Rain gutters are small but critical components of a building’s roofing system and a long-term investment in the infrastructure of your home.
All gutters are troughs that collect rain running off a roof and channel it, with proper slopes, to downspouts that carry the rain water to the ground and away from your siding, windows, doors and foundation. The most commonly used gutter – open gutters – should be regularly cleaned of leaves and debris in order to function properly.
In the course of collecting water, open rain gutters also collect leaves, acorns, pine needles, and other debris which can cause clogs anywhere in the gutter itself or sometimes in the downspouts. In dry conditions clogged gutters are a fire hazard; and during heavy rains, clogged gutters and downspouts can cause rainwater to overflow, potentially causing substantial damage to your building, landscaping and basement.
Gutters come in several sizes and shapes called profiles. The most common type of gutter used today is the open gutter, which comes in standard lengths for do-it-yourselfers, and also as continuous roll-formed seamless gutters, which must be installed by a contractor.
Most residential gutters come in two sizes– 5″ and 6″ –and are made of either aluminum, steel, zinc, vinyl, or copper in a standard “K” style.
The typical 5 inch K-style gutter comes with 2 x 3 inch downspouts. A larger residential gutter system would consist of 6 inch K-style gutter using a 3 x 4 inch downspout.
One foot of 5″ K-Style gutter holds 1.2 gallons of water. One foot of 6″ K-Style gutter holds 2.0 gallons of water. For commercial applications, box gutters, can be made in 7, or 8 inches or even larger custom sizes that hold even more water.
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