gutter blog

5k and 6k Gutters: Which Size is Right for You?

K-style gutters are the most common style for homes in North America.  Their slick look complements modern architecture, and they catch significantly more water than the half-round style.  They typically come in two sizes: 5″ or 6″.  Both are fantastic gutters, and this article will help you find which size best suits your home.

5k Gutters

gutter blog5k gutters with 2″x3″ downspouts are the most common in North America.  They can handle a lot of rainwater and are the perfect style and size for most homes.  They’re lightweight and can be installed seamlessly.  Of the several different types of material they come in, aluminum is the most popular because of its mix of beauty and durability.

If you’re looking for new gutters, chances are 5k gutters are the right option for you.  Most homeowners do not need larger gutters than 5k with the standard 2″x3″ downspouts.  However, if you do need larger gutters, 6k is the way to go.

6k Gutters

gutter blog

6k gutters are similar to 5k in every way, with the main difference being size.  6k gutters are capable of collecting more water than 5k, and the standard 3″x4″ downspouts for 6k gutters drain faster than 2″x3″ downspouts.

If you have a larger or steeper roof than typical, or if you have a long valley system, 6k gutters may be the best option for you.

A larger roof collects more rainwater and funnels it into the gutters.  Steeper roofs also function as larger roofs because rainwater is frequently not vertical, as well as steeper roofs drain rainwater into gutters at a faster rate.  A long valley system, where larger portions of the roof drain into it or where multiple valleys drain into a single point, can signify your home is suited for 6k gutters.

Water pouring over the sides of the gutters during a very heavy rainstorm can be a sign that 6k gutters are best for your home.  This can also mean that more gutter cleaning is needed, and an added benefit is that 6k gutters are easier to clean.

Conclusion

5k and 6k gutters are both fantastic options for homes in North America. 5k is the right size for most homes, and 6k is the right size for some homes with larger roofs or longer drainage patterns.  Each size is beautiful and fits nicely with modern architecture.  Regardless of the type of gutters you choose, one thing is for certain: they put a gorgeous finishing touch on a new roof!

 

 

Looking for some beautiful gutters with your new roof?  Let us know and we can make it happen! CHASE CONSTRUCTION NORTH WEST, INC. is a leading contractor in the roofing industry of Western Washington, we’re GAF MASTER ELITE® contractors, and we have been installing fantastic roofs since 2002.  Give us a call at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate form!

Gutter Comparison Guide

Gutters Comparison Guide

When it comes time for new gutters, it can be difficult to know where to start.  Do you want the kind of gutters most of your neighbors have or ones unique for your home?  Do you want to install them yourself or leave that to the professionals?  How often do you want to clean them?  How long do you want them to last?

All of these questions and more can be important to answer.  Like our asphalt shingle comparison guide, we intend to help you answer the most important questions you have about gutters.

K-style vs. Half Round

There are mainly two different styles of gutters: K-style and Half Round.  K-style is most common on new homes and Half Round is most common on traditional homes.

Gutter Comparison Guide

K-style:

Pros:

  • They have high capacity relative to size
  • Easy install due to straight backside
  • Easier to construct seamlessly

Cons:

  • May drain less efficiently due to angles of sides and bottom
  • May be more prone to corrosion

When to get K-style gutters: You want well-functioning gutters for a reasonable price on a modern style home.

Half Round:

Pros:

  • They look great on some traditional homes
  • Have a wide variety of aesthetic options
  • Drain more efficiently due to curved walls
  • Go well with round downspouts, which drain well
  • Can come in multiple sizes
  • Less prone to corrosion

Cons:

  • They aren’t that deep and overflow easily
  • May need to be cleaned out more frequently
  • Require special tools and should be installed professionally
  • Are typically heavier and more expensive than K-style
  • Are harder to construct seamlessly than K-style
  • Larger sizes needed for equivalent performance of K-style

When to get half round gutters: You have a traditional home and want gutters that match the historical or unique look.

Gutter guards:

Pros:

  • They may reduce the number of times you need to clean your gutters.
  • Block larger objects from entering gutters

Cons:

  • They increase the costs of gutters
  • Can take some effort to find ones that fit well
  • May need to be removed for each cleaning
  • Do not block smaller objects from entering gutters
  • Can prevent water from entering gutter

When to get gutter guards: Your home gets a lot of larger debris that the guards can deflect, and you prefer less frequent maintenance.

Size:  5″ vs. 6″ (K-style)

5″ gutters are the most common size of gutter, usually on K-style.  While custom sizes do exist, like 7″ or 8″, they are rarely needed.  For Half Round gutters, bump the size up by at least one inch.  Their rounded profiles reduce their capacity per size.

Gutter Comparison Guide

 

5″ (K-style):

Pros:

  • Great for most homes
  • Cheap and lightweight
  • Easier install than 6″ gutters

Cons:

  • Can overflow in regions prone to storms
  • Harder to clean than 6″ gutters

When to get 5″ gutters:  Your roof is not very large or complex and you don’t experience heavy downpours from storms.  Most homes fall into this category, so if you’re unsure if you have any use for larger gutters, it probably means that you don’t.

