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September 30, 2019 | by Mike Milliman

Compatibility and What Not to Do with Your Copper Gutter

Though many homeowners love the look of copper gutters, especially as they age and develop that gorgeous greenish patina, the truth is that they aren’t compatible with all homes and architectural styles. Below, you can learn more about what kinds of homes can benefit the most from copper gutters (and which ones won’t) as well as some of the things to avoid when it comes to your new copper gutters.


When are Copper Gutters the Best Fit?

Copper gutters add an air of elegance to homes, but only in some cases. For the most part, these gutters were specifically designed to be used with high-end, luxurious landmark homes that truly stand out from the homes around them. Examples include traditional Victorian-style homes, arts and crafts homes, and stone Tudor homes, to name a few. One of the best pairings in exterior decorating is the classic slate roof beside the sheen of a copper gutter at its edge.


When to Avoid Copper Gutters

Though copper gutters are certainly compatible with a wide variety of homes, it’s important to note the similarity between all the compatible styles listed above: they are older historic homes that are often much larger than today’s homes. If you have a modern midcentury home, it should be noted that these were designed with a more minimalistic look in mind and adding the sparkle of a copper gutter would indeed clash with that simplicity. Simply put, mixing these two designs could result in a home that appears mismatched and anything but aesthetically pleasing.


What Not to Do with Copper Gutters

If you’ve decided that copper gutters are the way to go for your larger historic home, then there are a few things you should be certain to avoid during and after the installation.

  • Don’t attempt to install copper gutters yourself. Copper gutters are heavy, and many of the traditional tools used to create joints and outlets won’t be strong enough for copper. You should always hire a professional – and you should be sure that the professional you hire has experience working with copper.
  • Don’t expect copper to stay shiny and new forever. Copper oxidizes relatively quickly, so if you’re expecting it to stay bright and shiny for the next 50 years, you might want to reconsider. It will start to patina after just a few months, and in a few years, that patina will have completely taken over your gutters. You can keep them bright and shiny, but it will take a lot of scrubbing, special tools, and cleaning solutions, and you’ll have to treat your gutters often, too.
  • Don’t skimp on the quality. Copper gutters are available in various qualities ranging from ultra-thin copper to relatively thick. Never buy cheap copper gutters from an untrusted source. These are likely to cost slightly less than a higher-quality gutter, and they might last slightly longer than an aluminum or even steel gutter, but they won’t be worth what you pay for them. If you’re going to go with copper, get a high-quality copper.

Copper gutters are amazing in many ways. Not only are they stunning, but they can last a lifetime (or longer) thanks to their inherent durability. However, you need to be sure that copper is right for you home’s architectural style, and you also need to be certain you understand the work that will go into keeping the copper shiny as opposed to letting it patina, instead.

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About the Author
Mike is managing partner at Gutter Supply Inc. and has over 20 years of experience in the industry. His expertise and vast knowledge of the industry, along with his priority on customer service, has contributed to the continued success of Gutter Supply, it’s contractor customers and homeowner DIY’s.

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