What is the Best Type of Gutter System?

Learn more about what gutter system is best for your home.

Published April 1, 2022

If you’re a homeowner, then you most likely already know that your gutter system is an important exterior feature that collects water when it rains and diverts it away from your home. When functioning properly, not only do gutters help ensure your property doesn’t turn into a muddy mess, but they also help protect your home from water damage, and more.

Therefore, if you’re looking to replace the gutters on your current home, you may be wondering, “what is the best type of gutter system?”. Keep reading below for an in-depth guide on how you can determine what the best gutter system is for your home.

What is the best type of gutter system?

Something you may not realize is there is more than one type of gutter system available for your home. Therefore, before you determine what the best one is for your home, let’s go over the different styles so you can get a better idea about which one suits your needs.

1. Open Faced Gutters 

A popular gutter system often installed on older homes, these types of gutters have an open top and one-piece design that allows water to collect uninterrupted. However, because they are open faced, they can also collect fallen leaves, twigs, pine needles, and other forms of debris which can end up clogging your gutter system over time.

As a result, you might put your home at risk of water damage if the water doesn’t drain properly through its downspouts. Therefore, unlike some other types of gutter systems, it is recommended that you clean out your open faced gutters at least twice a year to help ensure clogging doesn’t occur. Additionally, these types of gutters do not prevent pulling, thus there is the potential for them to become detached from your home, which can also cause damage.

2. Gutter Covers & Hoods

Another type of gutter system available on the market for homeowners to purchase are open faced gutters with covers and hood attachments that lay on top of the gutter opening and only allow water to flow through small holes along the system. Typically, these gutters are constructed in two pieces before they are attached under the shingles of your roof. As a result of this, you do run the risk of your gutters pulling and detaching from your home.

In addition, unlike some other gutter systems that are seamless, these may be constructed in smaller pieces that require you to connect them using hardware and sealant. While this may not see like an issue, it may cause sagging and leaks to occur during heavy rainfall. These gutter systems are also often not customizable to your home, and you may still need to clean them every once in a while. However, because the covers and hoods hang over the open gutter system, it is unlikely that fallen debris will not collect and clog them. 

3. Gutter Screens & Mesh Toppers

Similar to gutter covers and hoods, you can also purchase gutter screens or mesh toppers to install on top of your open-faced gutter system. This type of system is relatively less expensive than other solutions. However, they can be difficult to install.

Furthermore, while these systems are effective in preventing fallen leaves from clogging your gutter system, it will not prevent smaller pieces of debris and pine needles from collecting. Therefore, you may still need to maintain your gutters throughout the year to prevent clogging and water damage. Additionally, as screens are attached on top of your open faced gutters to create a two-piece system, you do run the risk of having them detach should there ever be high winds. Moreover, while these gutter guards fit on seamless systems, you are unable to customize them to your home.

4. Brush Gutter Guards

Moreover, brush gutter guards are constructed from stiff bristles that fit into your open faced gutter system, This feature is designed to keep debris out of the bottom section of gutters, while allowing the water to drain underneath. However, even though brush gutter extensions are easy to install, smaller pieces of debris can still collect in the bottom of your system and cause clogging. In addition, you may also still have to physically remove fallen leaves and other debris from the top of your gutters to help ensure they function properly throughout the year.

Further, as gutter brushes are a secondary feature, you still run the risk of having your gutters pull away from your home which can cause more damage.

5. Foam Gutter Guards

Furthermore, with open faced gutters you can also install a foam topping. These foam toppings are similar to brush gutters as they sit on top of your gutter system to prevent fallen leaves and large pieces of debris from clogging at the bottom of your gutters, while allowing water to seep through and drain. However, you may still need to remove the fallen leaves and debris from the foam topper throughout the year which can be more upkeep for you. In addition, these often do not prevent smaller pieces of debris from falling through and collecting at the bottom until a clog occurs.

6. LeafGuard® Gutters

Another type of gutter system available on the market is LeafGuard®. Unlike some other types of gutter systems on the market, LeafGuard® is manufactured from a patented one-piece design. This innovative design helps prevent fallen debris from entering into your gutter system, which safeguards your gutters from becoming clogged. This means that you can help protect your home from water damage without having to maintain them throughout the year. 