6″ (K-style):

Pros:

  • Can handle up to 50% more water inflow than 5″ gutters
  • Great for large homes or industrial buildings.

Cons:

  • Fascia board must be mounted properly to handle the extra weight of 6″ gutters full of rainwater
  • More expensive than 5″

When to get 6″ gutters:  Your roof is steep enough, has large enough area per gutter entry point of rainwater, or you live in a stormy area with high downpour density.  The steeper the roof, the more quickly rainwater travels into the gutters.  The longer the travel of rainwater, the greater the volume of rainwater in the gutters.  Homes with a large enough increase may be better off with 6″ gutters instead of 5″.

If you think 5″ K-style gutters might not be large enough for you, then Half Round gutters almost certainly will be too small since their 6″ size holds less volume than 5″ K-style.

Downspouts: 2″x3″ vs. 3″x4″ (K-style)

Where gutters collect rainwater, downspouts drain it.  2″x3″ downspouts are most common and they match with 5″ gutters.  3″x4″ match with 6″ gutters, yet can be installed on 5″ gutters as well.

Gutter Comparison Guide

2″x3″ (K-style):

Pros:

  • Low cost
  • Easy install
  • Function well for most homes

Cons:

  • Can drain too slowly for heavy rain regions

When to get 2″x3″ downspouts: You have 5″ gutters and don’t have any of the previously mentioned issues associated with drainage trouble.  Most homes are in this category.

3″x4″ (K-style):

Pros:

  • Can solve many drainage problems when applied to 5″ K-style gutters.

Cons:

  • More expensive
  • Might not be installed properly on 5″ K-style gutters

When to get 3″x4″ downspouts: You have 6″ K-style gutters or drainage issues with 5″ K-style.  Many drainage problems can be solved just by increasing the downspout size (along with increasing the gutter outlet size).  Sometimes increasing the gutter size alone won’t improve drainage since outflow can only be as much as the downspout allows.

Seamless vs. Sectional

Gutters can be installed either piece-by-piece (sectional) or altogether as one piece along the gutter line (seamless).

Gutter Comparison Guide

Seamless:

Pros:

  • Less prone to leaks
  • Fewer points of failure
  • Less labor intensive install

Cons:

  • When damaged, the entire length of that gutter must be replaced
  • Not a do-it-yourself option

When to get seamless gutters: You want better-looking gutters that are robust against damage and leaks, and professionals are handling the installation.

Sectional:

Pros:

  • A do-it-yourself option
  • Easy to replace a damaged section

Cons:

  • Propensity to leak at seams
  • Has more points of failure

When to get sectional gutters:  You’re doing it yourself and are willing to replace portions yourself when they leak, bend, or dent.

Materials

Gutters can be made out of multiple different types of material.  Each type of material has a unique set of attributes that can make one type fit perfectly for one person yet not another.

Gutter Comparison Guide

Vinyl:

Pros:

  • Lightweight and have easy-to-install snapping mechanism
  • Cheapest
  • Don’t rust or rot
  • Come in many styles and sizes

Cons:

  • Become brittle in climates with extreme hots and colds
  • Can bend or collapse from heavy rainfall, snow, or wind
  • Sectional only and prone to leaks
  • Even though they are easy to install, they can also be easy to install improperly, resulting in unnecessary sagging or leaking
  • Shouldn’t place ladders against them
  • Short lifespan (about 20 years)

When to get vinyl gutters:  You live in a year-round mild climate, are on a tight budget, want to install them yourself, and are not too concerned about leaks or needing to replace them at some point down the road.

Aluminum:

Pros:

  • Sectional or seamless
  • Not too costly
  • Don’t rust or rot
  • Can be lightweight and easy to handle

Cons:

  • Thin and lightweight versions can bend or dent to falling objects or improperly placed ladders
  • Comparable lifespan to vinyl gutters, but can last longer with thicker versions

When to get aluminum gutters: When you want to go low cost without unnecessarily sacrificing quality.  5″ K-style aluminum gutters are popular and well-rounded.

Steel:

Pros:

  • Sectional or seamless
  • Some kinds never rust and can have a long lifespan

Cons:

  • Can be rust-prone if only galvanized
  • Reducing rust propensity with Galvalume increases cost
  • Eliminating rust propensity with stainless steel can get very costly

When to get steel gutters:  You want to go heavy and stainless and know of a good deal or you don’t mind spending a little more for gutters that are better than most.

Zinc:

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Rustproof
  • Have a neat finished look
  • Longer lasting than most (up to 50 years)

Cons:

  • Vulnerable to acidic conditions
  • Expensive
  • Should probably be installed professionally

When to get zinc gutters: You don’t want to do-it-yourself, are willing to pay for attractive gutters that last a long time, and there is no risk for them to come in contact with acidic conditions.

