The Best Gutters for Heavy Rain

red roof with aluminum gutter

Gutters aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution for handling rain. While some look great and fit your budget, they may not be the best gutters for heavy rain. 

But which ones are? In general, you’re going to want gutters that are wider, deeper and more durable so they can handle the volume and weight of heavy water flow. Let’s take a closer look, though.

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Choose the Right Material

If you live in a rainy region, choosing a durable gutter material is necessary to handle excess water. Here are the most durable gutter materials. 

  • Aluminum 
  • Stainless steel 
  • Copper 
  • Zinc 

Aluminum 

seamless white aluminum gutters
Photo Credit: Stilfehler / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Aluminum is the most popular gutter material. It lasts over 25 years and although it’s lightweight, it can handle all sorts of storms. Aluminum gutters also come in many colors, so you can find one that complements the color of your home and roof. They cost between $5 and $16 per linear foot. 

Pros

  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Many color options
  • Uncomplicated DIY installation 
  • Rust-resistant
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Can bend or dent

Stainless Steel 

stainless steel gutter on a roof
Photo Credit: sutichak / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Stainless steel gutters are pricey but can easily last over 50 years. They don’t bend like aluminum and can handle heavy rain without issues. Stainless steel gutters are heavy, so professional installation is recommended. These gutters cost between $15 and $30 per linear foot. 

Pros 

  • Long-lasting
  • Rust-resistant 
  • Not prone to bends or dents
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to install 

Copper 

A gutter made of copper sheet installed on roof
Photo Credit: K_Thalhofer / Canva Pro / License

Copper is the most durable material for rain gutters. Copper gutters handle heavy wind and rain exceptionally well. They won’t bend or rust and can easily last over 100 years. Copper gutters also look great and give your home a classic, rustic touch. This style costs between $20 and $40 per linear foot, making it the most expensive gutter material

Pros

  • Durable
  • Long-lasting
  • Rust-resistant
  • Attractive appearance
  • Not prone to bends or dents
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Difficult to install

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Zinc 

Zinc gutter on a roof
Photo Credit: Ratchat / Canva Pro / License

Zinc gutters are durable and don’t rust or bend. They look attractive, especially as they get older. Zinc gutters are heavy and require professional installation. They cost between $19 and $31 per linear foot. 

Pros 

  • Durable 
  • Long-lasting
  • Rust-proof
  • Low maintenance
  • Not prone to bends or dents

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to install

Different Gutter Styles

There are four different styles of gutters.

  • K-style gutters
  • Half-round gutters
  • Box-style gutters
  • Fascia gutters

K-Style Gutters

A piece of K-Style gutter
Photo Credit: Stilfehler / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

K-style gutters are the best option for areas that get heavy rainfall. They look good and can hold more water than half-round and custom-built fascia gutters. The sides of these gutters resemble the letter ‘K,’ thus the reason for their name. 

Half-Round Gutters

A white plastic half round gutter
Photo Credit: Lex20 / Canva Pro / License

Half-round gutters can give your home a classic appearance, but they aren’t as deep as K-style gutters and hold significantly less water. We don’t recommend these gutters for rainy regions as they can’t handle excess water flow. Half-round gutters are, however, easier to clean. 

Box-Style Gutters

aluminum gutter box on a roof
Photo Credit: JFsPic / Canva Pro / License

Box-style gutters hold the most water. They start at 7 inches wide and are commonly used in apartments and industrial buildings. If the size of your roof is over 8,000 adjusted square feet (more on this later), box-style gutters can be a good fit but are very difficult to install. 

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Fascia Gutters

drip edge on edge of a house
Photo Credit: sommersby / Canva Pro / License

Fascia gutters are custom-built for your home and look great. They hold slightly less water than K-style gutters but cost twice as much. We don’t recommend custom-built fascia gutters for a rainy region. 

Size Matters

Your gutters should be of the right size for proper drainage. Undersized gutters overflow, causing water damage to your home’s foundation, siding, and attic. Oversized gutters are unsightly and collect a lot of debris. 

Most homeowners opt for 5- or 6-inch gutters. However, 6-inch gutters are best for rainy regions as they hold more water. 

Here’s how to find out the gutter size you need.  

  • Calculate the roof area of your home. 
  • Find out the roof pitch factor. To do so, you should know the pitch of your roof, which refers to how many inches your roof rises for every 12 inches. 
  • Find the maximum rain your region receives from National Weather Service
  • Calculate the adjusted square footage by multiplying the roof area, pitch factor, and maximum rainfall intensity. 

Best Gutters for Your Roof Size

If your roof area is up to 8,000 adjusted square feet, go for 6-inch K-style gutters

If it’s over 8,000 adjusted square feet (very rare, unless you live in a mansion), choose 7-inch box-style gutters

If you want to know more about choosing the right gutter size, take a look at our detailed guide

The Importance of Downspouts

water coming out of a downspout
Photo Credit: ziggy1 / Canva Pro / License

Gutters are just the beginning of your drainage system. Downspouts flush the water from your gutters to the ground. If a downspout is clogged, damaged or is undersized for the job, water is going to overflow the gutters, no matter how large they are.

The first thing to know is that you need the proper number of downspouts. The rule of thumb is that you should have a downspout for every 30 feet of gutters for proper water drainage. They are usually attached to the corners of your home. 

Downspouts come in various materials, such as aluminum, stainless steel, copper, and zinc. Choose a material that matches your gutters for a uniform appearance. 

The size of downspouts is also crucial for water to flow freely. We recommend installing a 4×5-inch rectangular downspout for 6-inch K-style gutters as they can handle water runoff better than 2×3-inch and 3×4-inch rectangular spouts.  

Round downspouts work best with half-round gutters. If you like their appearance and want to use them with 6-inch K-style gutters, choose 6-inch diameter spouts. 

If you have 7-inch box-style gutters, we recommend adding an extra downspout for every 30 feet of gutter for better water drainage. As for the size, go with a 4×5-inch rectangular downspout.

FAQs

What’s the best gutter material?

If you’re looking for an affordable yet durable material, go with aluminum. If you have the budget, we recommend you consider copper gutters as it’s the most durable among all gutter materials. 

What’s the best gutter style? 

K-style gutters are the most effective in heavy rain as they hold more water than half-round and custom-built fascia gutters. If your roof is over 8,000 adjusted square feet, choose box-style gutters. 

Are gutter guards necessary?

Here are the benefits of installing gutter guards. 

• Reduce debris buildup
• Prevent pest infestation
• Prevent mildew formation
• Prevent premature corrosion
• Prevent gutter freezing and ice dam formation
• Increase gutter lifespan 

There are many types of gutter guards, but not all are created equal. We recommend micro-mesh gutter guards as they block debris of almost all sizes while letting water flow into the gutters.

The Final Word

Gutters are your home’s primary defense against water damage, and you should choose the right gutter type to ensure they do their job effectively. We recommend you choose 6-inch K-style copper gutters for rainy regions. If your home is smaller, consider 5-inch gutters.

If you need help choosing the right gutter system for your home or with gutter installation, call MyGutterGnome gutter pros.

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Abdul Wadood

Abdul Wadood understands that gutters aren't something to be compromised with. He informs homeowners about the importance of installing a gutter system and helps them maintain it in good shape. When free, you can find him exploring the world.