5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Gutter Material

1. Durability

When deciding to make an investment in any product, longevity is an important factor to consider. Having gutters that can withstand many weather conditions is important, specifically depending on the climate you are living in. So, which gutter material is the most durable?

The answer is Copper. Properly maintained copper gutters can last from 50-150 years. That’s longer than any other gutter material on the market. Most other materials last between 10-30 years. Copper forms a patina over time that serves as a protective layer against rusting and corrosion.

Galvanized and Galvalume are a combination of steel, zinc, and aluminum creating a longer lifespan than just steel or aluminum alone.

2. Type/Style

When it comes to the type and style of your gutter system there are a few options. Common gutter sizes include 5” and 6”. The 6” hold a capacity of approximately 40% more water than 5”. Larger sizes are available including 7″ and even 8″. You can also choose from k-style or half-round gutters. K-Style is a more classic style gutter and holds more water than the half-round.

3. Look

What style are you going for when it comes to your home? Are you a vintage lover? Do you like things that are more rustic, or does your style preference tend to be very classic?

Copper gutters initially give off a very shiny metallic look. Over time, once the patina begins to form, the gutters will begin to take on a vintage look. Brick, stone, stucco, wood, and slate accented homes are often backgrounds that mesh well with a copper gutter system.

Galvanized and Galvalume give off a more modern and refined look. Galvanized is a shinier silver metallic look, whereas Galvalume has a duller gunmetal feel to it. These gutter materials often complement modern homes best and are more on the neutral side.

Seamless aluminum is the standard classic gutter system you see most often. Commonly, this gutter material is seen in white. If your style leans more towards classic and simple, aluminum may be the right material for you. Aluminum gutters can also be painted in numerous colors to accent any home. Copper penny is also an option for aluminum gutters – this is a painted look that resembles copper.

4. Type/Style of Roof

If you have a lower roof and/or flatter roof, a classic 5” gutter system and the half-round style are often sufficient (these hold less water). If your roof has a large surface area, a lot of valleys, and a steep pitch, there is usually more water that needs to be contained. These roofs typically work better with larger 6” gutters in a k-style. Recently, rainfalls are following a torrential pattern averaging 6-8 inches an hour during each rainstorm.

5. Affordability

When looking at cost, there are multiple variables that need to be considered before making a decision (including, but not limited to, numbers 1-4). Although specialty gutter materials, such as copper, may initially be more costly upfront, in the long run, they can actually save you money. Since they require very little maintenance and can last over 100 years when properly cared for, over time, the investment may be worth it. Classic aluminum runs on the lower end price-wise however, they do not last as long as the specialty materials and therefore are very common.