We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Should I Consider When Getting Rain Gutters?

By O. Wallace
Updated Jan 26, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Good rain gutters are an integral part of a home's exterior. Old, damaged or defective rain gutters can cause a lot of damage. When a gutter clogs, the water is not diverted properly and overflows into either the house or foundation. This can cause wood rot, foundation problems and landscaping erosion. In addition to damage to your home, a rain gutter clogged with soggy leaves and debris is the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew, as well as mosquitoes and other pests.

When considering new rain gutters, a home owner must take several things into account: among them, price, aesthetics and how the rain gutter needs to perform depending on the area in which they live. Does the area have extreme temperatures, heavy snow and rain, or ice storms? Are there a lot of trees in the vicinity? All these questions need to be taken into consideration when deciding on what type of rain gutter system to install.

There are several different types of material used to make rain gutters. Vinyl, one of the most popular materials, has a lot of benefits. Vinyl gutters can be easily installed by the homeowner because they are simple to cut and configure. Because the color is actually part of the vinyl, these rain gutters maintain their color well. A vinyl gutter also maintains its flexibility, is dent resistant, and doesn't rust or corrode. The drawback to a vinyl gutter is that it is susceptible to brittleness with age and extreme cold. Vinyl is the most inexpensive choice in rain gutters -- the cost runs approximately US$3 to US$5 per linear foot installed.

Aluminum, another popular choice, is more prone to denting, but its color weathers well. It is very adaptable and most often used in seamless rain gutter systems. It is also an inexpensive option, running from about US$4 to US$8 per linear foot.

Less frequently used materials include galvanized and stainless steel, which typically run about US$20 per linear foot. Copper is also an attractive choice, but expensive at US$15 per linear foot. Copper also requires a more expert installer. Wood is another material used for rain guttering, most often in restoration projects.

The two main types of rain gutter systems are sectional and seamless. Sectional systems lend themselves more to do-it-yourself installations due to the high configurability of the parts. They are made up of either vinyl or aluminum sections that are fastened together.

A drawback of sectional rain gutters is that the joints are prone to developing leaks. Gutter add-ons, such as screens and filters, help these basic rain gutters stay clog free. A gutter topper is a covering which allows water to flow along a contoured "lip" which feeds into your rain gutter. This keeps debris and animals out of your rain gutter.

The second type of rain gutter system is the seamless rain gutter. This is a no-clog system which catches and routes water down and out while diverting leaves and debris to the ground. This type of rain gutter is quickly becoming a favorite choice due to its durability, seamless appearance and easy maintenance.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By Sporkasia — On Feb 28, 2014

I have restored several old houses and I like the look of the old wooden gutters. No, they are not as efficient as the newer house rain gutters constructed from more modern materials, but the wood looks appropriate on older structures.

By Animandel — On Feb 28, 2014

I love the seamless rain gutters. With our old rain gutters, which were not seamless, we had to climb on the roof several times a year and remove debris from them. Climbing onto the roof was enough of a challenge, but removing some the contents caught in those gutters was much worse, very messy.

With the seamless gutters, rain gutter cleaning is a thing of the past. Also, the seamless ones look better, for whatever that is worth.

By Drentel — On Feb 27, 2014

I have never purchased or installed rain gutters, but I have been considering buying them for my current house. I found this article very helpful in making a decision.

I want rain gutters of quality at a good price, and I want something I can install without too much difficulty. Based on these considerations and what I read in the article, I am going to go with the vinyl gutters. I think they are exactly what I need.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.