Gutters can be made from a wide range of materials, each tailored to a specific type of building, and each with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. A wide variety of gutter materials are available, among them aluminum, copper, steel, and vinyl.
Seamless gutters are an excellent water draining solution and come with a multitude of benefits. These types of gutters, as their name suggests, contain no seams or cuts that are usually found in traditional types of gutters. As such, these gutters don’t contain areas that need to be joined together, which is usually done through sealing or soldering.
Seamless gutters are created in single pieces that are not sectioned – instead, they are created to size, which then doesn’t require them to be joined together upon installation. These gutters, therefore, have no seams or joints where leaves and other debris can collect and cause obstructions. Additionally, seamless gutters reduce the risk of leaks by having fewer joints. These kinds of gutters are also generally more durable and last a long time and require much less maintenance and cleaning.
Aluminum gutters are widely used and are a popular choice for a few very good reasons, as they come with a range of benefits.
First and foremost, aluminum gutters are resistant to corrosion and rust, which is an important factor for water mitigation. Aluminum gutters are also long-lasting and durable, and don’t involve a large amount of maintenance.
Aluminum is resistant to extreme temperatures, which is one of the main reasons for its durability. This means that aluminum gutters are not affected by thermal expansion or contraction, which can cause cracks and require repairs.
Aluminum is also a lightweight material compared to others, and as such does not add too much extra weight to your existing roofing system. It is also a cost-effective option relative to other materials.
Copper gutters are extremely aesthetically pleasing due to their unique appearance. They are however a more expensive guttering option, although they have various advantages that can make them a good long-term investment.
Copper gutters are very durable, lasting upwards of 50 years on average. They are resistant to corrosion, as well as moss, fungi and mold growth, which also makes them extremely easy to maintain. Copper gutters are also extremely durable owing to the fact that they too are resistant to thermal expansion, which means a lower likelihood of tears and leaks.
Finally, copper is eco-friendly and fully recyclable, which is a plus for those who are environmentally conscious
Steel gutters remain a popular choice for gutters, mainly due to their relatively lower price when compared with other materials, as well as their durability and simple installation and maintenance.
Steel gutters tend to rust over time, which means that they need to be treated with special coatings prior to installation, which can raise their overall cost. However, due to its durability, steel does hold up well in various environments, with the correct protective coatings.
Vinyl gutters are quickly growing in popularity due to their cost-effectiveness and low maintenance. These types of gutters are also easy to install and hold up well against various weather conditions.
Vinyl gutters vary greatly in their quality and styles, so when considering vinyl gutters it is important to be aware of this and to look for your preferences specifically, especially when it comes to thickness. A general rule is to avoid thin vinyl gutters, as these are susceptible to wear and tear and are not as durable.
These types of gutters are also not suitable for extremely warm climates, as this may cause the vinyl to warp. Additionally, in areas with variable temperatures, the movement from hot to cold can make the vinyl brittle, which can lead to cracking. Vinyl gutters work best in environments with mild or moderate temperature variations.
These gutters require a little more maintenance, as a buildup of debris can result in warping.