Aluminum gutters are the most common type 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. They hold more water than traditional wood gutters and unlike other metal gutters, good-quality aluminum gutters never rust. In fact, there is only one major disadvantage to aluminum gutters: they dent easily (as the result of a bang from a ladder or heavy branch, for example).
We recommend purchasing the thickest aluminum gutters you can afford, and choosing primary aluminum for the ultimate in thickness and consistency. Secondary aluminum 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, you should buy a heavy gauge (.032") aluminum, which helps prevent warping and distortions caused by ice and snow. If you do not live in an icy or snowy climate, a medium weight (.027") aluminum is sufficient. If cost is holding you back, consider the less expensive option of unpainted aluminum. Unpainted aluminum gutters are very durable unless exposed to salt air.
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,installation of this size also requires some advance planning. The fascia, or "gutter board," behind the gutter must be sized correctly; builders typically install a 1x6 gutter board. However, 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 could create a strange look that you would not want for your home.
There are many different finishing options for aluminum gutters. They can have a naturally shiny aluminum finish, a factory-baked enamel, or a thin vinyl covering. Consult with a reliable gutter contractor to help decide which kind is best for your home.
More Aluminum Gutter Benefits:
- No need to paint
- Good color retention
- Lightweight, making for easy installation
- Best option for seamless gutter systems
- Low cost, running from about $4 to $8 per linear foot
- Huge color selection
Updated October 7, 2018.
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