The Different Materials of Rain Gutters

Sep 27, 2017

The Different Materials of Rain Gutters

Gutters’ main objective is to channel all rainwater and melted snow away from the exterior walls of the building they are attached to, in order to prevent water from getting inside the building’s fabric, causing dampness which could lead to much bigger problems later on, if not treated.

Gutters can be found in several materials, and not all of them perform in the same way. Below you will find a list of the most popular materials used in manufacturing gutters, in addition to the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Aluminum

  • Advantages:
    • Most popular material
    • Least expensive option
    • Does not rust
    • Comes in different thickness and gauges (.032, .027 and lighter)
    • Comes in different colors and can be painted
    • Lightweight
    • Corrosion-resistant
    • Easy to install and work with

 

  • Disadvantages:
    • Tends to leak at the joints
    • Dents easily

Copper

copper gutters
  • Advantages:
    • Remarkably beautiful
    • Strong
    • Sturdy
    • Long-lasting
    • Does not rust (applying a coat of clear sealant is a good idea, nonetheless)
    • Does not require lots of maintenance
    • comes in different weights (16 oz., 18 oz., and higher)
    • Changes color with age due to patina (ranging from light green to brownish green, depending on the weather) therefore, there is no need to paint it

 

  • Disadvantages:
    • Pricey
    • Needs to be installed by a professional
    • Less durable than aluminum

 


Seamless Aluminum

  • Advantages:
    • Does not leak like regular aluminum gutters
    • Custom-made on site to perfectly fit your house

 

  • Disadvantages:
    • More expensive than regular aluminum gutters
    • Needs to be installed by a professional

Steel

  • Advantages:
    • Stronger than aluminum
    • Withstands expansion and contraction easily
    • Durable
    • Can be painted

 

  • Disadvantages:
    • Needs to be installed by a professional
    • May start to rust after 5 - 10 years
    • Can be expensive

Vinyl

  • Advantages:
    • Lightweight
    • Inexpensive
    • Easy to install and work with
    • Comes pre-cut

 

  • Disadvantages:
    • May discolor and fade
    • May crack in severe cold
    • Does not come in many colors
    • Does not support weight well, and could be damaged by heavy ladders

Zinc

house with zinc rain gutters on the roof
  • Advantages:
    • Durable
    • Lasts two times longer than aluminum gutters
    • Changes color with age due to patina, therefore, there is no need to paint it
    • Requires very little maintenance

 

  • Disadvantages:
    • Needs to be installed by a professional
    • Pricey


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