If you have a commercial building, rain gutters are essential. Commercial buildings have very large roofs that take a huge amount of rainfall. Without a proper drainage system in place that can handle the rain from a rainstorm, severe flooding can happen. This would cause costly damage to the building and the area surrounding it.
There are also building codes that must be adhered to, and typically these building codes dictate that property owners include systems to deal with water runoff, so that they don’t cause harm to neighboring properties.
If your commercial property needs to have its gutters replaced—or if it simply doesn’t have gutters at all—you might be wondering what kind of gutter to choose. Let’s take a look at some of the gutter options available, so you can make the best choice.
The first thing to choose is what the gutters will be made of. Each material has its pros and cons.
Aluminum: Aluminum is rust-proof, although if it comes in direct contact with some other metals, it can corrode. It’s not as durable as some other materials, but with proper maintenance aluminum gutters can last up to thirty years. The durability factor can be problematic if something hits the gutters, however. This can dent the gutters and ruin their shape. Aluminum is inexpensive compared to other materials and, because it’s lightweight and the gutter joints don’t need soldering, it’s easier to install.
Bonderized Steel: This is a type of galvanized steel. It’s treated with a phosphate bath and a chromate dry. In the end, the process creates a flat grey surface that won’t corrode and is micro-porous, so it’s easy to paint.
Copper: Copper looks great and is highly durable. Gutters made with copper should last a very long time, often outliving their owners. They are one of the more expensive materials, however. They can also turn green over time, which not everyone finds desirable.
Once you know what the gutters will be made of, the next step is to choose a style. Keep in mind that a commercial building will typically take on much more water than a residential house, and therefore you’ll need a size and shape that can accommodate this.
K-style: Named this because they have a reinforced shape that sort of looks like the letter K, this style of gutter can hold a large volume of water. They almost have the look of crown molding.
Box Gutters: Box gutters are shaped like a box and can handle large amounts of water, though they may accumulate more debris than other styles because of their box shape. Gutters usually come in 5, 6, or 7-inch widths, and to choose which size is best, consider the size of the roof and the water volume that comes off it during a heavy rainstorm. Most commercial buildings will want the larger gutters. Stylistically, box gutters are usually a good match for a commercial property.
Half Rounds: These semi-circle-shaped gutters come in different sizes which is important because if you choose a size that is too small to handle the amount of water that comes off the roof, it will simply overflow.
Another important thing to consider is installation. Installing rain gutters can be dangerous, and they may not function properly if they’re not correctly installed. They may also not properly adhere to local building codes if they’re not put in correctly. Be sure to contact a professional contractor in your area to ensure the work is done right.
Also, check the warranty of your roof before doing any work to make sure the warranty policy is adhered to. Some roof warranties have restrictions regarding attaching things to the roof.
To summarize, a good gutter system should be installed correctly, adhere to building codes, function well, be able handle a large amount of water, and last a long time. A local professional in your area should be able to give you a quote for a gutter system based on the individual needs of your property.