One of the most crucial decisions you need to make before gutter installation is which material to choose. There is no denying that choosing the right rain gutter type, style, and shape is of equal importance. But the material determines the resistance and thus longevity of the gutters. It makes a difference to the aesthetics while your choice is subject to the climate of your location. Here you can read all you need to know about the most common gutter materials so that you take an informed decision.
Why is it crucial to choose the right rain gutter material?
We all know the role of commercial and residential gutters in buildings! Rainwater and melting snow ends up in the gutters and must be channeled away from the siding, soffit, fascia, and foundations. If not, the foundations will eventually get saturated or the property flooded. To avoid water damage, you need a material that will remain resistant to the elements and with proper gutter cleaning, will last for a long time. Naturally, not all gutter materials are the same but neither are your needs in terms of rainfall and snowfall. So here are the main pros and cons of gutter materials and what you need to know before you make up your mind.
Aluminum is widely used for the construction of gutters. And there’s a good reason for that. Aluminum gutters are lightweight yet durable and thus able to withstand the test of time. Their main advantage? They are rust-resistant. The bonus? They are available in many colors and can be painted. The best news for you? The cost is low while the final price if you leave the installation to a gutter service contractor will still be very reasonable.
They belong to the high-end category of gutters due to the exceptional appearance & properties of copper. It’s durable, resistance to rust, and only gets more beautiful as it ages due to the natural patina. The downside is the cost. It’s perhaps the most expensive gutter material.
Vinyl is an average option since it costs even less than aluminum gutters but lacks the strength. If you step on it or press the ladder against it, vinyl might crack. And it won’t make it through harsh winters or withstand the UV rays for long. It is lightweight, which is a good thing, but its susceptibility to damage makes it a bad choice.
Steel gutters should be galvanized to resist corrosion over the years but might still rust after a decade or so. They don’t come cheap and the worst part is that they are heavy – hence, not the best option if you want gutters that either cost less or last long.
They share the advantages and disadvantages of copper gutters. In other words, they are beautiful and long-lasting but expensive.
What’s the verdict?
It all comes down to the weather conditions & your personal preferences. If we are talking about gutter materials in Houston, where the weather is moist but the chances for heavy storms high, you need something stable and resistant. Zinc and copper are always excellent choices if you can afford them. For a more budget-friendly solution, one great option would be galvanized steel. Compared to aluminum that can be dented, steel is more durable but also heavier and more expensive. But with proper maintenance, it won’t cause troubles. Of course, the choice is always yours.