Gutters: History, Types, Use and How To Select the Best for Your House

Gutters are at best ignored and at worst dismissed. Few homeowners talk about them when discussing their houses or buildings. When they talk about them, it is when either they need some repair or even replacement.

Yet, according to Ranger Roofing of Oklahoma, the top gutter company in Tulsa, OK, they serve a critical purpose. They improve a home’s aesthetic look and help in rainwater harvesting and management.

History of gutters

Early versions of today’s gutters were carved from the wood into different shapes and sizes depending on one’s needs. These were eventually phased out in the 1900s after metal fabrication came into being giving rise to metal rain gutters.  Initially large, heavy and expensive, the metal gutters have evolved over the years to today’s lighter, varied-sized and inexpensive versions.

Types of gutters

Some people are used to the do-it-yourself (D-I-Y) folding of galvanized steel with a hammer to make gutters.  Many are not be aware that gutters are industrially manufactured from different materials and come in various colors, shapes, and sizes.  It is this information that they need to choose the right one for their homes.

Gutter material

Apart from wood, which has since then been abandoned, gutters are made from aluminum, copper, steel, galvalume, zinc and vinyl.

Aluminum gutters: The most prevalent in the housing market, aluminum gutters are popular because they come in a range of colors, do not corrode, are light and inexpensive and easy to work with.

Copper gutters: Not as durable as aluminum gutters, if not well-installed copper gutters will give way quickly. Most homeowners go for copper mainly for showoff.  You will not look for a painter, and they will not gather mildew as painted surfaces do. They can give aluminum (gutter) a run for its money regarding strength.

Galvanized steel gutters:  These are simply steel gutters coated with zinc. These are the most common gutters. While they can last, they are not rust-resistant, must be fixed well to avoid rainwater gathering in the gutter and a leaf protector to save you from a daily chore of clearing it of mounds of leaves. Even then, you must always clean them to reduce the risk of blockage and rusting.

Galvalume gutters:  A sturdy and rust resistant steel strengthened by being painted with a coat of aluminum and zinc. It is almost ten times stronger than galvanized steel.

Zinc gutters: A mixture of zinc with copper and titanium, they cost more and last longer than aluminum gutters and require no painting and only need minimal maintenance.

Vinyl gutters: These are basically plastic gutters, which means they inexpensive, light and easier to install compared to aluminum gutters.

Gutter profiles

Gutters come in different patterns, styles or shapes.

K-style gutters: The most dominant type in the market is not K-shaped as its name seems to imply. Instead, it derives its name from letter K’s position eleven in the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association (SMACNA)’s alphabetical listing of the twelve most common gutter types. They are also known as Ogee gutters from their decorative crown molding appearance.

Fascia gutters: They are installed on roofs where fascia boards have not been fixed over the rafter tails. Their smooth face serves as fascia boards. They are common in the Western United States.

Half round gutters: They are half a circle, and the open half faces the roof. They tend to overflow even with minimal blockage.

European gutter: They are made from metals like copper. They are typically a half round gutter style.

Gutter Construction

All types of gutters are constructed in either sections or one seamless, continuous piece.

Sectional gutters: All do-it-yourself gutters are 10-feet long sectional gutters. These are joined to create a gutter system directing water to a tank.  Their main disadvantage is the joints parting resulting in leakages.

Seamless gutters: Their key strength is that they have no joints that would come off except in inside and outside corners. Often they are designed on demand.

Gutter Colors

They come in different colors, and it is up to the individual customer to settle on one.

It is now up to you to decide what gutter suits best your house – and when you do, give the number 1 gutter company in Tulsa, Oklahoma Ranger Roofing of Oklahoma a call.

 
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