Furthermore, LeafGuard® utilizes a liquid adhesion process that causes rain to adhere and glide on the top section of the gutter system before it is seamlessly dragged into the gutter channel underneath. This ultimately helps prevent excess water from dripping over the edges and cause damage to your home. Moreover, LeafGuard® gutters are constructed from a seamless, heavy-duty aluminum that will maintain its shape during severe weather conditions and is also fully customizable to your home.

LeafGuard® gutter systems also feature a durable paint that will not peel, rot, crack, or rust so you can maintain the appearance of your curbside appeal. And, if you didn’t think it could get much better than this, you’ll be happy to know that LeafGuard® gutters also prevent pulling and detachment away from your home and helps prevent water related damage including:

  • Insect and pest infestation
  • Damage to your roof and driveway
  • An unstable home foundation
  • The growth of mold and mildew
  • Erosion of your landscaping
  • Basement flooding
  • Staining on the side of your home
  • Rotting of your home

How Much Does a New Gutter System Cost?

When it comes to home improvement projects, we understand that homeowners will likely want to get the best deal possible. This is why we have put together a list of what factors will determine the cost of your overall gutter installation, as well as what you can expect to pay, should you decide to install gutter guards instead or replace your system altogether.

The cost of new gutters will depend on:

  • How much material you will need, which is directly related to the size of your home.
  • The type of material you choose for your gutters –copper, steel, and zinc are the most expensive materials, while vinyl is the least expensive. Furthermore, aluminum gutters are in the middle in terms of price range.
  • Another factor that will determine the price of your new gutter system is whether you decide to hire a professional company or install your new system yourself. Just keep in mind that doing this project yourself may end up costing you more if you make any mistakes.

How Much Do Gutter Guards Cost?

The cost for gutter guards

On the other hand, if you would rather install gutter guards onto your current gutter system, the price of these additions again will depend on the material that you choose, and how much material you need to complete the project.

When comparing the price of adding gutter guards onto your current system with the price of a new system entirely, it may be best to look at whether it makes more sense to replace your system, depending on what your budget is for this type of project. 

How to Tell if Your Gutter System Needs Replacing

Due to the location of your gutter system on the exterior of your home, unlike other home appliances that you may see more often, it may be more difficult for you to diagnose a problem before it becomes more serious. What is helpful to know is that different types of gutter systems are generally built to last anywhere from 10 – 20 years.

Nonetheless, they can still become subject to damage throughout the years which may require you to replace them sooner. Therefore, take a look at some of the signs listed below that can help you determine whether your gutter system needs to be replaced, so you can handle your renovation sooner rather than later.

  • You notice that there are excess amounts of water spilling or dripping over the edge of your gutter system. This may be an indication that your gutters are clogged somewhere along the track with fallen leaves, branches, twigs, and other debris that may have fallen in during a storm.
  • You may notice that there is staining on the sides of your home from water spilling over the sides of your gutters, built-up rust, or the growth of mold and mildew.
  • There are sections throughout your gutter system that have begun to sag downward and bend because there is an increase in the weight of the water that is being held. This again may indicate that your gutters are clogged and unable to properly drain water away from your home properly through the downspouts.
  • You may notice that there are signs of water damage on the inside of your home such as peeling paint, the growth of mold, soggy ceilings, water stains on the walls, and flooding in your basement.
  • There is cracking and holes along sections of your gutter system. As a result, this can cause rainwater to drip through when it is raining, which may ultimately disrupt your drainage system.
  • You notice that your gutters have become detached from your home in specific areas. This may then cause damage to your home’s siding and paint job.
  • You notice that sealant along your non-seamless gutter system that connects each piece together has become unglued in certain areas. This will ultimately allow water to drip through when it rains. And as a result, there will be less water draining through the downspouts and away from your home.

Final Thoughts on What is the Best Type of Gutter System

As you can see, installing a new gutter system isn’t as easy as it can appear to be. Therefore, to choose the best type of gutter system for your home, it is best to weigh the pros and cons of each, along with your budget, to decide which is best for you and your current situation. Nonetheless, if you are ready to install new gutters onto your home, Local Home Pro and their trusted professional contractors are ready to help you with your renovation project. Book your free consultation today!

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