When you own a home, there is always fixing to be done. If the gutters look worse from wear and you begin to notice water damage after the rains, it is time for a replacement of the gutter system. Rain gutters come in different configurations and materials, so figuring out the best option for your home can be difficult. Your best bet is to talk to professionals to get advice.
To most homeowners, however, gutters seem simple, so they end up not considering things like roof gutter leaf protection. Additionally, every gutter material comes with installation and maintenance demands. The following are the most common types of materials used:
Plastic or vinyl gutters are inexpensive. They are easy to install because they are already pre-fabricated. Since there is no metal, there will be no danger of rusting. However, vinyl is prone to sun damage. Be sure to purchase a compact version of plastic so that it does not become brittle or sag as it ages. These types of gutters work best in mild climates with little freezing and thawing. They do not have the strength to handle a lot of weight.
No other gutter material is as popular as aluminum. It comes in different colors, providing options for homeowners who would like a gutter system that matches their décor. Aluminum is corrosion resistant, but it has to be appropriately installed and maintained regularly for one to enjoy this benefit. Unlike vinyl, aluminum can survive in cold climates. It can be painted to add a layer of protection. Note that the material is easy to dent and so a ladder, for example, can disfigure it. Pick high-quality aluminum, since it will be steady as opposed to recycled aluminum.
Galvanized steel comes layered with zinc to increase protection. It is among the most durable gutter material options, and so you get around the bending issue like in aluminum. However, the gutters have to be installed correctly and maintained every year. The drawback of steel is that it can wear away, over time. Galvanized steel can resist contraction and expansion due to weather changes, and so it will hold up in extreme climates.
Galvalume is a type of steel that will have an extra coating of aluminum and zinc. The resulting material is typically strong and will last for a long time. Galvalume has the inherent characteristics to resist corroding and will easily outlast galvanized steel.
Before settling on a gutter system change, also consider the size. Your gutters need to be large enough to drain water from the home. If they are too small, heavy downfalls will damage your home. Talk to your installers about the hangers and their placement. The way the gutter system is mounted must support the material to handle heavy weights without sagging. As a rule of thumb, pick systems that will not need to rely on too many seams. Seams create weak points where leakage may happen. Note that there are homeowners who prefer to combine different materials. Inquire about your choices.