel down and enter the gutter while keeping leaves and debris out. This type is also called a reverse curve gutter guard.

Gutter Cleaning Service Tips: How to Prevent Dirt From Accumulating

gutter cleaning services tips

Gutters play an important part in preventing water from getting into your house. They protect the walls by preventing the buildup of water on the roof and leading it down the drain. To function as they are meant to be, gutters have to be free from obstruction that could prevent water from moving to the downspout. Gutter cleaning service tips will be discussed in this article to help you protect it from wear and tear, plus to avoid structural damage of the home.

Several methods are available to keep dirt from accumulating in the gutters, including regular inspection and cleaning of debris found on the roof and gutters. Another way to prevent the accumulation of dirt in the gutters is through the installation of covers with distinct designs to keep them dirt and debris-free. Different devices, each with their own method of protecting gutters from dirt, are available in the market.

Regular Cleaning

You must regularly clean the gutters to prevent the buildup of debris and other materials that could block the passage of water. Through time dirt, dust, leaves and twigs accumulate on the gutters and act as obstruction to the free flow of water. Regular cleaning helps ensure that your gutters remain obstruction-free and work properly by guiding water to the drain.

Gutter Screen

This is one of the most common and popular choices to guard against gutter dirt and debris. Gutter screen is a fairly simple device. A screen is placed on top of the gutters, which catches most solid objects such as leaves, twigs and other materials but still allows water to pass through. Regular inspection is required since some leaves could get stuck on the screen, which you will have to manually remove.

Gutter Hood

This device is made from hard materials such as aluminum, PVC or vinyl with small openings to allow water into the gutters from the roof. The hood, which covers the entire length of the gutter, provides more protection against objects since these cannot pass through the solid material of the gutter hood. Different designs of the holes or slits where water passes through create hybrid versions of this device, all of which are effective against the accumulation of dirt.

Gutter Filter

A relatively new technology in gutter protection, this device requires the installation of a membranous material inside the gutters. The filter allows water to pass through it but keeps dirt and debris on top. When the rain stops the materials caught on top of the membrane dry up and are blown away by the wind.