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What are the Different Types of Gutter Spouts?

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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 24 August 2016
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Gutter spouts, or downspouts, are the sections of roofing gutters designed to remove water from the top of a building and deposit it to the ground, a water containment device, or a drainage system. These systems are important for the longevity and safety of roofs and are extremely helpful in ensuring water damage is reduced on the ground level of the building as well. A complete gutter system has several components, including gutter hangers and spouts as well as the gutters themselves. The size and architectural style of the building will play a huge role in the type and size of the gutters chosen. Gutter spouts and other gutter components are available in a large variety of materials as well.

One thing almost every gutter system has in common is the sectional design of the complete system. The gutters are pieces of metal in half-round or square shapes designed to be hung from the side of a building where water easily can run from the roof. These pieces are attached with gutter hangers, often made of the same metal as the gutters, that are used to attach the gutter pieces to the fascia of the structure. Gutter spouts are enclosed gutter pieces that are connected to the primary gutter pieces and are installed to run vertically down the building. This component is in place to provide a place for water run off to go.

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The type of gutter system installed for any building will depend on the size and type of structure. Most homes can be sufficiently protected with 5-inch (about 12.7-cm) wide gutters complete with gutter spouts measuring 3 or 4 inches (about 7.62 or 10.16 cm) in diameter. Larger commercial buildings will need larger gutters and gutter spouts with measurements typically around 6 inches wide (about 15.24 cm) and 3 to 6 inches (about 7.62 to 15.24 cm) in diameter, respectively. Many experts in the field suggest the use of snow guards for areas that experience heavy snow falls, as this precaution helps to preserve the life of the gutters and provides greater protection to the structure.

Some common types of materials used for gutter systems include galvanized steel, copper, painted steel, and aluminum. Easy-to-install, snap-together gutter systems are also offered; these systems typically are made from vinyl and are a favorite choice for many people choosing to install the gutter system themselves. Regardless of the material used in construction, most gutter spouts and systems can be purchased with mesh guards and other accessories to keep debris out and make maintenance and repair simpler.

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