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6-Inch or 5-Inch Seamless Gutters – Which Is Right for Your Home?

January 24, 2022

When building or renovating a house, every detail is important – but one detail that can be unfortunately overlooked is the matter of the gutters.  Gutters are often treated as a minor detail, even though they’re actually very important for protecting your home from the elements.  You need gutters that are clean and capable of dealing with any rain or snow on your roof, otherwise, you could get major damage from pooling water.  Leaky gutters could also cause water damage to the walls if enough water escapes.

How big do your gutters need to be to protect your house?  And what type of gutter is going to do the best job?  In this article, we wanted to look at this important topic.  If you’re doing work on a home, or if your current gutters aren’t doing the job, here’s what you need to know.

The Benefits of Seamless Gutters

In decades past, gutters were often made from prefabricated pieces of metal, typically steel or aluminum.  They were roughly cut to fit your home, and then either welded together or placed so that one segment of gutter slotted into the previous segment. Unfortunately, the seams in the gutters were a serious weak point.  The attachment points could come apart easily, and the whole system was prone to leaking.

Today, however, there’s a better option: seamless gutters.  Seamless gutters come in multiple sizes and are custom-made to exactly fit your home.  They have no weak points where they could easily break or allow leaks to happen.  Better yet, they also come in a wide variety of colors.

Seamless gutters cost a little bit more than traditional gutters, but they are well worth the investment.  They look nicer and they’ll do a much better job protecting your home from the weather.

6-Inch or 5-Inch Seamless Gutters?

The other major question is how large the gutters on your roof should be.  While gutters come in a wide variety of sizes, the most common sizes on residential roofs are either 6-inch or 5-inch seamless gutters.  Five inch gutters have typically been the most commonly used in the past, but as style of homes and rooflines have evolved there are several reasons that larger gutters are recommended.

In practical terms, the difference is simple: 6-inch gutters can handle more water flow than 5-inch seamless gutters.  Despite only involving a small increase in size, 6-inch gutters can handle almost 50% more water flow than 5-inch gutters.

So, what influences the optimal size of a roof’s gutters?

1 – Average Expected Rainfall

How much rain does your area typically get?  The more rain expected, the more likely you’d want larger gutters capable of handling all the water.  This is information you can get from the weather service, although any good roofing and gutter contractor will also be well aware of typical rain in the area.

2 – Your Roof’s Size

Calculating the square footage of a roof can actually be a bit complicated.  You need the total square footage of the roof itself, but you also have to include any other elements on the roof that might collect rain.  An accurate calculation has to take into account the roof’s entire topography to know how much water it is likely to get.

3 – Your Roof’s Pitch

The pitch of the roof – the angle of its slope – is another critical factor.  This determines how quickly rain will roll off of it, and into the gutters.  Steeper slopes will create faster-moving water and put more burden on the gutters.  

Plus, of course, if the roof has a large surface area and a steep pitch, that’s going to mean a lot of water pouring off in a significant storm.  This is the sort of situation where larger gutters will be a good idea.

4 – Downspout Size and Number

Finally, there’s the size of the downspouts to consider.  The larger downspouts have larger outlet holes which distribute the water out of the gutter more efficiently. The downspout outlet needs to be large enough to handle the amount of water being fed into them by the gutters.  If your downspouts are smaller, they have a smaller outlet hole, which can limit how quickly the downspouts are distributing the rain water from the gutter system. In addition to size, the number of downspouts can be less for the 6-inch gutter due to the gutter being able to carry the water further between downspouts, which can make a big difference when considering where you want to distribute the water along the exterior of your home.

Our Team at Aqua Werx Is Here

The best way to decide whether 6-inch or 5-inch seamless gutters are right for your home is to consult with an expert.  Aqua Werx has years of experience creating custom seamless gutters for homes across Waco and Central Texas, with plenty of great outcomes and satisfied customers in our portfolio.

If you’re concerned about protecting your roof and your home from the weather, contact us to talk about your new seamless gutters and get a FREE quote!

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