Just about every house benefits from rain gutters. It rains enough around Dallas that, left unchecked, runoff from your roof can threaten your foundation. The gutters manage that runoff and protect the most important part of your house.
Still, you have to choose the right gutters, and that involves a bit of study. In general, there are four optimal types of gutters, and they have varying strengths and weaknesses. We’re going to take you through them in a short course so that you will understand which is right for you.
Vinyl is easily one of the most popular materials for rain gutters. It has the lowest cost of any mainstream option. Despite that, it can still easily be customized. On top of the low material cost, vinyl installation tends to be cheaper because it is lighter and easier to handle.
The drawback to vinyl is that it is not as durable as other common materials. It struggles with extreme cold weather because the low temperatures can embrittle and crack the vinyl. Outside of such climates, vinyl gutters last a long time, hold colors well, and are the most affordable option you are likely to find.
If vinyl isn’t the most popular gutter material, it is because aluminum wins that title. It is the most affordable metal for rain gutters, and upgrading to metal gets you a lot more durability and longevity in your system. Aluminum is completely weather resistant and never corrodes. As far as metals go, it handles water the very best.
Aluminum is also one of the lightest metals. That makes it easier to customize and cheaper to install. It comes in seamless or sectional designs, and it is clearly a great choice.
Aluminum is not quite as tough as other metals in terms of tensile strength. It can be dented by debris in heavy winds, and that’s why some people opt for more expensive metal gutters over aluminum.
Copper is considered by most to be the prettiest gutter option. The copper color looks amazing — especially when paired with the right architecture. Copper is also excellent when exposed to the elements. It never rusts (which is why it was used for water pipes for so long), and it’s malleable enough to be fully customized.
Copper is heavier and stronger than aluminum, which gives it an edge in durability. The downside is that copper gutters are expensive. Furthermore, because of their weight and softness, they’re one of the more challenging types of gutters to install.
4. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel gutters sit in a bit of a middle ground among the metals. They’re more expensive than aluminum but cheaper than copper. It also sits between the two for aesthetics. Stainless steel can be beautiful, but copper has a prettier reputation.
Stainless steel gutters are perfectly waterproof (unlike gutters made from other steels) and stand up to weather better than anything else. They have amazing tensile strength, and it can frequently withstand greater abuse than the roof that anchors it. If you want the best in toughness and longevity, stainless steel is the clear winner. The fact that they can still look great is even better, but you will pay a premium for all of these benefits.
Additional Consideration: Seamless vs Sectional
Once you choose your material, you’ll also have to decide if you want seamless or sectional gutters. Seamless gutters run along an entire side of the house as a single piece. The lack of joints makes them stronger and better able to handle water after decades in place. Sectional gutters tend to cost a lot less, and they are available in a wider range of materials. It’s a classic choice of cost vs performance.
If you want more information about gutters, contact Bert Roofing Inc. We’ve been working on roofs in the Dallas area for years, and we can tell you more than you want to know about all kinds of gutters. Once you pick what you want, we can get the gutters for you and install them professionally.