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Talk about a quiet worker that goes about its business needing very little attention. That’s your gutter system in action, always at the ready to direct water flowing off your roof away from the building. But what type of gutter is best for your home or commercial building and do you need a leaf guard system, too? We get these questions quite a bit at the Roofing Annex, so we thought we’d take some time to go over some gutter and leaf guard basics.

Gutter Types

Gutter systems come in two types: sectional and seamless. Sectional gutters are 10- to 22-foot sections that are connected to one another. Seamless gutters are long single pieces that connect only at corners and downspout outlets. Here at the Roofing Annex, we install seamless gutters because there is less likelihood of leaks. Unlike sectional gutter types that have seams where breaks in the sections occur, seamless gutters have a one-piece design that provides greater stability and performance.

Leaf Guard System Types

Leaf guards are designed to keep leaves and other debris out of your gutters so they don’t clog. A clogged gutter can cause costly water damage to the foundation or interior of your home or building by preventing water from flowing off your roof.

There are several different styles of leaf guard systems. Gutter cover systems, which the Roofing Annex recommends, fit securely over the top of the gutter. The system is tucked under the roof’s drip edge rather than attached with nails to the roof’s shingles, which would compromise the integrity of the roofing materials.

There are also gutter add-ons, which are gutter protection systems that are installed over an open gutter using nails, screws, glue, or clips. Options include metal screens, hoods, helmets, filters and brushes. However, the Roofing Annex has found that these materials have limitations. For example, some add-ons cannot handle heavy rains or high winds, while others cannot stop all debris from clogging your gutter. In addition, some gutter add-ons are bulky looking and may not fit in with the aesthetics of your home’s exterior.

Selecting a Gutter System

Depending on the age of your gutters, you may need to replace them if they are damaged or pulling away from your house or building and not properly diverting the water away. When deciding on a new rain gutter system, keep these 3 things in mind:

  1. How the gutter needs to perform based on the area where you live (e.g., climate, number of trees surrounding your property, etc.).
  2. Aesthetics or how the gutters will look based on your roof style.
  3. Price based on the design of the gutter and the material from which it is made. While vinyl gutters are the least expensive, they age quickly and get brittle, particularly in cold climates. Aluminum is the most common type of gutter and is a good value for the price. Copper gutters are also an option and look great, however they cost more.

Free Gutter Evaluation

Whenever you have any questions or concerns about the performance of your gutters or need help in deciding if you need a leaf guard system, the Roofing Annex is always available to assist you. We offer a free gutter evaluation that checks to be sure your gutters are functioning properly. To schedule your free Roofing Annex gutter evaluation, give us a call toll-free at 855-55.ANNEX (855-552-6639) or email us at [email protected]