Are Commercial and Residential Gutters and Downspouts the Same?

Replacing your gutters and downspouts on your commercial building may seem like a low priority maintenance task, but it should be at the top of the list. Replacing commercial gutters and downspouts can help improve the look of your property, and make it look like your business means business.

An unsightly building that is in disrepair says a lot about you and the products that you offer. Appearances are everything when it comes to customers. In addition, some municipalities require that you keep your downspouts and gutters in good repair. If you are not familiar with the differences between commercial and residential gutters, here are a few things that you need to know.

Differences Between Commercial and Residential Gutters

One of the most basic differences between commercial and residential gutters is how buildings are legally classified. Commercial buildings often must follow a different set of building codes and laws than residential properties. These laws may affect the type and size of gutter that your commercial building needs to have. Rules may also exist as to where you can allow discharge to run off. Other than these differences, the materials and types of gutters available for commercial and residential buildings are alike for the most part.

Types of Gutters

Commercial gutters come in either 5 or 6 inch widths, depending on how much water you need to move. Typically, installers will advise 6 inch gutters because they can move more water and it is always best to have a little extra, rather than too little when it comes to capacity. The last thing you want your gutters flowing and causing property damage to your neighbor’s building.

Gutters come in two categories: box gutters or K-style gutters. Box gutters are also known as half-round gutters and have a U-shape. K-style gutters have a profile that resembles the letter K. They are usually chosen because of their aesthetic appearance, which can add a finished look to the building. A box gutter in the same width as a K-style gutter will hold more water. This can be important on larger buildings, but they can be more difficult to keep unclogged.

Gutter Guards and Materials

Gutter guards are recommended for commercial buildings because they cut down on maintenance. They prevent leaves and debris from clogging the gutters. This is especially important if you choose to install U-type gutters. They also help to draw more water into the gutter.

Gutters come in vinyl, aluminum, steel, zinc, and copper. Vinyl gutters are the least expensive and are easy to install. They will not rust, but they can become brittle in cold weather. Aluminum gutters are another popular choice because they will not rust, are lightweight, but are a lot more durable than vinyl ones. Stainless steel gutters will not rust, but they are relatively expensive, and they are heavy. Zinc gutters are a popular choice because they can last between 30 to 50 years. They are a little more expensive, but they will not rust. Copper gutters are expensive, do not rust, can last up to 100 years, and give the building a historic look as they age.

Choosing the right gutters and downspouts for your building is one of the most important things you can do both for aesthetics, and for property liability. If it is time to replace the gutters and downspouts on your commercial building, you need a company that is able to make certain that all codes and regular nations are adhered to. You also need an expert who can assess your needs and advise on the right type of gutter or downspout for your building.

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