What are the best types of gutters for metal roofs?

By Gutter Expert Henry Gerbin
Published On

Are you wondering how to choose the best gutters for your metal roof?

Well, you definitely came to the right place!

In this RegionalGutterRepair.com guide, you’ll learn:

  • The best gutters for metal roof
  • How gutter protect metal roofs
  • Why most metal roofs need gutters
  • Where to install gutters on metal roofs

And much more!

RGR FEATURED gutters for metal roofs

So, if you’re looking for answers on how to choose the best gutters for your metal roof, keep reading our cost guide below to learn everything you need to know.

What Are the Best Gutters for Metal Roofs?

The best gutters and downspouts for metal roofs are those that have been specifically designed to protect these types of roofs. 

That’s a pretty basic statement, but what we really mean is: Don’t use gutters made for a traditional roof with your metal roof (unless they’re compatible with both). 

With that said, all gutters can help keep water from pooling around your home’s foundation. This prevents water damage, flooding, yard and landscaping erosion, and expensive foundation issues. 

Metal roofing systems tend to be very expensive to replace or repair, so using appropriate gutters is definitely recommended!

Here are the best ones for metal roofs. 

Seamless Gutters

A seamless gutter works like a regular one; it just doesn’t have seams. These roof gutters fit together to form the complete length of your roof, and they are attached along each seam with sealant tape (for added protection). 

This type of gutter is much more durable than sectional gutters because there aren’t any places for leaking through seams, which lead to rusted-out areas. This can happen over time when water pools in certain spots for too long. 

Seamless gutters also require less maintenance – no leaves getting stuck in cracks and fewer leaks and chances of issues since there are no seams! Just hose them down every so often, and you’re good to go.

Half-Round Gutters 

Half-round gutters are like half of a cylinder cut longways. They are a traditional style that effectively drains water. 

They are made of metal (aluminum or stainless steel) and come in several different sizes. The most common type is the half-inch, but you can also find them in quarter-inch or three-quarter-inch widths for thicker roofs. 

They’re very durable, with a solid metal base that holds up well under pressure from high winds, heavy rainfalls, and severe weather. They’re low-profile gutters which means they don’t catch debris like leaves, so cleaning is easier too! 

It’s another gutter style where they hang along the roofline from the fascia off gutter brackets and come in seamless and sectional varieties (remember seamless is better). 

K-Style Gutters

When seen from the side, they resemble the letter “K” and are more attractive than half-round gutters to some homeowners. They connect flush to the fascia under the eaves and pair well with metal roofs. K-style gutters are generally constructed of aluminum or galvanized steel.

They’re especially well-suited for regions that have a lot of rain. More significantly, high-quality gutter installation professionals like ours will utilize hidden hanger brackets rather than spikes or straps to connect K-style gutters to the fascia (to make them even more robust)

K-style gutters are not only attractive to the eye, but they are also more durable and resistant to water. 

Do Metal Roofs Need Gutters?

Most gutter and roof experts recommend new gutters for metal roofs because they help direct water away from your home. 

No matter what type of new roof your home has, gutters are essential. And no matter the type of roof, the reason you need gutters is the same. 

Just think about it– if you didn’t have gutters, rainwater would fall directly from the metal roof on the perimeter around your home and create runoff. It can damage your: 

  • Walls
  • Windows
  • Door frames
  • Siding 
  • Landscaping
  • Foundation 
  • Land

This means installing the right gutters prevents untold amounts of damage to your home and property. 

If you do not already have rain gutters installed on your metal roof, it will probably need them soon- especially if there has been any damage. In fact, most insurance companies recommend installing gutters with every new metal roof installation due to this reason alone.

What Do Gutters Do? 

Gutters collect rainwater that rushes down your roof during a rainstorm (and even a drizzle). This helps to keep your home safe from the kinds of damage mentioned above. 

Gutter extensions help catch even more rainwater before it flows into the gutter itself, making them an excellent addition if you live in a region with heavy rainfall or snowfall since they can help compensate for variations in water flow.

Do Gutters Protect Metal Roofs? 

Gutters do not protect metal roofs. However, they protect the rest of your home– like your foundation and landscaping (plus, they prevent basement flooding). 

The fact is metal roofs are robust and resistant to rainwater no matter where the water drains. Whether or not you have gutters collecting the water that drips off of it has no impact on the roof itself (assuming you have a drip edge like most construction codes require). 

To sum things up, your metal roof will be fine with or without gutters, but your home’s foundation, siding, landscaping, etc, will be worse off without gutters. 

Downsides of Gutters on Metal Roofs

There’s no question – gutters are essential to defend your home from rainstorms. For the most part, aluminum gutters work well with metal roofs if installed correctly. However, there are some potential downsides to installing gutters on your metal roof. 

Here are some potential issues: 

  • Difficulty with cleaning
  • Complex installation
  • Pests and vermin can nest in them
  • Water retention and clogs
  • They can sag or fall off

However, you can dodge most of these issues by using leaf guards and an expert gutter installation service, like Regional Gutter Repair. 

Where to Install Gutters on a Metal Roof

If you have a metal roof, gutters should be installed on the fascia boards and not the roof deck. Metal is slippery compared to traditional asphalt shingle roofs, and snow and rain slide down it faster. 

Because of the faster movement of snow, rain, and sleet down the roof like a kid on a playground slide, the overall gutter system on homes with metal roofs needs to be more robust than traditional ones. 

This means gutters on homes with metal roofs should use extra brackets and hooks to hold the gutters securely to the fascia boards. 

Ideal Distance for Metal Roof Overhang on Gutters

The ideal distance for metal roofs to overhang gutters depends on the pitch of your roof and local climate. However, most gutter experts (including us) recommend an overhand of 1 to 1.5 inches. 

Ensuring you have the ideal overhang will prevent rainwater from overshooting the gutters. This makes gutter sizing and placement the most critical consideration during installation. 

If your installer gets the gutter placement wrong, the gutters won’t be able to collect water, and you’ll have the same issues as not having gutters at all. 

How a Drip Edge Helps a Metal Roof

A drip edge is metal flashing designed to protect the fascia on your roof. It diverts water off the roof away from the fascia and into the gutter.

If you didn’t have a drip edge, water could get behind the gutters and rot the fascia.

Per most building code requirements, drip edges must conform to the following:

  • Extend at least 2-inches onto the roof
  • Fastened to roof with 12-gauge nails (3/8-inch diameter every 12-inches)
  • Vertical drip edge leg should extend more than 1/4-inch below the sheathing

Drip edges not only protect your fascia but also help deter pests from nesting around your soffits or in your attic and under the roofing materials.

Gutter Alternatives on Metal Roofs

Gutters are arguably the best way to divert rainwater away from your home and protect its foundation and your landscaping. However, there are a few alternatives to gutters that homeowners can consider.

Gutter alternatives include:

  • Rain chains
  • Rain dispersal systems
  • French drains
  • Drip edges (with no gutters)
  • Drip paths

How a Professional Gutter Technician Can Help You Choose The Best Gutters For Your Metal Roof

If you need gutters for your metal roof, it is best to hire the help of an experienced roofer or gutter installation professional. Our gutter pros are seasoned experts in their craft.

They can install and provide recommendations for the best gutter system, drip edges, and gutter guards to protect your roof, fascia, and your entire home. If you need gutter assistance fill out our form or give us a call today.

Meet Your Gutter Expert

Henry Gerbin


Whether your gutters are leaking, broken, or you're just someone considering the purchase of your first set of gutters Henry is here to help. He regularly contributes his thoughts and knowledge with the RegionalGutterRepair readers publishing guides and studies on the latest in gutters.

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