Gutter Facts


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Gutter Facts

Today's Gutter

Today, gutters are manufactured in hundreds of shapes and sizes. And yes, there are industry standards for gutter lengths, widths, gauge and number of downspouts per square foot of drainage. These industry standards can be found in a publication called the Architectural Manual, published by the SMACNA ( Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors National Association. ) In the manual, eleven lip beads are illustrated as being available on each of the twelve most common rectangular gutter styles ( which are themselves available in widths from 3 to 8 inches and in different materials such as aluminum and galvanized steel ). This allows for thousands of variations of the rectangular gutter alone.


Ever hear people in the gutter industry refer to gutters as 'K-style' or 'ogee' and wondered what that meant ? Well, ogee is simply a term that refers to any  architectural design that incoporates a double curve with the shape of an elongated 'S', viewed from the side, 'ogee' gutters have an elongated 'S' incorporated into the front face design, K-style gutters are simply ogee gutters. In the U.S., the most common gutters are five-inch or six-inch ( measured front to back at the widest point ) K-style gutters. Over the past twenty years, galvanized steel has been replaced by coated aluminum and ten foot pieces with welded or soldered seams has given way to seamless gutters manufactured right on the site.  


Here we have the side view of a five-inch K-style gutter. This is the most common residential application. 

The seamless gutter machine, with this machinery it is possible to run gutter length's in excess of 100 feet. This machinery is portable and is operated at the site. 

Drainage specifications

A gutter should have 1 square inch of opening for every 100 square feet of roof ( 10'x10' ). This means that one standard 2x3 downspout opening ( standard residential ) will handle up to 600 square feet of roof. 

One 3x4 downpout opening ( standard commercial ) will handle up to 1200 square feet of roof. These are important considerations when detetmining how many downsouts are needed and whether a residential or commercial  gutter system should be installed.