Seamless gutters, today’s most popular type of professionally installed gutter, are extruded from metal “coil” stock, using a special machine that’s brought to your home by a gutter fabricator. Gutters of nearly any length can be made by this machine.
As the name implies, seamless gutters do not have potentially leaky seams along their lengths, which is their biggest selling point. The extra-long troughs are mounted along the eaves and joined at corners—both inside and outside—using special connecting components and downspout outlets.
Seamless gutters are usually formed from aluminum that has a baked-on finish, but they may be made from copper or factory-painted steel. The material that is best for your home depends on your situation.
Pluses for aluminum gutters are that they’re relatively inexpensive and will never rust. Steel gutters are sturdier, but this isn’t necessarily an issue unless you live where high winds, trees, or other factors may cause wear and tear on them. Most homeowners opt for seamless aluminum.
According to one gutter installer in Fargo, North Dakota, “In this area, we’re probably 90 percent seamless gutters. I like aluminum because even though downspouts get plugged and you get water sitting in the gutter, you don’t have to worry about rust. Steel will rust out after a time.”
In addition, he says, “I’ve laid them side by side on the ground and dropped a screwdriver on them and the steel dents just as easily [as the aluminum]. Every once in a while, we use steel to match a color that only steel comes in. Steel is a little bit cheaper.”
Both aluminum and steel are made in a broad palette of colors.