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Why Aluminum Is the Best Material for Gutters and Gutter Downspouts

Posted by Kevin Leahy on October 24, 2018

Are you due for new gutters and gutter downspout? If you are experiencing some roof leaking, it could be your gutter system. It might be time for a replacement. Have an experienced professional roofer check it out for you.

If you need new gutters not a new roof, luckily you have a few options. You can choose to replace them yourself or have a professional gutter company come in and do it for you. Either way, the material you choose for your gutters and gutter downspout, are one the biggest decisions you have to make.

You might be surprises about the variety of options available to you. There is vinyl, aluminum, steel, zinc, and even copper.

Here is why aluminum is the best material for gutters and gutter downspout:

An economical choice

If the price point is a concern, then aluminum is an economical choice. One of the most common gutter materials, when you choose aluminum, you can completely replace your gutter system at a low cost while still preserving the high quality you need.

The seamless option

Another good thing about choosing aluminum for your gutters and gutter downspout is that you can choose the seamless option which is less prone to warping and leaks which means you will have to replace them less frequently.

Color matching option

Aluminum gutters and gutter downspout also come in different colors and can be painted to match your home, which a lot of home owners like.

Durable and precipitation resistant

Aluminum gutters and gutter downspouts will not rust or rot and it won’t thin either. It can hold up for over 20 years in any climate and is very durable.

How does aluminum stack up against other materials? Well, while vinyl is also an economical choice and is easy to install, it has a relatively short lifespan and have a tendency to bend from heavy precipitation. Another option is to use galvanized sheet metal. It is a lot more durable than the aluminum which is a plus, but would need to be painted the color you desire and is more expensive.

While not used very often any more, gutter systems can also come in wood for older, historical houses and copper is a more upscale options for homeowners who like the look.

Overall though, despite the possibility of some light denting and expanding and contracting, aluminum still seems to have the best cost/benefit ratio out of all your options

Going the DIY Route

If you decide to install the gutters yourself as another way to save money, keep these mistakes to avoid with DIY gutter in mind:

  • Avoid Choosing the Wrong Size Gutter. Because your gutters need to be large enough to drain away all the rain from your home, finding the right size is crucial. If you go too small, the gutters will only get overloaded in heavy downfalls leading to a lot of water damage to your home. The wrong size can also lead to gutter damage and structural damage to your home. For the most accurate size, you need to take into consideration, the size of your roof and pitch as well as how much rainfall you tend to get in your area.
  • Avoid Hanging the Gutter Hangers Too Far Apart. The gutter hangers are the way you mount the gutter system to your home so they need to be spaced properly. If you leave too much space between the hangers, the rain gutters will actually sag causing the water to pool instead of flowing through. If this keeps happening and you have a lot of water pooling in different sections of the gutter system, the extra pressure is going to make the system separate from your home. The rule of thumb is to place the gutter hangers about every three feet or so, unless where you live there is a lot of snow and ice, then every 2 feet is better. Remember that while you think you might be saving yourself time and money to use fewer hangers, in the long run all the damage that will happen as a result will end up costing you a lot more.
  • Don’t Ignore the Pitch of the Rain Gutters. And you thought you would never need geometry again. The angle at which your rain gutters are hung is an important detail when it comes to a successful installation. Both too much of an angle and not enough of an angle can affect the speed at which the water flows through the system. In this case, moderation is best. Experts recommend that you allow for a ¼ inch slope towards the downspouts for every 10 feet of gutter. The most important thing to remember is that the gutters should never be level.
  • Where You Place the Gutter System Matters Too. You know the gutters go on the roof, but do you know exactly where? It is not enough to just hang them on the edge of the roof. Technically they need to be a few inches lower than your roofline to prevent water from damaging the fascia boards and siding.
  • Don’t Forget the Downspouts. How you place the downspouts and how many of them you install is also important. Not having enough downspouts will lead to standing water and overloading of the system during heavy rains. And when they are not placed properly you open yourself to erosion around the area, structural damage and even insect infestation, all of which can end up being pricey to fix.
  • Don’t Ignore Safety Protocols. Not everyone should be climbing on the roof to install gutters. If you have any health issues or are afraid of heights or not in good shape, you should not sign up for this demanding home project. If you decide to do the installation yourself, then make sure you have someone working with you who can spot you as you climb and make sure that the ladder stays steady and secure. Also don’t lean too far out while on the ladder either.

Besides the gutter system itself, you should also consider purchasing and installing gutter guard, leaf catchers or other products that help you maintain your gutter system with as little hassle as possible. For example, TheSpoutOff are rain gutter outlets that can be easily added to a new gutter system and they are designed with larger openings which prevent leaves and debris from getting clogged up in the gutters. They also make it easier to check on your gutters because it comes with a removable downspout that allows you to inspect the system from the ground instead of having to climb a ladder.

Want to learn more about how TheSpoutOff can make your seasonal outdoor chores a lot easier? Contact TheSpoutOff today to learn how it can take the hassle out of cleaning your gutters.

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