Aluminum gutters are the most common gutter product used today, making up almost 80% of all gutters installed in the United States. There is good reason for this, as aluminum gutters do their job well. Aluminum gutters hold more water than traditional wood gutters and they do not have some of the disadvantages of other gutter types; good-quality aluminum gutters never rust. In fact, there are only a few disadvantages to aluminum gutters, including the ease with which they dent (as a result of a bang from a ladder or heavy branch, for example).
When you look to purchase aluminum gutters, you should be sure to choose the thickest that you can afford, and choose primary aluminum, which is the thickest and most consistent. Another choice is secondary aluminum, which is an environmentally friendly option, as it is a recycled product. If you live in an area with a lot of snow, such as Boston or Denver, then you should purchase a heavyweight (.032") aluminum since it helps prevent warping and distortions caused by ice and snow. If you do not live in an icy or snowy climate, then a medium weight (.027") aluminum is sufficient. If cost is holding you back from aluminum gutters, you can consider the less expensive option of unpainted aluminum. Unpainted aluminum is very durable unless exposed to salty air, as is found in coastal areas.
Aluminum gutters are available in two common sizes: 5 inch or 6 inch, with most houses boasting 5-inch gutters. A 6-inch gutter can handle more water before overflowing, however, a 6-inch gutter also requires some advance planning. The fascia or gutter board behind the gutter needs to be sized correctly; most builders install a 1x6 gutter board, which is not an appropriate size for 6-inch gutters. 6-inch gutters must have a 1x8 gutter board; without it, the bottom of the gutter can actually fall below the bottom of the gutter board. This would create a strange look that you would not want for your home.
There are many different looks for aluminum gutters since there are many finishing options for aluminum gutters. They can have a naturally shiny aluminum finish, a factory-baked enamel, or they can be covered with a thin layer of vinyl. Consult with a reliable gutter contractor to help decide which aluminum gutter is best for your home.
More Aluminum Gutter Benefits:
- Never need to be painted
- Color stays well
- Best option for seamless gutter systems
- Inexpensive option, running from about $4 to $8 per linear foot
- Huge color selection