Exploring Seamless vs. Sectional Gutters
Gutter systems have jobs that are important but often overlooked. They protect the home from costly structural damage, which can be caused by water from snow or rain storms. When preparing for a gutter replacement project, it is critical that you choose the right type of gutters for your home. Installing the best gutters will prevent not only damage but also gutter repairs down the road. Beyond choosing the best gutter material and style, there are two types of gutters to choose from: sectional gutters vs. seamless gutters.
Although these two gutter types are designed to do the same thing, there are clear differences between seamless vs. sectional gutters to consider when deciding which option to use. On this page we will outline what to know about sectional vs. seamless gutters, and which option will be best for your installation project.
What are Sectional Gutters?
Sectional gutter systems are considered to be the “traditional” or “regular” type of gutters. They have been around since humans started building homes in ancient times. These gutters come in pre-fabricated pieces or “sections” that are generally 10 to 20 feet long. Sections are attached together manually with connectors or “joints,” end caps, and drop outlets connecting to downspouts.
Sectional gutters come in 10 to 20 feet sections that are attached manually with connecting joints
More affordable than seamless gutters
K-style and half-round styles
Prone to leaks and damage
Last less than 15 years
Advantages of Sectional Gutters
Sectional gutters are often chosen by homeowners because they are DIY-friendly. They can be cut to a customized size with a saw, and are linked together with connectors or “joints.” Sectional gutters also come in a variety of materials—such as aluminum, copper, and vinyl—and colors, which allows you to find an option that matches the aesthetic of your home.
These gutters are available in DIY kits that make them affordable and easy to install. They generally cost between $4 to $20 per linear foot, and come in both k-style and half round styles. Sectional gutters have a smooth surface that makes it easy for water to flow through them, so they are less prone to corrosion.
Disadvantages of Sectional Gutters
The major downside with sectional gutters is that they have seams that create many opportunities for water to flow through them. With more leaking opportunities comes greater likelihood of gutter damage, and a greater chance you will have to dish out money down the road on gutter repairs or replacements.
This is especially a risk if you live in an area that has heavy snow or rain. In these conditions, sectional gutters may not be able to withstand the weather, and can begin to sag, crack, or even fall under the pressure of water. As a result, in order to keep these gutters safe from storm damage, they require a great deal of maintenance.
These gutters typically last less than 10 to 15 years, and often require replacement when leaks occur.
What are Seamless Gutters?
Seamless gutters are also commonly referred to as “continuous gutters.” Instead of manually attaching the joints by hand, seamless gutters come in pre-cut sections that are designed to fit your home precisely. They have fewer joints than sectional gutters, which means they are less likely to leak and become damaged during a storm.
Seamless gutters must be professionally installed by a gutter contractor, which means they are more costly. However, they tend to last longer and be a better investment compared to DIY sectional gutters.
Advantages of Seamless Gutters
Because they contain less joints than sectional gutters, seamless gutters are less likely to leak rainwater during a storm. As a result, they will last longer and require fewer repairs or replacements. They can also help you protect your home from water damage and structural damage, which can save you thousands of dollars down the road.
Other issues you can prevent with seamless gutters are moisture leading to mold and mildew in your home, damage to your landscaping, and pest infestations in your gutters.
You will also enjoy the fact that seamless gutters require less cleaning and maintenance compared to sectional gutters. Plan to clean out your seamless gutters twice per year.
Disadvantages of Seamless Gutters
Seamless gutters must be installed by a professional. You cannot simply visit your local home improvement store and purchase seamless gutters. For this reason, they cost more to install compared to sectional gutters.
Costs for seamless gutters range from $6 to $30 per linear foot, depending on which material of gutters you choose. The most popular type of seamless gutters are aluminum, which are relatively low-cost.
Hiring a Gutter Professional
If you go with sectional gutters, most DIY-savvy homeowners will be able to handle this installation themselves. Before trying to tackle the job on your own, be sure you know the ins-and-outs of gutter installations, and always call a professional when in doubt. If you go with seamless gutters, you will have to hire a local professional to get the job done.
Modernize can connect you with local contractors in your area that specialize in gutter installations. Our pros can help you choose between seamless vs. sectional gutters and find the best option for your budget. Learn how to best hire a gutter professional, then tap into our network of local contractors to make the installation process easier.
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