What Is Seamless Guttering?
What is seamless guttering?
To explain what seamless guttering is, we start with traditional, or standard sectional guttering. Sectional guttering is, as its name suggests, manufactured in sections. These sections of guttering are cut to fit the roof, and then installed by fitting the sections together, usually by welding, soldering, or joining mechanisms, depending on the material.
Seamless guttering by contrast is made bespoke – it consists of continuous pieces of guttering fit exactly to a property. Its only seams or joins are at corners, or where it meets the downspout.
Traditional or sectional gutter systems are easier to install, meaning a confident DIYer could successfully install them with the right tools and know-how. A seamless gutter system must be installed by trained gutter installers from a reputable guttering company. This obviously increases installation costs if you opt for a seamless guttering system over a sectional gutter system.
Sectional style gutters offer a wide variety of materials, which again allows for cost savings. Vinyl gutters are probably the cheapest type of gutter. They also have the advantage of being rust proof and not requiring painting. Vinyl guttering however, will eventually crack as it copes with different temperatures and weather conditions. You need to keep a close eye on it to spot cracks early, otherwise your house could suffer water damage.
Vinyl is a less popular choice for seamless guttering, although it can be used, and could reduce the costs of a seamless system.
Metals such as steel, aluminium and copper can be used for seamless guttering and sectional guttering. The most common metals used in seamless gutters are painted steel, aluminium, copper and zinc. Aluminium is a popular choice given that it is lightweight, durable and rust-resistant. Copper gutters also resist rust but will change colour to a blue/green patina over the years.
Steel needs to be painted to resist rust, but is a hard wearing and durable material. It tends to be heavier and so can be best suited to seamless guttering for commercial or large scale building projects.
Maintenance and replacement
As mentioned, all vinyl guttering, whether seamless guttering or traditional sectional guttering will eventually split and crack, so needs to be carefully maintained. It doesn’t need painting, but will need to be kept clean and free of debris to prevent blockages and growth of fungi, moss or other plant material.
The same is true of all guttering, but cleaning is especially important for sectional guttering. Even if well joined, the seams in the guttering provide points at which debris and dirt can more easily collect, leading to blockages, overflows and water damage, especially during extreme weather or heavy rains.
Seamless guttering must of course be kept clean but is less prone to these blockages given its only seams are at the corners of its guttering.