All about Gutters

tan seamless gutter

Gutters are not something that you typically think of until they are malfunctioning.  They are very important though because when they are not working properly this can cause damage to your foundation or water intrusion in your basement.

What is the Standard gutter size?

 The standard K-Style gutter size for a residential house is five-inch.  You can also get this style gutter in six-inch size.  

In most cases five-inch should be sufficient, however, if you are having overflow problems six-inch may be a better option to move more water. 

On the left side is a larger 6 inch gutter and on the right side is a 5 inch gutter.
6″ gutter profile (left) 5″gutter profile (right)

What are Splash Guards used for?

Splash guards are typically installed on inside corners of gutters or in an area where water is coming from an upper roofline.  These will help prevent water from spilling over the gutter in areas of high water flow. 

Inside Miter with Splash Guard and Outside Miter with Splash Guard
Inside Miter with Splash Guard and Outside Miter with Splash Guard

What size downspout should you use?

We offer downspouts that are 2×3 inch in size and 3×4 inch in size.  If six-inch gutters are installed, 3×4 inch downspouts must be used.  You can also install the larger 3×4 inch downspouts on your 5-inch gutters.  It would be beneficial to use the larger 3×4 inch downspouts in all situations, these can handle more water flow. 

For proper drainage, a downspout she be placed about every 40 linear feet. 

3x4 spouts (left) 2x3 spouts (right)
3×4 spouts (left) 2×3 spouts (right)

Should you have Leaf Protection installed?

Some benefits to using Leaf Protection are that you are guaranteed you will not have a downspout clog and that it is easier to clean your gutters with Leaf Protection. 

A common misconception about Leaf Protection is that it will make your gutters maintenance free.  Even when you have Leaf Protection installed, there will still be some maintenance.  They will need to be wiped off periodically.  Just keep this in mind when deciding if Leaf Protection is for you. 

At Carlson Exteriors, we use Shur FloX Leaf Protection. This is a product that is put on top of your gutter, it does not go underneath shingles.  It will not void any roof warranty you may have. 

Shur FloX only attaches to the gutter – not the roof.
Shur FloX leaf protection has ridges so no leaves get stuck and cannot blow off.JPG
Shur FloX leaf protection has ridges so no leaves get stuck and cannot blow off.JPG

The Importance of Kick-out Flashing

Spring showers bring leaky gutters- Wait no, that’s not right! We’ve recently had a fair amount of homeowners call because they are tired of leaking gutters. It’s usually the lack of kick out flashing which gives the appearance of a leaky gutter but often has hidden disasters associated with it.


What is a kickout flashing?

A Kick out flashing is a tiny but valuable piece of metal that diverts water into the gutter. It’s installed along the wall that the gutter end terminates into. The image below shows a correct kickoff flashing. It’s important to make sure the kickout overhangs a decent amount into the gutter to ensure no water runs along the side wall behind the gutter endcap.

Proper Kickout Flashing

Why is a kickout flashing necessary?

Kick out flashings are needed to direct water into the gutter- in these specific areas, siding is often times notched to fit around the roof section and has the possibility of letting water slip behind the siding and run down the interior wall. Beyond the obvious trouble of improper water control, if your house doesn’t have any housewrap or housewrap failure, the sheeting underneath will often be moldy or rotting without a proper kickout flashing.

Bad Kickout Flashing
Kickout flashing is too short- Water is still likely to run against wall

The images below are of a home in Bloomington, IL that had a powerful combo of the housewrap installed incorrectly and no kickout flashing. Every place the gutter butted up against a side wall, the OSB underneath was completely rotted- our Carlson Exteriors guy was able to push his hand through the OSB easily.


Watch this video of to see how easily a kickoff flashing is installed!