What are Seamless Gutters
When your old gutter system needs an upgrade, seamless gutters are the perfect solution. Seamless rain gutters are both eye-catching and functional for your home. Since they have no seam, leakage is kept at a minimum.
Seamless gutters are custom-made to fit the curves of your home, providing excellent curb appeal. Because they are custom-measured and sized to fit your home, you can only get seamless gutters from a professional gutter company or gutter installer.
Each seamless gutter consists of coiled metal, measured and put together with a truck-mounted gutter machine. The three metals you can choose from are aluminum, galvanized steel, and copper.
The design of this type of gutter uses an easy-to-assemble method for professionals to install on-site. The gutters come separated into pre-cut, single-piece sections that will later be pieced together in 10 or 20-foot increments.
Once each gutter is extruded to the correct length using the seamless gutter machine, the following finishing touches complete the gutter:
- The only seams at the corners are screwed together and sealed.
- Copper seams need to be soldered and riveted.
- Aluminum and galvanized steel seams sealed with silicone.
- Gutter end caps are attached with downspouts to direct the excess water away from the home’s foundation.
- Aluminum seamless gutters may be coated or have a baked-on finish. Galvanized steel seamless gutters are coated with vinyl or Galvalume.
The aluminum and steel options come in a wide variety of colors; however, the copper has few options and must be polished to avoid becoming an eyesore.
Benefits of Seamless Gutters
Regardless of the chosen material, there are many benefits to having seamless gutters over traditional gutters.
The first benefit is no seams means no leaks. Because water is directed away from the house, there is much less moisture around the foundation and basement areas, meaning less water damage.
Another benefit is the durability of seamless gutters. The design withstands expansion, contraction, freezing, heavy rains, and strong winds.
Regular gutters can look old and tacked-on as an afterthought, sticking out at the corners of the home. Seamless gutters are created on-site with a special gutter machine mounted on a utility vehicle to ensure a proper snug fit around your home.
If you love customization, seamless gutters have many options. You even have 12 to 24 colors to choose from, so there are plenty of styling options.
One thing to remember is that powder-coated gutters can be painted, so you can customize those, too. Quality gutters such as this only add to the curb appeal of your home.
Sectional and Other Types of DIY Gutters
Another common type of gutter is known as DIY gutters or sectional gutters. They are installed in pieces and have many seams; most of them protrude from homes and aren’t as durable as seamless gutters.
Unfortunately, with gutters, the more seams you have, the greater likelihood of a leak occurring. When water spills over or leaks from the gutter, it can wet the siding on your home. This can cause peeling paint, rotting wood, and mold growth on the siding.
The water spilling off onto delicate plants can damage them or rot the roots of flowers and shrubs. Seamless gutters provide a safe route to direct water around your important garden pieces rather than on to them.
Sectional gutters routinely need to be replaced because they are commonly made from less durable materials. Seamless gutters provide more winter protection from ice dams forming. Ice dams occur in cold climates paired with insufficient insulation and venting of the attic space.
The heat from inside the home melts snow on the roof, causing it to run down towards the gutters. It then freezes in the crevices of the rooftop and atop the winter blockage in the gutters. Water is then unable to drain and can cause damage to the roof deck or cause leaks within the home.
Many companies make it seem cheaper to install sectional gutters, but the cost is nearly the same for any gutter type. When you add extra supplies, caulking, and other tools needed for sectional gutter installation, the expenses become comparable.
How Much Do Seamless Gutters Cost
The cost of seamless gutters, even gutters in general, can vary quite widely. For a more comprehensive look at the way seamless gutters are commonly priced, continue reading.
Seamless gutters will cost between $3 and $25 per foot, reliant on the choice of material and cost of professionals in the area.
Vinyl and aluminum seamless gutters cost between $3 and $9 per foot, but copper and steel range from $8 to $25 per foot. The national average is $1,053 for a full installation based on the square footage of the average American household.
Aluminum is the most popular choice due to its low price, durability, and ability to bend. These gutters are expected to last twenty years and are prevalent in cold climates. Seamless aluminum gutters average at $1,340 for a 200-foot project.
Seamless copper gutters are the most expensive option, reserved for stone or other costly houses. They are used in locations with unpredictable or harsh weather since they don’t rust and can withstand the conditions. These gutters cost about $3,000 for 200 feet.
One thing to remember about copper is that it needs to be polished, so upkeep is also necessary.
Vinyl seamless gutters are another option or alternative to seamless aluminum gutters. Vinyl gutters are less popular because they are not as durable and come prefabricated. For a 200-foot installation, it would cost approximately $1,140.
Finally, seamless steel gutters are the least popular option. Steel is only available through specific contractors and manufacturers, so it is hard to come by. They are very durable and resistant to rust. The total installation cost is an average of almost $1,500.
One last tip is to ensure there is a warranty included in the price. A good warranty on new gutters would be a minimum one-year warranty on the labor and installation and a 20-year or lifetime warranty on the materials.
By adding the warranty, you ensure your home stays dry and has excellent curb appeal for years to come.
How Are Seamless Gutters Installed
Seamless gutter installation is different than sectional gutter installation. Seamless gutters are made on-site by rolling a large metal sheet through a seamless gutter machine. The installer is then able to install it on the designated side in one run.
By contrast, sectional gutters are more time consuming and challenging to install. They are usually made of vinyl or plastic, two materials that cannot roll as the seamless gutters can.
When installing this type of gutter, they must be joined with miters to properly form the gutter run. As each one is installed, it must be sealed before the next one is installed. The use of caulk or another sealing agent will sufficiently bond the sections together.
Because there are so many differences between the two types of gutter, the best advice I can give you is to do your research to figure out which one is right for you. Ensure you thoroughly research companies to find the professional gutter company that best fits your seamless gutter systems needs.