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Alu-Rex > Eavestroughs and rain water management blog

How to choose the right rain gutter?

couple-with-rain-guttersSeveral elements must be factored in when selecting a rain gutter model for your residence. An array of options is offered to suit your particular needs.

Materials for rain gutters

You may select from a wide range of materials depending on what you’re looking for, the style of your residence, and your budget. It is also important to choose the right type of material for the roof, rain gutters, and accessories in order to avoid any reaction over time.

Vinyl rain gutters

While vinyl is the least expensive option, it is less durable and there is a risk of cracking in cold weather.

Aluminum eavestroughs

Aluminum is the most popular choice. It is resistant to rust and is offered in the widest range of colors, which makes it the selection of choice for people who are looking to purchase something discrete.

Galvanized steel gutters

Galvanized steel is extremely resistant and designed to withstand the weight of heavy snowfalls. On the other hand, it has a less polished look and stands out more.

Copper eavestroughs

Although copper is extremely durable, it is at the high end of the price range. Copper is also a long-term solution chosen by a first-class clientele for its sophisticated look. Copper is relatively more expensive than other options out there. Furthermore, it tends to get greener with time as it tarnishes.

Shape of the eavestrough

Rain gutters come in many different shapes. The most popular in North America being the K-style model. Before the 1950s, the semi-circular shape was the most used model, and is still widely popular in Europe. Moreover, the fascia style model is the type of gutter most installed on the West Coast.

Regardless of the style that you opt for, the main impact will be on the looks of your residence. However, certain shapes can hold less water than others, which may lead you to select a wider model.


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Dimension of the rain gutter

The width of a gutter mainly varies depending on precipitation and the roof pitch. Obviously, the wider the gutter, the more material will be required and the pricier the model. Additionally, the steeper the roof pitch and the more slippery the materials used (e.g., a tin roof or aluminum shingles rather than asphalt shingles), the faster water and snow will accumulate in your gutters. You will thus need a wider rain gutter to avoid any overflow. Although the most traditional model is 5’’ wide, its 6’’ counterpart is slowly picking up speed.

Sectional gutters vs. seamless gutters

Most gutter models are seamless, hence in one piece. This can be explained by the machinery used to manufacture and cut the gutters at specific lengths that fit the dimensions of your residence. Seamless gutters, as the name suggests, are seamless, with a lower risk of leakage and enhanced visual aesthetics. This type of rain gutter is installed by professionals with the use of a special tool that they carry in their truck or bring from the warehouse. As for sectional gutters, they come in specific lengths and are sold in hardware or retail stores. Consequently, there may be several sections once they are installed at your residence. You may want to select the type of rain gutters you wish to purchase depending on who will install them; a professional installer or yourself.

Hanging system for eavestroughs

Based on the type of installation you opt for as well as which professional installer will perform the work, if such is the case, several fastening systems may be used. The closer the fasteners from one another, the more solid the system.

Spikes to install rain gutters

Spikes are usually used for basic installation. It is less costly and allows for a quick setup, whether the installation is performed by a professional or yourself. Be that as it may, rust may appear over time with this option, thereby creating lines of rust at the front of the gutter.

Spaced hangers to hang eavestroughs

Spaced hangers may be used as a basic fastening system in addition to being invisible from the ground. Hooks look better than nails and you can choose to install them yourself or have the work done by a professional.

Gutters installed with screw-on hangers

Screw-on hangers are also another option available on the market. They are easier to install given that you do not need to hold the hooks and the screw at the same time. Overall, this is the most popular option for owners who perform the installation themselves. Although you will find professional installers who use them as well.

Eavestrough installation with spaced hangers with a strap

You may also install your rain gutters using spaced hangers with a strap attached directly to the roof of your residence. They are mainly used with metal roofs. They are very solid and can easily hold rain gutters in place.

Continuous hangers for rain gutters installation

Continuous hangers constitute the best option available on the market. They are handled by industry professionals only. They are invisible to the eye and very solid. In addition, continuous hangers help protect rain gutters from leaves and debris that may obstruct the gutters and cause water infiltration. This small investment will go a long way as it will extend the life of your rain gutters while requiring less maintenance.

Rain gutter downspouts

Downspouts are both used for aesthetic and technical purposes. First, you need to determine the opening you’ll be needing. Generally, residences are equipped with downspouts with a 2’’x 3’’ opening. However, areas where there are many coniferous trees often require larger downspouts so as to avoid clogging. The number of downspouts needed usually depends on the amount of water collected by rain gutters. The larger the amount of water, the more downspouts should be installed. Additionally, their location is important both for aesthetic and practical purposes. Color must also be factored in as owners usually look for shades that will blend into the residential environment.

Details and accessories available for gutters

There are several accessories available out there that will make your rain gutter more practical or give it a more sophisticated look.

Gutter guards

Leaf guards allow for less maintenance as they prevent debris from clogging rain gutters. Unless you opt for continuous hangers, you will be required to clean your gutters as well as remove leaves and debris a few times per year in order to avoid clogging and water infiltration. Purchasing a leaf guard will remedy that problem and protect your rain gutter from snow and ice.

Rain gutter medallions

Gutter medallions are for looks only and can easily be fastened at the front of K-style models. While they are not widely known, they are part of a series of accessories that can be used to harmonize rain gutters with your residence.

Eavestrough downspout funnels

Funnels are mainly used with fascia style rain gutters and allow for a larger opening that lets water through to the downspout. They are used, namely, to avoid clogging caused by needles from coniferous trees as funnels position the needles in such a way that they flow easily to the downspout.

Rain chains

Rain chains can also be used as an alternative to traditional downspouts. They were initially used in Japan to create a Zen atmosphere that blends into the landscape as well as to give rain gutters a different look.

Rain gutter downspout extensions

Downspout extensions are used to divert water away from the foundations as the slope of the land or the location of the downspout often causes water to remain close to the house, which in turn increases the risk of water infiltration in addition to damaging plant beds. In such cases, downspout extensions allow extending the length of the downspout and divert water away from the house.

Rain barrels for water management

Rain barrels are used to collect rainwater from downspouts. Once the water has been collected, it can be used to water plants and gardens, or for any other outdoor use for that matter. It’s a green and simple way to collect water that would go directly to the soil anyway.

In conclusion, there is a wide range of elements that must be taken into consideration before selecting which rain gutter and accessories you’re going to purchase. A professional installer will be able to recommend what is best for you.

French to English Translation | Traduction-Québec

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