Guttering for a commercial building, especially larger ones, has requirements beyond those for guttering a residential home. Knowing these differences can help you make the best decision when the time comes to install seamless gutters.

1. Basic Shape

Guttering comes in three basic shapes. The K-shaped and U-shaped gutters are most often used on residential buildings because they blend into the eaves and work well on smaller roofs. For commercial purposes, box gutters are typically preferred as they provide a deeper design that minimizes overflow. When seamless box gutters are installed, the additional depth provides volume and the lack of seams ensures the higher water load won't leak from the bottom. 

2. Overall Size

The size of the guttering chosen depends on several factors. Seamless gutters can be larger simply because they have fewer weak points to worry about. The size of the roof and its pitch must also be considered, as this dictates how much runoff per minute can be expected to flow into the gutters in a downpour. Further, how often and intense the rain falls in your climate must be considered by your installer before they can determine the best gutter size.

3. Material Options

The best two materials to consider for commercial guttering are steel and aluminum. Both can be formed as seamless gutters, which means fewer leak concerns. Aluminum is naturally corrosion and rust resistant, while steel can be treated to be resistant. Steel also tends to be more durable and resistant to dents compared to aluminum, but aluminum is often more cost-efficient.

4. Downspout Placement

The location of downspouts on a commercial building shouldn't interfere with maintenance access to the walls or siding, nor do you want it to inhibit pedestrian traffic around the exterior of the building. Another concern is the number of downspouts, and more downspouts means more seam locations on the gutter system. For a commercial system, downspouts are often larger in size so fewer can be used with a seamless gutter system. Further, the downspouts are usually routed into underground drains so they don't interfere with pedestrians.

5. Runoff Control

Due to the larger size of many commercial buildings, combined with the amount of paving that surrounds them, runoff from rainfall can pose a major surface water hazard. In many cases, there are code and permitting requirements to handle stormwater runoff. Your gutter installer will verify that the system is up to code. They will also route the gutter system so it expels runoff to retention ponds or appropriate storm drain systems.

Contact a commercial seamless gutter installer such as Right Choice Seamless Gutters for more information.