Gutter install companies have been touting the advantage of Seamless Gutters but what is the difference and is it any better then building your own gutters from readily available parts?
Installing gutters yourself can be one of the easiest jobs you will ever do or it can be a real pain in the neck but that really doesn’t matter when you are deciding between seamless gutters and hand built gutters.
A Seamless gutter is one that is built on site to exact measurement. If your home is 30 feet long then the gutter guy will pump out a single unit that is exactly that long from their gutter bender.
Gutter benders use a roll of aluminum and a form that molds the sheet roll into the profile of a gutter. Standard sizes are used because generic end caps and hangers must still be used to complete the process but the gutter will be one piece.
If you have ever tried installing gutters you know they are light but they are also hard to manage on your own.
If you are installing gutters on your own home without the use of a gutter bender then you will need to purchase 12 foot lengths of gutter and overlap and seam the gutter to get your full lengths.
The problem some people have is when an installer in the past used these shorter pieces of gutter and did not pop-rivet the seams and provide enough overlap to make the joint secure… then they would install the gutter without proper use of hangers and a heavy rain or ice dam would cause the gutter to bend at the joint.
This really should never happen if you use the right tools to attach the splice and then use a sealer to make it water tight.
Hangers should be installed on both sides of the joint to support it and reduce flexing.
So, which is better?
It is really difficult to say. If installed correctly both gutters will have about the same life. The one that will last longest is the one that is cared for and cleaned of debris most often reducing corrosion and clogs.
If you are having a system installed then a seamless gutter system should be used because the equipment to build the gutter on site is readily available and contractors that do the work professionally will use one rather then purchase pre-made gutter or try to haul it to the worksite.
If you are doing it yourself …. you will definitely save money on the cost of materials and you should end up with a great job that will last 10 to 20 years without problems.
Should you pay more for Seamless Gutters?
Well the fact is only contractors will have access to this tool so … you are going to pay more whether you like it or not… but if they were to give you a choice you should probably actually pay less for seamless gutters because it will eliminate a lot of labor by the contractor making sure the joint is done proper. It will also make their day a lot easier… They will never tell you that though.