If you’re planning on getting new gutters installed on your home any time soon, you may be wondering what size gutter will work best for your home – 5 inch vs 6 inch gutters?
Maybe you’re wondering why the size even matters, after all, just a 1 inch difference can seem rather trivial to some homeowners.
However, gutters play a critical role in protecting your home from water damage. This water, if not properly redirected, could wreak havoc on your home’s foundation, potentially leading to flooding, erosion, and even structural instability.
That extra inch can result in a gutter that’s capable of holding and draining up to 50% more water than its 5-inch counterpart. Simply put, a 6-inch gutter will be capable of handling more water, though in some cases a 6-inch gutter may not be necessary.
We’re here to shed some light on this question, and help you gain a better understanding of when and why you should opt for a 5-inch vs 6-inch gutter, and better inform you of what size gutter you should choose for your next project!
Key Differences Between 5-inch and 6-inch Gutters
Size Comparison and Water Capacity
The most obvious difference between the two is their size, which can easily be seen in the width when the two options are side-by-side
This single inch difference has a significant impact on the amount of water that the gutter can handle.
A 6-inch gutter can carry away approximately 50% more water than its 5-inch counterpart, making it a suitable choice for homes located in areas prone to heavy rainfall, or homes with larger roofs where more water is collected (more on that in a second).
Visual and Aesthetic Differences
The visual impact of your gutters is another important consideration. 6-inch gutters, due to their larger size, have a more prominent appearance. This can add a certain architectural detail to your home’s exterior and may complement larger, more expansive homes better.
However, 5-inch gutters are less noticeable and might blend better with smaller houses or those with a more subtle architectural style.
Another aesthetic factor to consider relates to your home’s fascia boards. If you have larger fascia boards, you will likely want to avoid 5-inch gutters as it will give off a smaller and unaesthetic appearance.
For example, a 1”x8” fascia board would look best with a 6-inch gutter, whereas a smaller fascia board like a 1”x6” would look best with a 5-inch gutter.
How The Size & Shape of Your Roof Plays a Role
Size of Roof (Roof Plane)
The size of your home and, by extension, your roof is a critical factor in deciding the right gutter size. Larger roofs collect more water, and as such, require gutters with a higher water capacity.
A small home or roof (600-1000 square feet) might be perfectly served by 5-inch gutters. However, if your home or roof is particularly large (1500+ square feet), it might be better suited to 6-inch gutters, which can handle a higher volume of water.
Pitch of Your Roof
The pitch, or slope, of your roof will also need to be a consideration when choosing between 5 & 6 inch gutters.
The steeper the pitch of your roof is, the faster rainfall is going to flow down the roof and into your gutters.
Say you have a 5-inch gutter on a 10/12 roof or above. There is a decent chance that rainfall will overshoot the gutter, and begin to pool around the base of your house. This is due to the high velocity at which the rainfall is flowing down the roof.
So even a house with a smaller roof size, but a steep pitch, may be best suited for 6-inch gutters.
Weather Considerations for Gutter Selection
Amount of Rainfall in Your Area
The volume of rainfall your home receives is a key factor in choosing the right gutter size.
If you live in an area with frequent heavy rainfall, a 6-inch gutter’s higher water capacity may be necessary to efficiently handle the volume of water you receive in your area.
On the other hand, if you live in drier climates that experience lighter, less frequent rain, a 5-inch gutter is likely to suit your needs just fine!
Climate in Your Area
It’s not just about the rain, though. The overall climate will also influence your choice. For instance, if you live in an area prone to snow and ice, larger gutters can be beneficial as they can handle more water during thaw cycles.
On the flip side, in warmer climates with minimal rain or snow, the extra capacity of 6-inch gutters might not be necessary, and 5-inch gutters are more than suitable.
The difference between a 5-inch and a 6-inch gutter, while seemingly minimal, can have a significant impact on how effectively your gutter system performs the essential task of channeling water away from your home.
In a lot of cases, 6-inch gutters may be the better choice seeing as they can handle around 50% more water than 5-inch gutters, they’re less likely to clog, and overall offer better water management.
6-inch gutters also do tend to cost slightly more than 5-inch gutters, though the benefits tend to outweigh the increase in price.
All that being said, 5-inch gutters are still a great choice for homeowners in many cases.
So when weighing the options of 5 inch vs 6 inch gutters, it really comes down to your unique needs.
How big is your house?
What is the pitch of your roof?
Do you live in an area prone to heavy rainfall or harsh winters?
By answering these, you’ll gain a clear understanding of what size gutter will work best for your home.
But if you need any help, the team at Gutter Dunn is here to help with any further questions you might have when it comes to picking out the right size gutter for your home. We install gutters in the greater Edmonton area and you can contact us with any questions here.