The Purpose of Gutters
The purpose of gutters is to collect the water that comes from the roof. It also collects leaves, twigs, branches, tennis balls, fireworks, sandals, nutshells, badmitton birdies etc. The reason we put gutters on our homes is to keep water from ruining our foundation and exterior walls of our homes.
The Rain Catching or Gutter System
The gutter system is composed of gutters, gutter attachments, outlets and downspouts; all of which drain (or are supposed) water into a ground drain or lead to a safe place to pour water.
Gutters are commonly made of three different materials: copper, steel and aluminum.
Copper gutters are sometimes found on classic houses and are very expensive.
Steel gutters are very common (as are aluminum) are very strong (resist bending) and are painted to keep the steel from rusting.
Aluminum gutters are also common in the pacific northwest. Aluminum is more expensive a material than steel, but does not rust. It is softer than steel and bends more easily. It is easier to cut through, though gutters are not often cut except when installing downspouts etc.
Painted gutters are usually in the 3k, 4k, 5k, 6k and Fascia styles. 3K gutter is 3 inches wide at the top. 4K gutter is 4 inches wide at the top. Fascia gutter is about 5.5 inches deep. I don't like the fascia style gutter for several reasons:
- It is usually not installed properly (sloping towards downspout)
- is usually bent on back to act like drip cap
- is harder to hang so it slopes properly
- compressed debris at the bottom and
- typically rusts out quicker.
I like the 5K Gutters with fascia board, drip cap best and shingles extending 1/2 inch into the gutters best.