Types:
Aluminum, standard cut
Aluminum, custom cut
Copper
Galvanized
Vinyl
Wood
Accessories and fittings

Also Known As:

  • Aluminum, standard and custom cut: Reynolds wrap (if thin gauge)
  • Aluminum, custom cut: Seamless

Description:
Gutter is made of five different materials: copper, wood, vinyl, galvanized metal, and aluminum.

  • Aluminum, standard cut: Normal thickness, or gauge, is 27 (0.0164 in.), but it also comes in 32′ lengths of thinner, 32-gauge (0.0097 in.) at building supply houses that specialize in gutter. Standard-cut gutter is ordinarily available only in white.
  • Custom cut: Cut on the site by a jobber to the exact length desired; it is seamless. It is commonly available in white, brown, black, gold, and green.
  • Copper: This comes in standard 10′ lengths; joints are soldered.
  • Galvanized: Comes in various baked enamel finishes and in lengths of 10′ and 20′. It also comes 4″ or 5″ wide, rectangular or round and fluted.
  • Vinyl: This is PVC (polyvinyl chloride). It is available in one width, 5″, and in lengths of 10′, 16′, 21′, and 32′ and in white and brown.
  • Wood: Usually made of fir, available at lumberyards in lengths up to 50′. It weighs five or six times as much as a metal gutter.
  • Accessories and fittings: These include downspouts (also known as drains, or leaders), end tubes, leader hangers, spikes and ferrules (tubes through which gutter spikes fit) for hanging, and leaf guards, which are grids that prevent leaves from entering the gutter.

Gutters are hung by one of three ways, and your fittings will vary accordingly: with hangers attached to straps, with hangers attached to brackets, and with spikes that are driven through the ferrules and the gutter into the house.

Use:
To carry water off the roof and away from the house.

Use Tips:
The most common mistake in installing gutter is to assume that the house is level and pitch the gutter off that. Houses are rarely level. A level line must be established and the gutter pitched according to that for water to run down it properly. Clean gutters often.

Buying Tips:
The best gutter buy is probably¬†custom-cut aluminum.¬†Besides being available in different colors, it is seamless, so there are fewer places for leaks to occur. The 27-gauge (or 28 gauge, which is 1/64 in. thick) thickness is best, if only because when you lean a ladder against it, it won’t buckle, like the thinner 32-gauge aluminum will.

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