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What is the purpose of a building’s gutters? To serve as a channel for keeping water off of roofs and directing it away from your foundation. In order for a house to be complete, it must have a durable gutter system that functions properly. The same goes for commercial roofs, which utilize a different-styled gutter to redirect rainwater.


Materials for Gutters

The materials of gutters used depends on the kind of roof they’re installed on. Both commercial and residential roofs rely on different kinds of gutters, provided below:  

  • Galvanized Steel: with a lifespan of 20 years, galvanized steel is a popular gutter style for commercial buildings due to its low cost, high strength and life expectancy.
  • Aluminum: As a popular choice for both residential and commercial gutters, aluminum offers lightweight durability, ability to hold more water, and seamless gutter options.
  • Copper: The most expensive material for gutters is copper, which is more often used on residential homes than commercial buildings. Because of their high cost, copper material is rarely used for commercial buildings, but tend to offer a more polished appearance for residential homeowners who are pursuing better curb appeal.
  • Zinc: Another expensive gutter material is zinc, which offers a lifespan of 50 years, high durability benefits, and a resistance to corrosion, weathering, and warping. Zinc gutters are normally a better option for residential homes than commercial and can cost from $10–22 per linear foot.
  • Vinyl: An inexpensive and lightweight gutter material is vinyl, which also offers easy installation benefits. The downside to using vinyl is their lack of longevity, due to the fact they’re made from PVC plastic and will wear out considerably sooner that other gutter materials.


Gutter Styles

Another difference between commercial and residential gutters is the kind of gutter styles used. Popular styles include: box gutters, K-styled gutters, and U-shaped gutters. Because the shape allows for much more water volume during transport, box gutters are frequently used on commercial roofs. Box gutters also offer additional protection for larger buildings that have more water run-off.

K-style gutters are another popular choice for commercial roofs, because of their aesthetic appeal and good use for commercial applications. For residential roofs, U-shaped gutters and K styles are very popular. U-shaped (or “half-round”) gutters are especially popular for older, historic homes, and provide an aesthetically-pleasing appeal for homeowners. The counter to U-shaped gutters is a K-style gutter, which can have a capacity of twice as large than U-shaped gutters.    

Installation Procedures

The next biggest differentiating factor between commercial and residential gutters involves the laws governing installation. Depending on where you live, there may be strict laws that govern how you install your gutters. This is why it’s vital to work with a city manager to get approval for the kind of gutters you want to install on your commercial building or residential home.

To learn more about gutters, visit our post Understanding Your Gutters.    

Contact ERD

At Exterior Remodel & Design, Inc., we offer an experienced team of roofing professionals with knowledge on how to correctly and efficiently install your building’s gutter system. Contact us by your preferred method below to schedule an appointment with us!