Copper:

Pros:

  • They don’t rust or peel
  • Can last longer than the Roman Empire (okay, not quite that long)
  • Sectional or seamless

Cons:

  • Color changes over time
  • Can cause stains
  • The most expensive gutter material

When to get copper gutters: You want to pay enough to never have to replace your gutters, and you are well informed of the unique issues involving copper (like how they change colors and can stain).

Conclusion

There is great variety when it comes to choosing gutters.  They range from cheap to expensive, rustproof to rust-prone, functional in storms to non-functional in storms, and many other factors.  This guide describes the main concerns of each so that you have all the information you need to select the gutters best for you.

Looking for new gutters with your new roof?  Just let us know and we can make it happen! CHASE CONSTRUCTION NORTH WEST, INC. is a leading contractor in the roofing industry of Western Washington, we’re GAF MASTER ELITE® contractors, and we have been installing fantastic roofs since 2002.  Give us a call at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate form!

Veterans Succeed with GAF

GAF’s Hire a Hero program is about more than training veterans to install roofs.  It’s about establishing lifelong relationships with veterans.

Even though the GAF roofing academy provides a solid base for veterans, the ingredients for success over their careers are not all learned at the academy.  Since graduates of the academy have personal relationships with GAF personnel, what that personnel can offer is often at the graduates’ disposal and can aid them throughout their careers.

At the graduation ceremony for the Class of 3-18, a Senior Territory Manager of GAF, Shawn Nolte, put this in clear terms when he discussed the future of the graduates careers.  He said, “If you’re not comfortable (on the job), especially if you don’t feel safe, give us a call and we’ll get you somewhere else.”

This is such a powerful tool the graduates have!  Safety on the roof is of the utmost importance, yet how many roofers who might feel like they don’t have as safe of an environment as they should know that they can just give one of the several GAF reps a call and get set up with a better contractor?  Guys like Nolte, Donovan Gladstone, Tom Stancik, Brian Jones, and ProTrain instructor Kenneth Garcy all know the ins and outs of the industry.  They have the right contacts and the drive to help veterans whenever they can. Like Nolte said, if one of their graduates gives one of them a call, the rep can get him set up with what he needs quickly and easily.

Chase Construction North West, Inc. is thrilled to be a part of this excellent program!  We have done our best from Day One to support GAF’s Hire a Hero program and we envision a great relationship for the future!

Need a new roof? Found a leak?  If you need repairs or a new roof, CHASE CONSTRUCTION NORTH WEST, INC. wants to help!   We’ve been a family owned business since 2002 and have been GAF MASTER ELITE® certified for 8 years and counting!  Give us a call at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate form!

Improving Your Roof with Attic Insulation

Ventilation is among the most important yet least addressed aspects of roofing systems today.  Proper ventilation is composed of many components, of which attic insulation is seldom addressed.  A poorly insulated attic can disrupt the ability for your roof to ventilate, resulting in damage of several types: mold, infestation, or corrosion.  Some homes can experience ice damming along the gutter lines or sagging of the roof deck.

Building codes for new homes are moving towards R-49 levels of insulation.  Most previously built homes have R-19 (the higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power).  New homes are getting appropriate levels of insulation, yet ones that have not been built under the new codes do not.

Working with Owens Corning, Chase Construction North West, Inc. offers a solution!  Owens Corning has developed a fantastic insulation product for new installation.  The ProCat Loosefill Insulation System is Greenguard Gold certified for air quality, is formaldahyde free, contains a minimum 73% recycled content, and loses virtually no R-value over time.  It doesn’t cause itching like other insulation can, and isn’t a food source for pests.  Perhaps best of all, it can reduce your energy bill!  A properly insulated attic minimizes heat loss and gain, potentially reducing energy costs by up to 20% and yielding a more consistent temperature room to room.

The two most common types of insulation are fiberglass and cellulose.  Owens Corning insulation is fiber glass, and it exceeds the quality of cellulose insulation over a range of issues.  Cellulose insulation is often touted as having higher R-value per inch.  This is not true given the density options of fiberglass products.  Fiberglass is made from sand and other inorganic materials, and is naturally noncombustible; whereas, cellulose insulation is made from newspaper and is naturally combustible.  To adjust for this, cellulose insulation is treated with fire-retardant chemicals, which can leach out and sometimes result in the insulation failing fire safety standards.  Properly treated cellulose insulation burns at 450 degrees fahrenheit, the surface temperature of a 75-watt light bulb.  Cellulose insulation settles about 20% over time (losing R-value), while fiberglass insulation settles less than 1% (maintaining R-value).

Knowing whether your attic has the right amount of insulation and finding contractors who can fix it can be difficult.  As roofing contractors, we have a unique ability to address this issue, because we can join the attic insulation installation to the re-roof installation on existing homes.  Since we’re already removing the old layer of roofing material, we can access the attic through the roof and install insulation without running the machine through the home.

If you’re looking for a new roof, there’s never a better time to fix any attic insulation issue.  Doing so helps extend the life of the roof by improving ventilation and potentially reducing energy costs!  CHASE CONSTRUCTION NORTH WEST, INC.  has been a family owned business since 2002!  Give us a call at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate form!