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Aluminum or vinyl gutters for Northeast?

Adding gutters for house that never had them in the Northeast. Cold, wet, snowy area. Lots of trees with leaves above the house. 1.5 story house (low gutters).

What is a better choice, aluminum or vinyl?

In either case, should I specify any particular features (thickness, size etc.)

Asked by Moya Mim
Posted Nov 1, 2012 7:45 AM ET

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4 Answers

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1.

Moya, have you considered a "ground gutter"? In your situation, conventional gutters are a maintenance headache, and depending on the pitch of your roof, sliding snow and ice dams can wreak havoc on gutters. Many people choose vinyl gutters as somewhat more forgiving to ice dams and sliding snow, but personally I prefer aluminum or other metals. You can specify different gauge metals, and different sizes. A 4" x 5" is usually enough but bigger is better. You can get classy looking half-round gutters but they don't handle heavy rain as well as "K" style or other, more rectilinear shapes. If you decide to go with aluminum, find a local seamless gutter contractor, and don't try to piece together parts from a big-box store.

Answered by michael maines
Posted Nov 1, 2012 8:02 AM ET

2.

Michael,

Thank you for the tip--I will look into ground gutters for one side of the house.

On the other side, the roof drips onto wood deck, where the pooling water is damaging both the deck and the siding. I can't think of a solution other than conventional gutters for that--can you?

Answered by Moya Mim
Posted Nov 1, 2012 8:57 AM ET

3.

Moya, we have occasionally used metal grating in place of decking, to allow the water to drain through. Check out this supplier: http://www.mcnichols.com/products/grating/bar/. And/or you could use a roof-mounted rain diverter. This is the best one I've seen, made locally here in Maine: http://v11raindiverter.com/.

Answered by michael maines
Posted Nov 1, 2012 10:05 AM ET

4.

Good advice, and I like roof diverters and make them on my siding brake. Pro installed aluminum gutters if gutters.

Answered by aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a
Posted Nov 1, 2012 8:23 PM ET

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