How To

Gutter Guide | How-to Select the Perfect Rain Drainage System

We have all heard the saying, “April showers bring May flowers”, but heavy rainfall may also bring roof and fascia damage, cracked foundations, or even a mosquito infestation if a homeowner’s gutters are in need of maintenance.

Signs Gutter Needs Replacing:

·    Severe Wear

·    Cracks, Holes, or Leaks

·    Sagging or Pulling Away from Home

·    Missing, Loose, or Bent Fasteners

·    Water Damage to Post, Fascia, Board, Decking, and/or Rafters



·    Aluminum: Lightweight, resistant to corrosion, available in a wide range of colors, and a less expensive option.

·    Galvanized Steel: Coated with a layer of zinc. Strong but may be prone to rusting.

·    Steel: Available with coats of aluminum or zinc coating which tends to prevent rusting.

·    Zinc: Strong, durable, and does not require painting or finishing.

·    Copper: Beautiful and upscale finish, but also a substantial increase of cost in comparison with other materials.

·    Vinyl: Inexpensive, wide range of color options, less durable than metal, and exposure to sunlight breaks down the material, requiring more frequent maintenance. Typically, requires the use of rubber seals to join sections which may become brittle and leak.




Accounts for nearly 80% of gutter profiles installed today, and its popularity can be attributed to its easy installation, durability, and resemblance to crown molding. Resembling the letter “K”, these gutters curve out on both the top and bottom rather than being perfectly round like more traditional gutters. K-style gutters are also known as “ogee gutters”, derived from the architectural term meaning double arch or curve, but ogee gutters more so resemble an S-shape profile. K-style gutters were designed to complement the exterior of more modern homes and were intended to resemble the crown molding that was common in these homes.

        K-Style Gutters Features:

·       Seamless finish, less prone to leaks

·       Able to hold more water

·       Stylish Appearance

·       Strong and durable, less likely to damage when impacted by force

·       Available in many materials and sizes

·       Flat back allows gutter hangers to be screwed directly into the fascia board



Unlike K-style gutters, Half-Round gutters are rounded like a pipe that has been cut lengthwise. They are available in a wide variety of colors and materials, and can be installed as seamless gutters or sections. (We’ll explain the different installation methods shortly.) Half-round gutters were widely used in Europe on historical homes, as well as older American homes, to better suit the styles and exteriors of less modern homes.

RapidMaterials offers a wide variety of half-round gutters, along with volume discounts automatically applied at checkout. Our copper gutter system features components manufactured in Germany, Italy and the US, all designed to create the perfect traditional European-style, copper half-round gutter system. Contact us to discuss your project requirements and let us quote you a complete package.

        Half-Round Gutters Features:

·       Smoother in shape, less prone to corrosion

·       Less maintenance, less clogging

·       More expensive than other styles

·       Heavier than K-Style gutters

·       Require specialty parts, threaded rods and hanger brackets



Seamless Gutters

Seamless gutters have no potential for leaks, or points of failure, because they are fabricated from a single coil of your chosen material. The equipment required to manufacture gutters of this type cost in excess of $20,000, so they’re not something a fan of DIY can attempt on their own.

        Seamless Gutters Features:

·       Seamless design, less likely to leak or fall apart

·       Simple to install

·       Similar in cost in comparison to high-quality sectional gutters

·       Increase overall value of home

·       Reduces the risk of rot, mold, and internal dampness on property

Sectional Gutters

Sectional gutters, as the name suggests, are pieced together in 10 to 20-foot sections with several seams. They have corner pieces, end caps, and drop outlets used to connect to downspouts. They are usually sold in pieces, which is why they are readily available on the market.

        Sectional Gutters Features:

·       Quick to install, only require snap-in-place connectors to join sections

·       Affordable

·       Increased likelihood to leak due to the many seams

·       High maintenance

·       DIY friendly (Shop Gutter Tools Here)


Modern rain gutters are designed to blend or complement both the architectural style and the color scheme of your home. The right gutter color can provide a finishing touch and add value to your property.

Brown Tones

Brown tones fit under roof overhangs and appear to be an extension of the roof, and are capable of closely matching trim around windows and doors. Brown and beige colors work well with traditional and rustic architecture as well as with contemporary homes. However, dark vinyl gutters tend to degrade from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Gray & Blue Tones

Traditional Cape Cod architecture is often light gray with black or slate colored roofs. Dark blue may complement a gray or dark blue home and roof.

Red & Green Tones

Red and green colored gutters are popular finishes to be paired with brick exteriors, and work well with red tile roofs found on southwest architecture popular in Texas. Metallic and Rustic copper also complements red-toned tile roofing on stucco, brick and stone exteriors.

White & Off-White

White gutters are the most common installed due to their versatility and durability. A white rain drainage system complements darker hued exteriors, or blend nicely with white fascia’s. Their ability to absorb ultraviolet rays from the sun makes them a more durable option, however it is prone staining and may require more frequent cleaning.

Rain Chains

Inspired by the age old Japanese tradition of “kusari doi”, rain chains add character and expression to homes and gardens. Rain chains are quite mesmerizing to watch as water gracefully cascades through the kinetic sculptures, and they are easy to install to any gutter system.

Selecting the perfect Rain Drainage System solely depends on finding the perfect balance between shape, materials, performance, maintenance, quality, and curb appeal; and that’s if you even need a system at all. Gutters are actually not necessary for every home, and some exceptions include homes with broad overhangs that cast runoff well away from the structure, and proper grading and drainage in place to carry rainwater away. In this case, we would advise to not throw any money down the drain and save it for another rainy day.

Here at RapidMaterials, understands there is much to consider when selecting new gutters, but we’re always here to help. Call (770) 405-1060 or e-mail with all questions, comments, and concerns.

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