What’s the difference between regular and seamless gutters?
Ah, gutters, the silent hero of your house’s roofing system. When it comes to gutters, you can take your pick between regular gutters or seamless gutters. Seamless gutters are one lengthy gutter section devoid of seams, whereas regular gutters feature several sections with seams at the joints. However, both choices are intended to safeguard your home against water damage by moving water away from the house’s foundation and the basement.
Both types of gutters have their benefits and downsides. Whether you’re constructing a brand-new home or have detected symptoms that you need new gutters on your present home, our comparison guide below should help you decide which type is best for your precise home and/or budget.
However, we’ll give you a bit of a hint . . .we’re sold on seamless gutters, and we hope you’ll understand why after reading this blog. Okay, before proceeding, let’s be more specific about regular and seamless gutters.
What are regular gutters?
The regular gutter has been around for a long time, believed to have been used since ancient times, circa 2500 B.C.
Such gutters, also considered sectional or conventional, are produced in short, pre-cut sections that are then joined together on the house in 10-foot or 20-foot sections to create one extended gutter. The joints between each section must be sealed with sealant to stop leaking and dripping.
When going with conventional gutters, you can choose between various material options. In prior times, such gutters were constructed from wood. However, with the evolution of technology in gutter systems, you can choose materials such as vinyl, aluminum, copper, and steel.
What are seamless gutters?
As the name suggests, Seamless gutters are one-piece made of painted steel, copper, or aluminum. However, perhaps the most popular choice is aluminum since it has a lightweight design and outstanding durability.
As mentioned, seamless gutters do not have any seams. As a result, you won’t have to be concerned with leakage. It’s one of the reasons why they are so effective and well-accepted by homeowners. When you purchase a seamless gutter, the installer will bring a continuous portion of the material, such as aluminum, and cut it on-site to produce the gutter.
There are no joint in-between or numerous sections to contend with. With seamless gutters, the only connection points are the corners or the downspouts.
Which type of gutter do I go with?
When deciding on the type of gutters to install, homeowners want to know which is best. So, in terms of seamless vs. regular gutters, which one is most beneficial?
The decision will be governed not only by your particular home but also by your finances. Seamless gutters are more expensive upfront but entail decreased maintenance and will last noticeably longer than regular gutters.
Moreover, because regular gutters are made in sections, they can leak, costing you money in repairs down the road.
Bottom line: Talking to a professional roofer at Schultheis Brothers about which one you should get can make your decision much easier.
In the meantime, let’s chat about regular and seamless gutters.
The average home has between 150 and 200 feet of gutters. That’s a lot of surface area for leaves, twigs, and other debris to clog. And when gutters clog, they can no longer do their job as intended. Water overflowing from clogged gutters can damage your home’s foundation, siding, and landscaping. It can also lead to interior water damage, mold, and mildew.
Minus any joints in the seams to trap debris, seamless gutters are less likely to back up or clog and do not need routine maintenance cleaning. Water flows freely and goes where it’s supposed to, out through the downspout, so you’ll spend less time cleaning your gutters. Plus, since Schultheis Brothers secure your gutters with the best existing hanger system, your gutters are tight to the face boards, stopping pests and wildlife from getting into crevices, producing more headaches.
Adding leaf guards to your gutters will further decrease the chances of blockages. This also means reduced general maintenance needed for a sectional gutter.
With sectional gutters, the joints between these sections entail resealing every one to five years. Moreover, these joints can also ensnare leaves and debris that must be cleaned out regularly.
Prone to leaks and damage.
Since seamless gutters are constructed of one continuous piece of gutter, they significantly lower the probability of leakage. Because most leaks occur at the gutter joints, leaks will largely be eliminated as there will be zero joints; the only joints are if you have inside or outside corners. No leaks mean no mold, rot, or water damage to your home or property triggered by faulty gutters.
While it simply isn’t true, seamless gutters have zero chance of leakage; they will leak substantially less than regular gutters.
Why so? Because with regular gutters, the connecting points of each section are their most vulnerable spots. Over time, they are most prone to rust, become disconnected, develop cracks, or experience other issues. In these instances, there’s little doubt that leakage will eventually occur.
The durability of a gutter system ultimately depends on the material. You can purchase seamless and regular gutters in various materials, including steel, the most long-lasting material available. Vinyl is also a popular option if you’re on a budget, but it’s not the most durable, especially when exposed to harsh weather conditions. Over a period of time, as they’re exposed to extensive heat and then intense cold, they can deteriorate and crack.
