Q: I would like to find some information on wooden gutters for my home. What are the advantages and disadvantages?

— Johnny, Summerfield, NC

A: Tom Silva replies:The pros of wooden gutters are mostly aesthetic: they look nice; they're authentic; they're strong. The cons are more technical. Wooden gutters carry less water than metal gutters because their surface is rougher, giving greater resistance to the water's flow. In addition, they require more maintenance. All gutters need cleaning, but wood ones should be oiled or painted with a sealer at least every other year, and preferably every year. You also have to maintain the seal on the corners and gooseneck. It's kind of like choosing a wooden boat over a fiberglass boat. As pretty as they are, they require a lot more work.
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