What so special about choosing which type of gutter you have? Well, crucial, yet often neglected, a well-designed and functional drainage system for rainwater has the purpose is to steer rainwater from your roof to the foundation of the building and thus secure the integrity and well-being of the property. If your guttering system does not steer rainwater all the way down to the ground, damp and structural problems can arise.
The type of traditional gutters present in older houses tend to cause serious problems over time. Either due poor installation of because of age, old-fashioned gutters can and often do fail at their job. If water spills, or at worst, runs outside the gutter, it might cause heavy exterior damage such as cracks, heaves, breed fungi and other plant life that can hurt your exterior. If left unattended, the impact might result in a fortune spent on repairs.
In this article The Aluminium Guttering Company will help you understand why seamless gutters are a better solution, what are seamless gutters made of, how are they made, and how to install them. For more details on our work, please refer to our portfolio of guttering projects, and don’t hesitate to get in touch.
And now, without further ado,
What are seamless rain gutters and what is their purpose?
Basically, seamless gutters (also known continuous gutters) only have joints at the corners where they meet with the downspouts. Most seamless systems are made from aluminum, copper or painted steel. But..
Who invented seamless gutters?
Here is a brief history lesson on how and when seamless gutter originated.
Rain gutters date back to Roman times. Initially made from burnt clay the system was improved when the Norman Empire introduced it in Britain by between the 10th and 13th century. The shift severely influenced architectural style and trends. Roofs and parapets were now build with stone which led to the birth of the well-know gargoyles as one of the first gutter systems. As it seems, those statues weren’t placed on top of buildings just to scare birds.
By the 17th century, iron became the material to use because of its abundance and affordability. Iron became popular for building gutters. Not long after that, it was replaced by wood, which the wealthy found to be more aesthetically pleasing.
Let’s fast forward time a bit. In the 1960’s seamless gutters became available to the wide public. They transformed the industry because of simplicity, durability, and overall efficiency.
Why you should choose seamless gutters?
Now that you know what exactly this drainage system is, let’s explain why seamless gutters are the best solution for your roof.
To start off, the absence of seams means no leaks, and no leaks means less risk of water damage. It’s definitely better for your wallet to invest in a good gutter system than to deal with massive (and expensive) exterior renovations like fixing wall cracks.
Many don’t understand why seamless gutters are an exterior necessity. Uncontrolled rainwater can wash away and destroy all your landscaping efforts. Basically, you are throwing money out of the window for a weekly gardener if you don’t have a good gutter system.
Seamless gutters prevent rarely leak, which means there is less risk of mould, mildew, and fungi, and according to the cleaning experts at Fantastic, they take less time to clean and don’t build debris like seamed ones. Seamless gutters are easier to clean and maintenance.
How are seamless gutters different from regular gutters?
All gutters server the same purpose – to keep rain and water away from your home. However, traditional gutters come with a set of disadvantages.
- They get clogged up faster with compost created from leaves and debris if not cleaned regularly.
- In general, traditional gutters are harder to maintain.
- Older models of gutters are made from separate pieces that are just connected one to the other.
But how are seamless rain gutters made to be so practical?
- Manufactured as one continuous roll, taking into consideration the specifications of the property that it is going to be installed on. The continuous structure does not have any type of openings that can lead to the collection of debris.
- Seamless gutters have minimal leakage and don’t get clogged up as easily.
- You can say that seamless gutters are created in a way that will fit the structure of your house perfectly.
What are seamless gutters made of?
The material most commonly used in the construction of seamless gutters is aluminium, but there are models made from copper, vinyl, and steel.
What are the benefits and disadvantages of each material:
Aluminum is the most common choice for many house owners because of its durability, availability and overall flexibility. It is a good option for most climate conditions, especially in colder areas because aluminum can handle well snow and ice. The lifespan of aluminium is about twenty years. Check out the aluminium gutters and aluminium coping
UPVC gutters are easy to modify and install and come with great return on investment. Not as durable when compared to aluminium, but when properly installed can last you for years.
Extruded aluminium gutters
If you want a sturdy and lightweight guttering, extruded and pressed aluminium is worthy of you consideration. It’s thicker than similar steel units. Its 2-3mm thickness outmatches that of steel, which in most occasions will be 0.60mm. It is easy to manufacture and works great as an exterior detail. The larger profile makes extruded aluminium gutters the perfect choice for lighter commercial and industrial projects. Such gutters can last up to 30-40 years.
- Ogee aluminium gutters
Whenever in doubt if your curb appeal and new gutters will match, Ogee units reminiscent of classic 19th century cast iron installations. Cost effective and optimal.