Seamless gutters can last well over 20 years with little difficulty, even with minimal maintenance. Seamless copper gutters, a more high-end option, can last up to 50 years. On the other hand, a typical regular gutter will only last around 20 years, assuming there has been routine maintenance, and then it still needs to be re-sealed every one to five years.
Attaching a seamless gutter to a house can make it look quite attractive. Since there is an absence of joints, the smooth, finished look of a seamless gutter customized for a specific home will bring a classy touch that regular gutters can’t match. Nor will you have to be concerned with unsightly drooping, leaking, or overflowing gutters. Seamless gutters are available in various design options to realize a thoroughly integrated look for the entire home.
Some homeowners even claim seamless gutters have significantly increased the value of their homes.
Seamless gutters and regular gutters each have their own difficulties when it comes to installation. When seamless gutters are installed, they must be formed and cut on-site to fit your home perfectly. This requires a professional-grade machine that only a roofing contractor can access easily.
In contrast, regular gutters involve a “snap-together” system that requires components to be sealed together. These gutter systems have a lower initial installation cost because the average handyman or contractor will have little or no trouble installing a regular gutter system since the sections don’t have to be precisely measured. However, you must also factor in the costs associated with painting, routine maintenance, and a shorter lifespan.
Then, too, regular gutters can be bought at a home improvement store and installed DIY if you take the appropriate safety measures. However, it’s not often recommended due, in no small part, to the numerous risk factors (falling, etc.). Moreover, short regular gutter sections require numerous trips up and down the ladder and extra time to make all the necessary connections.
Repairs or replacements.
With a seamless gutter, you cannot isolate a single section for repairs or replacement like a regular gutter. Rather, you must simultaneously deal with the entire length of the seamless gutter, which can be a significant and expensive hassle, especially if you live in a storm-prone region.
As mentioned, you can replace the damaged section with regular gutters, normally a simple and cost-effective repair.
Price, price, and price.
Perhaps this should have been our introductory paragraph. Have you seen the TV commercial where the life insurance salesperson asks, what are the three most important factors you want to know about purchasing life insurance? His answer: Price, price, and price!
This could be the question a homeowner might ask regarding the type of gutter system they ultimately choose to install on their house.
Seamless gutters tend to be more expensive in comparison to their conventional counterparts. Homeowners on a budget should also be wary of installing seamless gutters, as they can be somewhat difficult to install, potentially adding to the final cost.
That said, if you’re looking for a long-lasting, hassle-free, and low-maintenance option for your gutters that adds to your home’s curb appeal, then seamless gutters are simply the right choice.
Yes, they’re a bit more expensive to purchase and install, but in the long run, the benefits of seamless gutters mentioned above will most likely make up for the higher initial cost.
Some final thoughts on a choice of gutters
If you’re a homeowner, you’ll know that one of the most expensive repairs you might incur for a specific room will more likely result from water damage. The destruction caused by water leaking into a room can cost anywhere from $450 to $12,000, according to Home Advisor’s Water Damage Calculator.
If you want to avoid such costly repairs, keeping your roof in proper condition is a great idea. This requires that you employ a professional for roof maintenance occasionally, but it’s also important to choose the correct gutters in the first place.
Now that we’ve compared regular and seamless gutters, it should be easy to conclude that the seamless ones are spot-on for this purpose. In addition, it’s rather straightforward to purchase and install a seamless gutter system that’s precisely constructed for your specific roof and can also match the décor of your roof.
Considering the advantages and disadvantages, seamless gutters are the best option for selecting gutters for your home. Our roof technicians at Schultheis Brothers manufacture gutters on-site, guaranteeing they are properly measured and fitted for your home. With various color options, seamless gutters are also one of the best ways to improve your home’s curb appeal.
Schultheis Brothers’ seamless gutters are available in a 5-inch or 6-inch option. You can allow our highly trained sales consultant to assess what size is best for your home.
As mentioned above, the bottom line is that if you’re still undecided, it’s best to call the roofing specialists at Schultheis Brothers, as they’re in the most suitable position to point you in the right direction when it comes to gutters. And, of course, if you’ve already made your decision, the professional roofers at Schultheis Brothers are waiting for that call, too.