Types of Gutters
The most common question that we are asked about guttering is: Do you install seamless gutters? Yes, we do! This means that the gutters installed on every side of the house will be one solid piece from end to end. Why is this important you may ask? The weakest part of the guttering is at the seams. Guttering purchased at Home Depot or Lowes usually comes in lengths of around 10 or so feet. Over time, leaks develop at each seam. Seamless guttering today has become by far a superior product to any other options that are on the market.
Gutter and downspouts come in two different sizes. The standard size is 5”. Most residential homes will have the 5” guttering installed, but there is a larger 6” size available as well. The 6” guttering size is more for commercial uses, but there are certain residential homes for which larger guttering would be beneficial. Downspouts come in similar sizes. The standard downspout size is 2×3”. 2×3” downspouts are made to match up with the 5” gutter sizes. To match the commercial guttering, a 3×4” downspout is used.
At this point, you may be wondering which size would best suit your home. There are a couple of factors to help you decide. However, before we get into these, we need to look at the obvious factor, and that is we live in Oklahoma. That means when it rains, the rain is severe, so your gutters are going to need to move water and move the water fast. Water backing up needs to be prevented to prevent issues.
The two biggest factors to help you decide which size guttering to use are:
The roof area is going to help us determine a few things about guttering. The roof area determines the volume of water that enters the gutters. The pitch of the roof combined with the roof area will determine the speed at which the water will enter the gutters. Some roof designs can be problematic for gutter design. For example, when you have a larger roof area, but that area slims down towards the bottom of the roof, this leaves a small gutter that is forced to move large amounts of water. These are factors to consider when selecting the size of your gutters.
Run length is the length of one side from end to end. We have installed seamless guttering with runs over 70’. A factor to consider when the runs are longer is how well the water will be able to exit the gutters. The greater the distance the water has to travel, the greater the chance a gutter can back up and overflow.
There are a few main solutions to the factors we’ve discussed. Moderately sized homes will only need the standard 5” guttering and the standard 2X3” downspouts. Homes with large roof areas and long runs may want to consider using the standard 5” gutters but upgrade to the larger 3X4” downspouts. This will allow more water to exit out of the gutters at a faster rate. The 5” gutter combined with the 3X4” downspout is the most common combination that we install here in Oklahoma. The homes with large roof areas that slim down into a small gutter area may need a larger 6” gutter installed with the larger downspout as well. The combination of the two can handle large amounts of water.