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Seamless vs. Traditional Gutters: What’s the Difference?

July 9, 2020

It’s a no-brainer that the shifting clay soils of Dallas Fort-Worth’s Blackland Prairie require an effective gutter system to evacuate water away from your home to prevent erosion and stress on your foundation. And everyone knows that it’s equally important to keep gutters free of debris, such as leaves, pine needles, twigs, birds’ nests and toys, since clogged gutters lead to damaged landscaping, poor drainage, roof leaks and foundation issues. But what sort of gutter system is best for YOUR North Texas home – seamless or traditional?

Both types of gutter systems have their pros and cons, and different homes have different needs. Educate yourself to become your home’s gutter expert!

Traditional Gutters

Traditional gutters come in pre-cut sections that are easy to assemble and fit together like pieces of a puzzle. But with many sections come many joints that must be sealed or soldered to prevent leaks. Sectioned gutters are available in a variety of materials, including steel, copper, aluminum and vinyl.

Steel gutters are easily the heaviest and strongest traditional gutter material. They perform well in areas that experience extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rain or snow. However, they rust easily so their lack of durability over time and vulnerability to leaks must be factored in. Additionally, due to sheer weight, they are difficult to support and lift during installation.

Copper and aluminum gutters are also strong but are rust resistant. With regular maintenance, they can last for decades. Also, aluminum gutters come in myriads of colors, and can be painted to color match your home. They even come in a faux copper variety.

Compared to alternatives, vinyl gutters are rust resistant, lightweight, simple to install and much less expensive, but they lack durability and aesthetic appeal. Vinyl isn’t UV resistant and therefore becomes dry and brittle when exposed to the intense Texas heat. Heavy rains also cause vinyl to warp and lose functionality, causing them to sag and become unsightly. They are most suitable for moderate climates.

Regardless of material, all sectioned gutters are subject to more leaks than seamless gutters, because there are simply so many more seams to fail. Additionally, traditional gutters clog much more easily as debris gets caught in the seams. Finally, they lack the appeal of a seamless gutter system.

Seamless Gutter Systems

Seamless gutters are generally stronger than traditional gutters because they feature continuous runs with seams only on the corners and downspouts, thus eliminating the majority of failure points. They are ideal for use with systems that often become clogged and aren’t immediately cleaned, such as those with overhanging trees. They are constructed of the same materials as traditional gutter systems, but instead of coming in small sections, an extruding machine creates perfectly-sized custom runs for your home. Because special equipment is needed to create the gutter on-site, seamless gutters are unsuitable for the casual DIY homeowner.

Seamless gutters can be more expensive and challenging to install, but given less likelihood of leaks, they are much more durable, require less maintenance and add to the beauty of your home. Stainless and copper varieties can be cost prohibitive, while vinyl and galvanized steel lack the durability of aluminum seamless gutters. As a result, aluminum seamless gutters are by far the most common gutter choice in North Texas. And they come in a variety of colors and sheens, which can be color matched to your home, including the copper look-alike variety.

Which gutter system is right for your Texas home? The answer may not be immediately obvious. If your home sits beneath overhanging trees that drop their leaves, cones, needles or twigs in your gutters, the risk of damaging clogs or leaks can be exponentially destructive. Seamless gutters may be slightly more expensive to install than traditional gutters, but the money, energy spent unclogging and repairing them, and the headaches you will save over the years will more than cover the additional cost of seamless gutter installation. But if you want a cheaper option, those also exist.

Now that you’re the gutter expert, you may know exactly what type of gutter system you need. If you’d like to learn more about how Phillips does gutters, click here to visit our Gutters page. To get an estimate for a new gutter system in your home in Plano, Frisco, Allen or the surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth areas, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Phillips Home Improvements.