Gutters play a very important role on your home, and it’s one that not everyone realizes. Sure, they divert water so that you’re not flooded with runoff every time it rains, but that isn’t what makes them so important. Because gutters divert rainwater as it flows down the roof, they also help to prevent that water from seeping into the eaves and causing leaks or other damage. A good set of gutters can improve the life of your roof and home exterior while also adding to the look of your home and keeping the worst of the runoff at bay.
One problem with gutters is that they can start to wear out over time. This is especially evident around gutter seams, where rust, debris, and just the weight of water over time can cause damage. This damage can result in leaks, letting water get out of the gutter right at the roofline and potentially causing the very sort of damage that the gutters are supposed to prevent. This is big part of the reason that so many homeowners are turning to seamless gutters; if there aren’t any seams, then the seams can’t leak.
Understanding Gutter Seams
Gutter seams aren’t inherently a bad thing; by producing gutter in sections and joining them at seams, installers can better fit the gutter to the unique size and shape of your home while still preparing gutter sections beforehand. Most gutter seams aren’t overly obvious, so it seems like an understandable concession to make in order to get the best fit for premanufactured gutters.
The problem with gutter seams is that gutters end up being under a lot of stress throughout the year. Water is heavy, leaves and other debris can get wedged in seams, and pods or seeds can actually end up in backed-up gutters and start putting down roots. This stress adds up over time, and the seams become one of the most likely points of damage aside from mounting points. Gutter screens and regular cleaning can help, but this won’t eliminate gutter stress entirely.
How Seamless Gutters Work
Unlike traditional gutters that are made as smaller pieces and then assembled to match the sides of your home, seamless gutters are custom-built to match your home exactly. Roll-forming machines are brought to the jobsite and are fed sheet metal from a coiled roll, bending the metal to the exact shape of the gutters until the seamless gutter section matches the length of one of your roof sections. This single piece of gutter is capped on the ends and has supports attached as it comes out of the machine, ensuring that the final gutter section is a single piece of strong and structurally-sound gutter. It can then be mounted to your home with no seams that could rust or otherwise become damaged.
Installers take precise measurements to make sure that gutter sections match your home exactly, and mark the location of downspouts and supports precisely to make sure that everything is right where it needs to be for the most efficient gutter you can have on your home. The gutters are sealed and mounted securely to help ensure the longest possible life without leaks, though they will still need periodic cleaning and maintenance to make sure that they remain in good working condition. With that said, the lack of seams for leaves and other debris to snag on results in some seamless gutters clogging less often than their seamed counterparts.
Considering Going Seamless?
While seamless gutters may be more expensive due to the custom manufacturing involved, a lot of gutter installers are trending toward largely seamless installs. There are advantages to going seamless, and if you’re in need of new gutters it could be a great choice to make for your home.