Copper Downspouts Galore
Let’s talk downspouts for a minute. You will mainly encounter two different types of downspouts in the world of copper gutters: Round and rectangular.
3″ diameter downspouts and 4″ diameter downspouts are the most common sizes of round downspouts, whether copper or aluminum. We’ve installed up to 6″ round corrugated downspouts for a commercial project, but for the purposes of this post we’ll stick to the sizes that are most common in residential applications. 3″ round downspouts are typically paired with 5″ half round gutters, and 4″ round downspouts are usually paired with 6″ half round gutters. When you start mismatching these sizes, they can start to look, well, mismatched. More often than not, the 100 year old gutters and downspouts we are removing and replacing will be 5″ gutter and 3″ downspouts. In our area of Wisconsin, it is usually considered acceptable by historic preservation standards to upgrade the size to the larger 4″ downspouts and 6″ gutters. Why would we want to do that? Sorry, cliff hanger…more on that topic later.
Are there different styles of round downspouts? YES, there are corrugated round and smooth round downspouts. There are also more decorative or ornamental round downspouts that are twisted or spiral shaped, along with stamped. We’ll focus on the more common types for now. My personal opinion is that corrugated round downspouts convey a more historical aesthetic than smooth, while smooth round downspouts convey a cleaner, more modern look. From a water management standpoint, they both function the same. It could probably be argued that smooth round downspouts show dents more than corrugated round, though 16 ounce copper downspouts are pretty durable regardless. The homeowner or architect on a project will usually want to weigh in on this, and I always try to include them in this conversation. The majority of 100 year old downspouts that we are hired to replace are corrugated round.
Material thickness? The overwhelming majority of copper downspouts are made from 16 ounce copper. 16 ounce refers to weight per square foot. The thickness of 16 ounce copper is .021″.
More later on how to fasten downspouts together and various ways to anchor them to the wall.