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Water dripping out of a gutter spout

How much water can a 6 inch gutter handle?

It’s raining, it’s pouring, and oh no, it’s overflowing! This is something no homeowner ever wants to think about regarding their gutters. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in foundation damage occur every year in the United States due to improperly functioning gutter systems and parts of gutter systems. While this is not always a size issue, some of the problems that come with 5 inch gutter systems can be mitigated by upgrading to a larger system. It’s standard knowledge in the gutter industry that 6 inch gutters can handle up to 40% more water than their 5 inch counterparts, which is a significant difference and may save the day if your house has a particularly large roof surface and your climate is particularly rainy.

How much water can a 6 inch gutter handle

Thinking back to your high school geometry classes, you might remember the formula for the volume of a rectangular prism or half cylinder. These shapes roughly correspond to the shape of most modern gutter systems, especially the rectangular prism whose volume is represented by multiplying its length, width, and height. For example, a one-foot section of 5 inch gutters would be able to hold roughly 300 cubic inches of water at any given time, while the same length of 6 inch gutters would hold 432 cubic inches. This is roughly 1.4 times or 40% more than the volume of a 5 inch gutter system. This extra inch makes a huge difference if your 5 inch gutters are overflowing, so investing in a 6 inch gutter system may be necessary if your property experiences regularly overflowing gutters.

What is the rule of thumb for gutter size?

If your roof has over 1,400 square feet of surface area, you have a particularly steep roof pitch, or you live in a climate with large volumes of precipitation, you may need 6 inch gutters. While not all homes absolutely require 6 inch gutters, if you experience regular gutter overflow or issues related to the volumes of rainfall on your home, it is almost certain that you should invest in 6 inch gutters. Choosing the right gutter system can boost your home’s longevity by protecting the exterior, foundation, and interior walls. If you’re not sure what gutter size might be correct for you, contact your trusted gutter professional to understand the options specific to your home. The price difference between 5 inch and 6 inch gutters which runs about $0.50-1.20 more per foot is certainly worth it in terms of peace of mind by protecting your home from the elements.

How do you determine what size gutters you need?

6 inch gutters have many benefits beyond the obvious diversion of large volumes of water. Do 6 inch gutters look good on a house?  They absolutely do! 6 inch gutters are very popular in the modern housing market as they are used as a design element to highlight the exterior contours of homes. In the past, gutters were often made to blend in with the home, but utilizing their accenting powers can boost your home’s curb appeal. It’s a little-known fact that having 6 inch gutters can save you time, even though it’s indirect. 6 inch gutters are significantly less prone to clogging than five inch gutters as they have fewer tight spaces for debris to gather, ensuring your fall is filled with family time and fewer gutter cleaning dates.

6 inch gutters can handle a lot of water, so if your home’s 5 inch gutter system is struggling to keep up with the demands of your climate and roof conditions, it may be a good idea to invest in 6 inch gutters. While the initial cost of 6 inch gutters is a bit higher, the payoff can be substantial in terms of protecting your home from the elements. If you’re considering installing 6 inch gutters on your home or have questions about your gutter system, contact GutterPros for a consultation.