How to Select a Gutter System

Good gutters should be an integral part of a home’s exterior. Old, damaged or defective rain gutters can cause damage. When a gutter clogs, the water is not diverted properly and overflows into either the house or foundation. This can cause wood rot, foundation problems and landscaping erosion. In addition to damage to your home, a rain gutter clogged with soggy leaves and debris is the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, as well as mosquitoes and other pests. When considering a new gutter system, a homeowner must take several things into account: among them, price, aesthetics and how the rain gutter needs to perform depending on the area in which they live. Does the area have extreme temperatures, heavy snow and rain, or ice storms? Are there a lot of trees in the vicinity? All these questions need to be taken into consideration when deciding on what type of rain gutter system to install.


If the primary purpose of gutters is to collect water from the roof and direct it away from the home where it could cause damage, then the first thing you want to know is whether or not your gutter system is properly designed. Good systems drain in such a way as to keep water out from under your foundation while keeping your fascia, siding and paint dry.


There are several different types of material used to make rain gutters.
Vinyl is the least preferable as it is susceptible to brittleness with age and extreme cold.

Aluminum, another popular choice, is most often used in seamless rain gutter systems. The gutter holds more water, is more durable and is the product generally recommended. Additionally the color weathers well.

Less frequently used materials include galvanized and stainless steel. Copper is also an attractive choice, but more expensive than the rest. Copper also requires a more expert installer. Wood is another material used for rain guttering, most often in restoration projects.


The two main types of rain gutter systems are sectional and seamless. Sectional systems lend themselves more to do-it-yourself installations due to the high configurability of the parts. They are made up of either vinyl or aluminum sections that are fastened together.

A drawback of sectional rain gutters is that the joints are prone to developing leaks.

The second type of rain gutter system is the seamless rain gutter. This type of rain gutter is quickly becoming a favorite choice due to its durability and seamless appearance.