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Seamless gutters innovated the gutter industry in the 1960s and remain a popular choice for homeowners today. Gutter companies construct this style of rain gutter from a single sheet of metal or vinyl. The seamless design allows the installer to fit the gutter onto the home as a single unit instead of as interconnected sections. Our guide will help you decide whether seamless gutters are a good investment for your home.
Traditional vs. Seamless Gutters
Traditional gutters, also known as sectional gutters, come in fixed-length sections and are available for DIY and professional installation. Conversely, seamless rain gutters are custom-formed and typically require professional installation. Below, we detail the other key differences between traditional and seamless gutter systems.
Traditional gutters are available from gutter contractors and large-brand hardware retailers, such as Lowes or The Home Depot. You or the installer must join each gutter section together during the installation process. Some traditional gutter designs snap together, while others require the use of a rivet gun or other hardware. You will also need tin snips on hand to cut gutter sections down to size as necessary.
Gutter installers construct seamless gutters on-site using a transportable form-rolling machine. These custom-formed gutters will span the length of each eave on your home in one piece; the installer will not have to connect separate sections. The only necessary connections will be to downspouts and corners where two lengths of gutter meet.
Seamless gutters are less prone to leaking. The lack of seams reduces potential points of failure compared to traditional gutters where sealants applied to seams deteriorate over time.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Seamless Gutters
Below, we’ve assessed the key benefits and drawbacks of seamless gutters compared to traditional gutter systems.
Reduce failure points that lead to leaks
Cost more than most traditional gutters
Are custom-fit to your home
Are not DIY-friendly
Can be molded into many gutter styles, including K-style and half-round
Are not available from every gutter installer
How to Pick the Right Gutters for Your Home
Keep the following considerations in mind when choosing a gutter system for your home.
Gutter Material and Cost
Both traditional and seamless gutters are available in different materials. Aluminum gutters are the most popular, but you can order steel or copper gutters from many suppliers for a steeper fee. Copper gutters are more attractive to some people and resist corrosion. Steel gutters also resist corrosion but are heavy and difficult to install. Vinyl gutters are cost-effective but the least durable. Seamless gutters cost regardless of the material.
Traditional gutter designs are available for both DIY and professional installation, depending on where you buy them. To install gutters yourself, you will need to be comfortable climbing a ladder and have basic knowledge of how to measure, cut, place, and fasten the gutter system.
Due to the customizable nature of seamless gutters and the need for a form-rolling machine, seamless gutter installation requires a professional service.
Design and Performance
Traditional gutters have joints where each length of the gutter connects. You must seal the seams with a waterproof exterior sealant to avoid water leaking onto your home’s fascia boards, soffits, siding, and foundation. These sealants can fail, so you will need to check the gutter’s performance regularly to ensure no leaks have developed.
Seamless gutters do not need sealant except at the corners of your home, so they tend to perform better over time. Regardless of which design you have, you will need to schedule gutter cleaning at least twice per year to avoid clogs and spillovers that can damage your home and landscaping.
Seamless gutters are less susceptible to leaks and are custom-fit to your home. We recommend seamless gutters if you are comfortable spending more money and taking a backseat as professional installers mount your gutter system. Traditional gutters are still a good option if you prefer DIY installation and don’t mind resealing seams as part of your routine gutter maintenance.
In addition to installing a high-quality gutter system, a gutter guard can help protect your home from water damage. Gutter guards reduce necessary cleaning, and some designs filter debris as small as shingle grit. We recommend LeafFilter for its strong, micro-mesh design that can block ultra-fine debris. This brand comes with a lifetime transferable warranty.
Seamless Gutters FAQ
Is there a way to install my own seamless gutters?
Seamless gutters typically require professional installation. However, you may be able to find a local contractor that will custom-form the gutters to your home and allow you to perform the gutter installation.
Why do seamless gutters have a higher price point than traditional gutters?
Seamless gutters cost more than traditional gutters because they are custom-fit to your home using a transportable form-rolling machine. They also typically require professional installation.
Can gutter companies manufacture seamless half-round gutters?
Many gutter companies can custom-form seamless gutters into various styles, including K-style and half-round gutters.
How We Chose the Top Gutter Guard Providers
We researched and analyzed dozens of gutter guards and gutter guard companies to create an in-depth review methodology. We formulated a rating system based on the factors homeowners find most important. We evaluated each provider’s gutter guard design and aesthetics, service offerings, customer service and communication, quote process, warranties, and financing options.
We created a separate rating system for DIY-installed gutter guards sold on retailer sites. We evaluated these guards based on their quality of materials, aesthetics, communication, warranty, customer reviews, and cost.
We evaluated each provider’s reputation using independent, third-party sites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Google My Business pages. For products, we analyzed the customer reviews on whichever online retailer primarily hosts the product.