If your old gutters have been significantly damaged, it’s oftentimes best to just replace them outright with a new style or type that can better withstand the climate conditions in your area. In California, we don’t have rain frequently but can deal with torrential downpours. Plus, depending on where exactly you live in the state, your gutters may have to deal with snow and ice too. So, what are the best gutters to install on your home? We’ll discuss what you need to know to make your choice between the different rain gutter options.
Best Gutter Type
There are several different rain gutter options as far as shape goes, including:
- Half-round: Shaped like a half-pipe, this style of gutters has fallen out of favor. They don’t carry much water, but they are less expensive than other types of gutters.
- K-style: K style gutter flares out on the side in the shape of a “K.” This expanded shape allows them to hold a lot more water than half-rounds.
- Wide bottom: These gutters look flat from the outside. They aren’t popular in warm climates, but they can be useful in cold climates to handle the excess water from the snow melt off the roof.
The best gutter type for you is probably K-style gutters. You want gutters that are large enough to handle a lot of rain in storms. However, wide bottom gutters might be overkill for our climate.
Best Hanging Method
Next you have to choose the hanging method for your gutter types. Most people will end up choosing seamless gutter hangers. These hangers are invisible from the ground but hold the gutter securely to the roof’s fascia.
Other gutter hangers are more visible but often less expensive. For example, spikes and ferrules are driven right through the gutter and into the fascia. These look like large nail heads on the outside of the gutter, so they don’t look quite as nice as seamless gutters. These hangers are less time consuming to install, but they perform worse over the long haul.
You can also choose gutter hangers that hold the gutter from the bottom. These hangers can be decorative, like a bracket for a hanging flower basket. You might choose an intricate gutter bracket for a historic home.
Best Gutter Material
All of these gutter types and hangers are available in several materials. In general, you want to choose the same material for gutter and hanger, as some materials will corrode each other over time. You may also want to match the material used for your flashing if it’s distinctive or makes a big visual impact.
- Copper: Copper is a very attractive, useful, and expensive material that you can use for your gutters. It’s more common in commercial and historical buildings than on homes.
- Vinyl: Vinyl is a suitable material for gutters, especially in our warm climate, where it doesn’t have to deal with much snow. However, it won’t last as long as other options.
- Aluminum: Aluminum is a great middle-ground between these two materials, as it is durable and affordable.
The Best Gutters to Install
Most people will find that aluminum, seamless, K-style gutters are the best choice for their home. However, your roof might call for something different. Be sure to consult with a roofer before you choose.