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Residential vs. Commercial Gutters: Why the Differences Matter

Posted by Kevin Leahy on February 19, 2018

residental vs commercial gutters

There are a lot more to picking a gutter system then you might realize. If you are faced with having to replace your gutter system for the first time there are a lot of factors you need to consider to make sure you get the right system for your home or business. One of the most important things to decide is if you should get residential or commercial gutters. A big part of your decision will be based on the type of property you need it for.

Residential vs. Commercial Gutters: Why the Differences Matter

Installed Differently

Residential gutters are for your home and are installed at the edge of your roof, which is usually a gable, shed or hipped roof. Commercial gutters go commercial properties which tend to be larger and tend to have flatter roofs.

Size and Style of Gutters Differ

The size and style of gutters you need to use for a residential property is different than what is used for commercial properties. For example K-style or U-shaped gutters tend to be used for residences while box gutters are usually the preferred choice for commercial properties.

Damage to Your Home

Choosing the wrong type of gutter system can have a lot of negative repercussions. Without proper coverage your gutters won’t be able to do their job and you will be facing water damage and leaks in your roof and damage to the gutters. And of course this means lots of time and money wasted fixing the problem.

Legal Red Tape

Different municipalities have different regulations so you should always check what laws and regulations are on the books in your municipality. Especially if you own a commercial building, there may be regulations related to gutter size, where the water drains out and how they are installed.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Some residential home owners think that if they want better coverage and have less maintenance when it comes to their gutters that they should go with the bigger commercial gutter systems. But experts agrees that bigger isn’t always better. Bigger gutters can also mean more maintenance because they can collect more debris.

Looks Do Matter

If you put commercial-sized gutters on your residential home, it might look bulky and throw off the aesthetics of your home. It will also cover more of the fascia board and any trimming interfering with the intended appeal of the home.

If you are still unsure of what type of gutters to get, take some time to look around at houses you like and see what types of gutters they have on their roofs. It might give you a better idea of what you are looking for. Make sure you are looking at similar types of roofs though so you don’t pick out something that won’t fit your style or size roof.

What Else You Should Know

Rain gutters can be professionally installed or you can install it yourself. DIY rain gutter systems are available in vinyl, sheet metal and aluminum at any of your local home improvement centers so you can put up the gutters yourself. Or you can have a professional gutter company come in and do the installation for you.

Common measurements you should look for include:

  • “U” shape or a “K” style
  • Channels are usually 4, 5, or 6 inches in diameter
  • Typically matching downspouts are 2-by-3-ince or 3-by-4-inch rectangular or 3- or 4-ince round pieces.

If you are going the DIY route than vinyl gutter systems are the most popular and easily found at any local home improvement store. If you’d like the gutters to be a particular color than aluminum gutters are your best bet because they can come in over 25 different colors.

Another option is to use galvanized sheet metal. It is a lot more durable than the aluminum which is a plus, but would need to be painted the color you desire. While not used very often any more, gutter systems can also come in wood for older, historical houses.

Seamless gutters are another option. They are very popular because they prevent any leakage from seams. These types of systems are usually made from aluminum, copper or factory-painted steel.

How to Maintain Your Rain Gutters

Besides making sure you have a good quality system, you also need to maintain them properly. For them to work properly, you need to keep the gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and debris and this takes regular maintenance. Either you have to climb the ladder and do it yourself or you need to hire a professional gutter cleaning company to do it for you. The rule of thumb is to clean your gutters at least twice a year, but more if you have a lot of trees hanging over your house or you live in an area that experiences a lot of storms.

If you have any concerns about safely climbing up and down the ladder, then your safest bet is to hire a professional cleaning company. If you are going to do it yourself, make sure you have a sturdy ladder and never ever stand on the top two rungs.

Ways to clean your gutters:

  • A leaf blower or a hose– but make sure you wear goggles and a dust mask and heavy work gloves.
  • Purchase a gutter cleaning kit that can connect to your leaf blower.
  • Use a garden trowel or gutter scoop to clean it out by hand. For best results, start at the drain outlet near the low end of the gutter. Then just dump into a bucket to dispose of when you are all done. It is best to do it when the leaves are only slightly damp not real soggy.

Besides focusing on what is just in the gutters, also make sure to use the leaf blower to blow any leaves or debris off the roof itself so it doesn’t all end up in the gutters the next time it rains. There are also other products you can add to your gutter system to make maintenance a lot easier. For more information about gutter systems, contact The SpoutOff today.

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