- Cast iron gutters
A sturdy, reliable and aesthetic material. If you opt for aluminium cast iron, you won’t have to worry about rust. In general, seamless gutters made out of it are among the most preferred.
- Copper gutters
Seamless gutters made of copper are a good investment if you live in a colder climate. It holds up well in unpredictable and harsh weather. Copper is slightly pricier, but it pays off in the long term. It is more durable than aluminum, stronger and it doesn’t develop rust. Over time it changes colour to a greenish hue.
- Vinyl gutters
Vinyl is less popular and preferred because of its flimsy reputation. Unlike the other materials used for seamless gutters, vinyl can be prefabricated. Many pre-manufactured houses have already installed seamless gutters made from vinyl. They tend to sag, crack, and wear out faster,. This makes vinyl gutters prone to leakage.
- Stone gutters
Although close to extinct, stone gutters have been the standard for centuries and can be currently seen only at royal buildings, cathedrals, and ancient sights, said J. Allan from the Glasgow stonemasons.
What are the most common types of seamless gutters?
At The Aluminium Guttering Company we offer: Half-round gutters, Beaded Half-round gutters, Deepflow Half-round gutters, Victorian Ogee gutters, and Moulded No46 Ogee gutters:
Here are the other popular styles for seamless guttering and their characteristics:
- K-Style Gutters
The most commonly seen seamless gutter model is the 5-inch aluminum K-style one. It’s called this way because the SMACNA association uses an alphabetical way of listing the most popular gutter models on the market, and this type of system happens to be number eleven. K-style gutters have a more decorative appearance than the rest, which makes it so popular.
- Fascia Gutters
This type of drainage is only found in homes that don’t have over the rafter tails installed. Fascia gutters have a smooth surface that takes the purpose of the fascia boards – they hide the edge of the rafter tails.
- Half Round Gutters
The half round gutter looks exactly like it sounds. Basically, it is a half circle with an opening that faces the roof. Half round gutters are not as deep as K-types and tend to gather debris faster, which can lead to overflowing, so they are not the best system you can opt for.
- European Gutters
This system is characterized by the natural metals that are used in its construction. European gutters can be mainly spotter made from copper. What makes them different from other sorts of styles is that the gutter bead is turned to the outside and it is has a half round shape.
How to install seamless rain gutters?
We would always recommend you choose a professional fitting company such as Bespoke Guttering. However it is possible to install seamless aluminium gutters yourself if you have had them already made to measure.
Get the proper measurements of your property
Your first job is to measure the length of existing rain gutters. If you are just installing a brand new one, the roof can serve you as a base. Keep in mind that the slope should be half an inch for every 10 feet. It is best to have a friend around, first, because of safety, after all you are going to be climbing a latter, and second, he or she can help you by holding the measuring tape or by drawing marks.
How to install new fascia
If you are about to replace an old gutter, the only thing that you need to do is check if existing fascia is properly attached to the roof. If some parts seem lanky, replace them. Before you install new elements, make sure to leave 6 inches from the end of the gutters to the actual fascia and 18 to 24 inches between the separate pieces. The hole that you need to make has to be half an inch deep.
Installing the Gutters
The best colour for gutters is plain white. It makes damage inspections a lot easier. Bellow we outline the simple action plan for a semi-detached house.
- Cut to the proper length before you install.
- Make sure that all seamless parts are the correct fit.
- Secure loose ends with caps.
- Place and secure your ladder and test if stable at the installation height.
- Take down old gutters, brackets, hangers and downpipes.
- Fill screw holes if such are left from the old seamed installation.
- Instal and fix your new seamless gutters.
- Connect the inside and outside corners..
- Space the hidden, bracket or spike-and-ferrule hangers anywhere from 700mm to 1000m apart so gutters won’t bulge down because of weight.
- Place leaf screens (if used).
- Mount and fix rainwater drop outlets and downpipes.
- Take care of (fascia, soffit and barge)..
- Connect the freshly-installed drop outlets to your downspouts, drainage or water storage (if present).
- Strap and secure elbows and downspouts to the wall.
- Check all sleeve connectors (if present).
- Pour a bucket of water into the rain gutter and test the angle flow.
- That’s it, you are done.
How long do seamless gutters take to install?
On average, a team of two gutter installers can fit seamless installation up to a day, depending on the size and length of the roof. For the average semi-detached property, that could happen in half a day if no obstacles can hinder the work flow.
We hope to have helped you in your quest to understand why seamless gutters are the number one option to go. These units are sturdy, durable, come with a great guarantee and will surely accompany the overall looks and curb appeal of your property.