Seamless gutters: The questions you should ask to know about
When it comes to managing rainwater and keeping your home in a good condition, seamless gutters can help.
Gutters are a vital element in the water management system of the home. They protect against water damage. Without them, one will land with water damage on the roof, foundation, and exterior. Fundamentally there are two types; sectional gutters and seamless gutters. Sectional gutters happen to be a typical choice among homeowners as they are cheap and can be installed easily. Let us dive into the details.
What are seamless gutters?
Seamless gutters are like what they say on the bill; they are seamless. People also call them continuous gutters, as a single piece of material is used in their manufacture. As these are not divided into parts or sections, they do not need any sealing material at the joints. These are created on-site and involve placing a trough to collect and drain off rainwater. Being custom-made for the home they have a straight linear run. They are also aesthetically pleasing and prevent leaks and damage. These are mostly available in a variety of materials like aluminum, copper, and steel.
What is the difference between seamless and sectional gutters?
Gutters are of two different types: sectional gutters, and seamless gutters. Sectional gutters reigned up to the 1960s. Seamless gutters first appeared around that time. Sectional gutters have short metal pieces, and they are held by snapping or welding. They are prone to coming apart. Sectional gutters can use a variety of materials like steel, aluminum, copper, and vinyl. While steel is stronger, it is likely to rust. Aluminum and copper do not rust. And, Vinyl is getting popular among homeowners with tight budgets. Sectional gutters are cheaper as DIY installations are possible, although this is not the right way if you are not a gutter expert.
Seamless gutters use almost the same material as sectional gutters. These are produced from a continuous piece of material to custom fit the roofline and are generally stronger than sectional gutters. These involve on-site construction using a heavy-duty machine. Seamless gutters cost more than their sectional cousins but have excellent future payoffs. Seamless gutters are stronger than sectional gutters, and they are durable too. But these need a complex construction process. They relieve homeowners from the worry of leakage, breaks, additional checks, etc. Seamless gutters are less likely to clog.
Manufacture and installation of seamless gutters
Aluminum seamless gutters were developed in Canada and the United States to cope with their variable weather conditions. The manufacture of seamless gutters needs a roll-forming machine. These are made on-site using an aluminum coil that is pre-painted and pre-cut to width. The manufacturing process involves matching building dimensions to ensure minimum joints. The fixing brackets are made in the factory using HE9T6 mill finish aluminum extrusions. Accessories like stop-ends, leaf traps, locking corners, outlets, connectors, and expansion are used as per an agreed specification. The roll-forming gutter machine produces seamless gutters, and its quality is monitored through visual and dimensional checks. The professional-grade machine guarantees the perfect shape of the gutter. Only professional gutter installers manufacture seamless on-site. However, the homeowners make final decisions about the profile and size.
Installation of seamless gutters needs professional installers. They position down pipes and mark the corresponding centers. The exact length measurement of the gutter is also taken. Initially, a one-meter length of the gutter is rolled to the formation and an end cap is fitted. It is then crimped at the edge of the rear, front, and base for creating raised fixing nibs. Next, the end cap is pressed to secure clips over the fixing nib resulting in a non-removable fitting. It is then sealed inside the gutter using a minimum of three sealant beads with a minimum diameter of 7mm. Formation of the gutter length is then completed. The cost of installation varies with installers and the work involved. It also depends on whether one is replacing old gutters or installing a new gutter.
Types, specifications, material, and size of seamless gutters:
Seamless gutters are mostly made of Aluminum. However, they could be made of copper, steel, and other materials.
Seamless gutters can be of the following types
- Half-round gutters
- K-style gutters
- Custom-built fascia gutters
- Box-style gutters
The aluminum alloy 3105-H24 is used in making seamless gutters. These are generally produced using a .027 x 11 ¾” – Gutter Coil and .027 x 11 7 /8” – Gutter Coil.
The nominal gauge of the aluminum for the gutter is .032inches or .027 inches (+/- .002 inches).
The size of the seamless gutter should be able to handle the whole amount of rainwater. Usually, a standard 5-inch K-style gutter is sufficient to handle annual rainfall. However, one can have oversized downspouts for improving drainage.
What are the advantages of seamless gutters?
Seamless gutters offer an attractive gutter system and provide the following advantages.
- Fewer joints: Because of fewer joints in seamless gutters, it builds up less debris and offers a much cleaner option.
- Low leakage: As seamless gutters have fewer joints, there is less chance of water leakage. The problem of rainwater leakage practically disappears with seamless gutters.
- Custom-fit: Seamless gutters have a single strip, and precise measurements to custom fit the roof. It guarantees effective dispelling of water.
- Minimal maintenance: Fewer joints, better water flow, and less leakage entail minimum maintenance.
- Long-lasting: Made with durable material, seamless gutters can withstand weathering effects and have a long life span.
- Aesthetically pleasing: Seamless gutters are sleek, smooth, and without gaps. Thus, they deliver an attractive feature and improve the property value.
What are the disadvantages of seamless gutters?
Seamless gutters have the following minus points:
- Higher upfront cost
- Complicate repairs
- It may not be suitable for all roofs
Seamless gutters are an integral part of the home. They protect the property from pouring rains. Now that you have a fair idea about seamless gutters, you may opt for that. While they involve a significant upfront cost, the multiple advantages of seamless gutters make it a worthwhile investment.