What type of gutters lasts the longest?

As a homeowner, your guttering is something you may not have given a second thought to – it’s the invisible water drainage system of your property, that in an ideal world should work seamlessly in the background, ensuring that water drains from the roof and away from the property. In reality, gutters require a certain amount of upkeep to keep them running smoothly. Like any home maintenance, it’s better to intercept problems early before they become something much worse – blockages in gutters can lead to water pooling, and leaks, and can ultimately damage your home. Here we explore the different types of gutters, and which last the longest.

What types of guttering are there?

The most common types of gutters you’ll find in the states tend to be either plastic gutters, including ‘half-round’ and k-style, or metal square gutters, also known as box gutters.

Half-round gutters tend to be situated just below the ‘drip-line’ of the edge of the roof. For those looking for a certain aesthetic around the roof of their home, half-round gutters can be a good choice. As the name suggests these gutters consist of a round half-pipe, often made from UPVC.

K-style gutters were named as they were historically the twelfth of twelve common guttering types, and as such, they’re represented by K, the twelfth letter. K-style gutters are commonly plastic, but can be made from aluminum as well. They have a more square profile towards the base and more depth, and as such are prized for their ability to hold a greater volume of water.

Square, or box gutters, typically slot into the roof structure and are often made out of sheet metal. Due to their position, they collect water and channel it away before it reaches the drip-line of the roof, unlike half-round gutters.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Each guttering type has benefits and flaws. Half-round gutters have a shape that is more likely to compliment a roof visually, as well as being easier to clean and maintain. They typically carry fewer risks of blockage and are less vulnerable to damage from corrosion when compared to square guttering. However, they carry a lower volume of water typically and can be tricky to install.

K-style gutters are often made from vinyl but can also be metal. They offer several advantages over others, most notably that they are flat on one side allowing for easy installation and maintenance. Their depth gives them an increased capacity which makes them better for geographical areas prone to storms and sudden heavy rainfall. On the other hand, the square edges can attract leaves and debris and make them harder to clean.

Square gutters tend to drain a larger volume of water than half-round. They are made from steel typically and tend to be robust, and easily maintained. Their straight edges mean they are less prone to flex and movement and generally the seal between each section will last longer.

Which type of gutters last the longest?

UPVC half-round guttering is likely to have a decent lifespan when properly maintained, but like any plastic, it can be vulnerable to perishing in sunny weather. The fact that it is light and often installed in sections makes it easy to repair and maintain, although the round shape means it can be harder to maintain a consistent seal between sections. Generally, you should expect half-round UPVC gutters to last at least ten years.

K-style gutters have a similar lifespan, depending on the material they are made from. Their straight edges can lead to blockages, but these are just maintenance issues. Like half-round, if they are UPVC they may last ten years, but aluminum will be twice as long.

Square box gutters typically have the longest lifespan. They tend to be made of more substantive sheet metal, and as such are likely to last for many years. This depends very much on maintenance and related issues in the roof – movement in the roof can cause the metal to move and seals to break, but such maintenance issues can be easily navigated.

Square gutters are the most robust gutter to keep rainwater running smoothly away from your roof, and their positioning means they’re less prone to movement. If you’re considering new gutters, why not check out the experts at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning to schedule all your repairs and maintenance work today? Ned Stevens uses thick-gauge aluminum that is significantly thicker than the industry standard, ensuring your home remains in good condition for many years to come.

Show More