Gutters are designed to ferry rainwater away from a home’s foundation and landscape to avoid damage caused by erosion, untreated moisture, and insect infestation due to standing water.
Proper installation is paramount to a long-lasting and functioning gutter system. For example, the gutter anchors in the fascia boards should not be spaced too far apart, as this will result in sagging gutters.
Ask a quality gutter installation contractor about the variety of styles, materials, and installation methods available for gutter systems. You can also ask about gutter guard system options if you are interested in protecting your gutters from debris and reducing the frequency of gutter cleanings.
Gutters come in three main styles: K-style, box, and half round. K-style is by far the most popular, and almost all newly constructed homes have this type of gutter.
K-style gutters are flat on the back and the bottom, and the front side is shaped to mimic crown molding. This style is very popular, as it holds more water than half-round gutters and is less expensive.
Also called square gutters, box gutters lack the decorative appearance of K-style gutters. This style is typically used on commercial structures and apartment buildings. Box gutters can also be found on upscale historic homes.
Historic box gutters are wooden and lined with metal. If your home has historic box gutters, ask your gutter installation pro to help you determine whether repair or replacement is a better option.
Half-round gutters are semicircular in shape. These are typically found on historic homes. They cost more than K-style gutters, and they are not as commonly available. If you have a historic home that needs replacement gutters, it may be worth the cost and effort to find a product that will maintain the historic look.
Gutters are available in a variety of materials, including aluminum, copper, steel, zinc, and vinyl.
Aluminum is the most common gutter material. It is durable and one of the more cost-effective options. Aluminum gutters are available in a variety of colors, and they won’t rust.
Copper is one of the more costly gutter materials on the market, and installation of copper gutters is complicated and labor intensive. However, copper gutters are durable and can last the lifetime of the house when properly maintained and cleaned. Over time, copper develops a patina, eventually turning green.
Steel gutters are durable, but bare steel versions are prone to rust. Galvanized steel gutters are more resistant to rust, since they are coated with zinc. Steel gutters come in a variety of colors.
Zinc gutters are costlier than some options, but they’re durable and attractive. Like copper, zinc acquires a patina over time.
Vinyl is a cost-effective and lightweight option. However, Northern Virginia homeowners should know that vinyl gutters are prone to cracking in severe cold. This material is much more susceptible to wear and tear than metal materials.
Gutters usually come in five-inch or six-inch sizes. Steeper roofs often require six-inch gutters to help prevent overflow. Gutter downspouts are typically two by three inches or three by four inches.
Gutters also come in different thicknesses. Thicker gutters are generally studier, but they do tend to cost more. Ask your gutter installation professional about the thicknesses available in the material you choose.
Some gutter installers also provide gutter guards, which manufacturers claim help keep out leaves and other debris, lessening the occurrence of clogging and subsequent overflow problems.
There are three main types of gutter guard systems:
- Micro-mesh screens
- Metal gutter covers
- Polyurethane inserts
There are pros and cons for each type of gutter guard, so if you’re interested in getting one of these systems, do some research and consult with your gutter installer to determine which is best for you.
The Best Picks for Northern Virginia Gutter Installation Companies
At Best Pick Reports, we have researched quality gutter installation companies by conducting surveys with homeowners in the area to compile a list of the best professionals in Northern Virginia.
These homeowner surveys give us a picture of the most competent, experienced, and timely gutter installation companies in Northern Virginia. We are proud to present that information in a format that is easy for homeowners to consult. We conduct our objective research annually, and it represents our confidence that we are presenting you with the best of the best in your area. By using a Best Pick company for your gutter installation project, you can be assured that your new gutters won’t be a washout.