Residential Gutters vs. Commercial Gutters: What You Need to Know

Residential Gutters vs. Commercial Gutters: What You Need to Know

The storms and heavy rainfall in Tacoma, Wash., can cause serious damage to properties—whether it be residential or commercial. Having a rain gutter system in place can save your home or office building from landscape erosion, flooding, mold and mildew, and structural damage. Commercial and residential gutters essentially function the same way; they collect the falling rainwater and channel it away from the building.

However, there are a few significant differences between residential and commercial gutters. Choosing the wrong type for your home or building can have negative consequences that lead to costly damage. Here are a few things to know about each type of system, so you know you’re selecting the right one.

Rules and Regulations

Commercial buildings are subject to different codes and regulations than residential homes. These include rules about gutter material, positioning of downspouts, design, and capacity. For instance, downspouts must be placed in a way that ensures runoff does not affect other properties or businesses in the area.


Another difference between residential and commercial gutters is their size. Commercial buildings are typically much larger than homes, and therefore, need larger gutters to keep rain away from the building’s foundation.

The usual five-inch, round-shaped gutter that is used on homes is insufficient when it comes to commercial properties. Conversely, a commercial-sized gutter would look bulky and awkward if placed on a residence (which could decrease its curb appeal, and lower its value). Office buildings will typically have a six-inch system installed, in a k-style or box-style share.


Because commercial buildings have a larger area and encounter more rainfall, it’s important that the rain gutters that are installed on them can handle the water flow. As a homeowner, you can get away with using vinyl rain gutters, but that material likely won’t hold up on a larger building.

At Tacoma Gutter Service, we always recommend using stronger, sturdier material for both commercial and residential properties. Aluminum is the most popular choice, usually because of the cost and availability of color options. Copper gutter systems are often used for residences, since they’re durable and stylish; they’re rarely found on commercial structures, though, because they are one of the most expensive material options. Finally, galvanized steel is very popular for commercial structures; they have a long lifespan—only needing to be replaced every 30 years or so, which also makes them cost effective—and they’re also resistant to corrosion and rust.


Installing rain gutters on your commercial or residential buildings can have numerous benefits. Not only do they keep your structure free from water damage, but they can also increase the value of your property and lower your maintenance costs during the rainy season. It’s important to have your gutters installed by professionals, like Tacoma Gutter Service. We have decades of experience, and can help you choose the best system for your property. We are also familiar with the codes and regulations in the Tacoma and Seattle areas.

Contact us online or call (253) 927-7111 to schedule your free consultation.


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