Your gutters serve one primary function – to move water off your roof and away from your home in order to protect your landscaping, foundation, and roof. However, just because they are functional, that does not mean they shouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing. Below, you’ll learn about the most popular gutter materials and how they can affect your home’s overall curb appeal.
Aluminum is the most popular gutter material among homeowners in the United States, and for good reason. It’s durable, it’s lightweight, and it’s affordable – plenty for consumers to love. However, its economical price does come at another cost, and that’s the fact that aluminum is easily damaged by debris and even high wind. Over time, you will likely need more maintenance and repairs on aluminum gutters than other materials.
As far as curb appeal goes, aluminum gutters are typically white, which works well with most homes, and while they can be painted, it is not always recommended.
Copper is on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of price, but it is still one of the longest-lasting and most durable options on the market for gutter replacement material. It is quite heavy, which means you will need a professional to install it, but it will last for decades – up to a century, even – with very little maintenance required. It is not easily damaged by wind or debris.
When left to the elements, the greenish copper patina that develops is perfect for historical buildings and homes, and when carefully polished and protected, copper can give a modern gleam to various types of architecture.
Though stainless steel gutters aren’t very common for homeowners, they are quite popular in industrial and commercial settings. They are just as durable as copper in most settings, and they will last a lifetime or more if they are properly maintained and kept in good repair. Stainless steel will rust and corrode over time if it is not carefully tended, so keep this in mind.
Stainless steel doesn’t offer much in the way of curb appeal. Painting isn’t recommended since any paint you apply is likely to chip, flake, and peel in short order. However, for some homes, the stainless steel gutters may blend in with the paint colors, making it a phenomenal choice.
Vinyl is almost as popular as aluminum for gutter systems, and for many of the same reasons. Vinyl is lightweight and easy to install, and when compared to materials like copper or stainless steel, it’s incredibly inexpensive – though it does cost slightly more than aluminum. However, vinyl gutters can become fragile after long-term exposure to the elements, which means it isn’t a good choice for anyone who lives in a climate known for extreme temperatures.
Vinyl can be manufactured in various colors and with numerous patterns, which offers design options that just aren’t possible with other materials. However, vinyl does tend to fade in the sun, which can cause problems for some homeowners.
As a homeowner, ensuring that your gutters function as they should is a top priority, but you should never have to sacrifice curb appeal to do it. These materials offer plenty of variety in terms of aesthetics, price, and durability, allowing anyone, anywhere to choose the right gutters for their needs.