Most of us are familiar with the basics of residential gutters and how they work. But what about the gutter system for a community of townhouses, a large warehouse or a medium-sized business? Are gutters for these types of commercial and multi-family buildings different from ones used for residential applications? The short answer is “No.” Gutters for both residential and commercial buildings share many similarities, including functionality, the materials they are made of and the sizes of downpipes available.
Commercial Gutters – Function
Both commercial gutters and residential gutters perform the same function; they direct rainwater down from the roof and away from the building’s or home’s foundation. Gutters are typically manufactured in two sizes: five-inch or six-inch width. Since the six-inch gutter can handle more water than a five-inch width gutter system can, it is commonly used for commercial applications. The most common downpipe is the 2″ x 3″ aluminum downpipe; however, there is also 3″ x 4″ and their round counterparts. Round downpipes are available in a choice of diameter sizes. The wider the diameter, the more water they can handle; an important consideration for downspouts used on commercial buildings.
Commercial Gutters – Material
Aluminum and galvanized steel are often chosen as materials for commercial gutters because of their industrial, streamlined appearance. Aluminum is less expensive than steel, but can be just as durable. Seamless aluminum gutters are a popular choice for commercial buildings because they look good, are easy to maintain and are cost-effective. While more likely to be found on homes than on industrial structures, copper and vinyl gutters can also be used as gutter materials for commercial buildings.
Commercial Gutters – Profile
Gutter profile refers to the shape or style. Gutter profiles for residential dwellings include K-style, half-round and crown moulding gutters. Box-style gutters are the common choice for commercial buildings because a K-style gutter of a comparable width holds less water. Half-round commercial gutters and K-style commercial gutters are typically wider and made of thicker or higher gauge materials.