What Size Gutters Should I have Installed on my Home?
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What size gutters should I have on my home? Should I get 5 inch or 6 inch gutters on my home?
I was at a clients home discussing whether he should replace his gutters with 5 inch aluminum seamless gutters or upgrade to 6 inch aluminum gutters. We discussed what he was looking for his gutters to perform and we ended up deciding 6 inch gutters would work best.
Most homeowners don’t know what size gutters they should get for their home, so I put this together to help you become informed on what works best for you. The goal of your rain gutters is to get the rain from your roof and direct it off into your gutter and down your downspouts and away from your home. 5 inch aluminum seamless gutters hold about 1.2 gallons of water a linear foot and 6 inch aluminum seamless gutters hold about 2 gallons of water a linear foot, so a 6 inch aluminum seamless gutter system can hold about 60% more than the 5 inch aluminum seamless gutter system.
Typically we recommend 6 inch aluminum seamless gutters for 5 scenarios: you have a really steep roof – when you have a really steep roof, sometimes the water can over shoot the 5 inch aluminum seamless gutter system so upgrading to 6 inch aluminum seamless gutters is a great option. If you have a 2nd story gutter draining into a 1st story gutter. You want to make sure the gutters can handle the water flow and not get backed. If you have a 2nd story gutter draining into a 1st story gutter, we recommend the 1st story gutter be a 6 inch aluminum seamless gutter. If you have a large amount of roof space draining into the gutter. If you have a large roof area that is getting hit with heavy rain, it can overwhelm some 5 inch aluminum seamless gutter systems. 6 inch aluminum seamless gutters can handle about 60% more water than the 5 inch aluminum seamless gutter, so your 6 inch gutter can hold onto that additional water giving the downspouts more time to drain the water.
If you don’t have optimal downspout locations – sometimes with how your home is set up, adding downspouts with the appropriate spacing isn’t always ideal. For example, you don’t want to have a downspout drain onto your driveway, so the spacing of the downspouts is a little far apart. In these situations, we advise a 6 inch aluminum seamless gutter to be able to handle the extra amount of water, while your downspouts takes the time to drain the water from the gutter.
People who want optimal gutter drainage – more and more savvy homeowners are understanding the importance of getting water off their roof and away from their home and foundation and close 6 inch aluminum seamless gutters to prevent water damage from happening. With all the people we help who have dealt with costly water damage repairs, we think 6 inch aluminum seamless gutters will be the standard for aluminum seamless gutter systems of the future.
There are a 2 other factors to consider when deciding if 5 inch aluminum seamless gutters are a better fit for your home than 6 inch aluminum seamless gutters. How far apart are you spacing your downspout? 2 x 3 downspouts can drain about 600 square feet of roof space and should be placed every 20’ – 30’. 3 x 4 downspouts can drain about 1200 square feet of roof space and should be placed every 30’ – 40’. We almost alway recommend using 3 x 4 downspouts instead of 2 x3 downspouts. Most homes can have a 5 inch aluminum seamless gutter system with 3 x4 downspouts handle all the rain you get, but if your home doesn’t adequate downspout placement you should consider the 6 inch aluminum seamless gutter system.
What thickness of gutter material are you having installed? Aluminum seamless gutters come in a roll of gutter coil and are run through a gutter machine that forms them in the shape that you see in your home. There are different types of gutter thicknesses available and you should make sure that your gutters are made from the right coil thickness so they can handle the weight of the snow and rain water you get. In the Midwest, with the heavy snow and rain, we recommend the .032” gutter coil. Sometimes, certain premium colors only come in .027” and if you want that color, that’s the thickness you have to get. Since it’s aluminum it’s called 32 thousandths of an inch, but many contractors also use the term gauge, which is used for measuring the thickness of steel.
How far apart are you gutter hangers spaced? We install our aluminum seamless gutters with hidden hangers. Your gutters need to be able to handle the weight of the water and snow that goes through them.
While the thickness of the gutter coil is important, equally as important is how far you space your gutter hangers. As 6 inch aluminum seamless gutters can handle about 60% more water flow than 5 inch aluminum seamless gutters, they also need to handle more weight. We recommend spacing your gutter hangers every 18” – 24”. We find that when gutter hangers are spaced to far apart like 3’ or more, gutters can have a tendency to pull away from the home and their performance drops significantly, and if not taken care of, can cause costly water damage.
How much do 5 inch aluminum seamless gutters cost vs 6 inch aluminum seamless gutters? 6 inch aluminum seamless gutters cost about 20-% 30% more expensive than 5 inch aluminum seamless gutters, so depending on what you’re looking to get from your aluminum seamless gutter system, a 5 inch aluminum seamless gutter system may fit your homes needs and save you money from upgrading to a 6 inch aluminum seamless system. If you are looking to replace your gutters and not sure whether your home needs a 5 inch aluminum seamless gutter system or a 6 inch aluminum seamless gutter system, or the cost for either gutter system on your home, please fill out your information in the form below.
We would be glad to discuss your gutter replacement goals and help you get the right gutter system for your home. Fill out the contact form below to get started!