So you need new gutters, and you’re weighing your options. Have you considered seamless gutters? They’re more expensive than conventional gutters, but they’re low maintenance, they last longer and they’re more durable. In this article, we’ll explore seamless gutters — the pros and the cons.
In this article:
- Seamless Gutters vs. Conventional Gutters
- Pros of Seamless Gutters
- Cons of Seamless Gutters
- Gutter FAQs
Seamless Gutters vs. Conventional Gutters
Wondering what type of gutter to choose? There are a few key differences between seamless and conventional gutters.
Conventional gutters, also known as sectional gutters, are made in short, pre-cut sections that are assembled to form long gutters. They require joints that need to be sealed with roof and gutter sealant to prevent leaking or dripping.
Seamless gutters — or continuous gutters — are manufactured from one single piece of material. That means they haven’t been partitioned into sections, so there are no joints or seams.
Pros of Seamless Gutters
PRO: Unlike their sectional gutter counterparts, seamless gutter systems are nearly leak resistant. Because there are no joints or seams, there is no sealant, which typically only lasts five years. They’re also less prone to sagging. Seamless downspouts are fixed, too, which makes them less likely to clog. Meanwhile, standard gutters require more maintenance, specifically re-sealing, to prevent leakage, water damage and/or foundation damage.
PRO: Seamless gutters also have a considerably longer lifespan — 20 years, with little to no maintenance. Conventional gutters require resealing every one to five years.
PRO: Among the many advantages of seamless gutters: They look nice . Seamless gutters can up your curb appeal. There are no joints, so there’s a smooth, finished appearance that’s been customized for your home. Plus, they come in a variety of gutter materials and finishes including steel gutters, vinyl gutters and aluminum gutters.
PRO: They’re also super low maintenance, largely because — you guessed it — there are no joints or seams. That means they’re less likely to back up or clog, and there’s no real need for regular gutter cleaning. For extra protection against blockages, the pros recommend gutter guards, however, they aren’t necessary to keep your seamless gutters low maintenance.
Cons of Seamless Gutters
CON: The first con is likely the biggest: Seamless gutters are more expensive, at least up front. An aluminum seamless gutter, for example, may cost between $6 and $13 per foot. Conversely, a regular gutter will cost between $5 and $10 a foot. However, the experts advise you’ll probably spend less in the long run with a seamless gutter.
CON: They aren’t for the DIY homeowner, either. Seamless gutters must be professionally cut on site to fit perfectly on your home’s exterior. Seamless gutter installation itself must be done by the pros, too. This requires some equipment that homeowners just don’t have, whereas everything you need for traditional gutters can be found at a hardware store.
CON: Repairs can be pricey and tricky, too. If a heavy rain or hurricane takes down a piece of your seamless gutter, you have to replace the entire length of the gutter at once. Meanwhile, sections of standard gutters can be replaced fairly easily. So, especially when you live in a particularly storm-prone area, seamless gutter repair can get expensive.
Seamless Gutter FAQs
Do seamless gutters cost more?
Upfront, yes. Seamless gutters are specifically made and cut for your home, plus they require professional installation. However, experts advise that seamless gutters may save homeowners in the long run. They’re less maintenance and hardier.
How long will seamless gutters last?
About 20 years, even with little maintenance. Things like gutter guards can extend a seamless gutter’s life.
Need a pro?
You can’t DIY seamless gutters — you’ll need a professional. Check out our lineup of gutter experts for help.
Main Photo by Andy Dean Photography from Shutter Stock