Gutter Showdown: Galvalume Gutters Vs. Aluminum Gutters
There are plenty of options for gutters out there to choose from. You could copper, vinyl, steel, and all kinds of variations on those as well.
However, for this post, we’ll be focusing on the showdown between galvalume and aluminum gutters. They share some similarities, but to figure out which one is right for you it will depend on your house and a little bit of personal preference.
This article will go through what both of these types of gutters exactly are, what the benefits of each of them are, and which one is the better of the two in the end for you!
What Are Galvalume Gutters?
Galvalume gutters are made up of an underlying layer of steel and coated with a mixture of about half aluminum and half zinc with a usually a bit more aluminum. Its underlying steel will strengthen the gutter’s durability, while its aluminum and zinc coating will protect the steel from rust.
The edges of the steel can still rust, but aluminum has the special ability to stop rusting in its tracks. Galvanized steel does a similar thing but the galvalume coating is typically thinner and more lightweight.
The galvalume coating is easily scratchable but it is more flexible as well. It can easily contract and expand when you’re installing it and during rapid temperature change so you don’t have to worry about it breaking in that regard.
Galvalume gutters could potentially last you anywhere from 70 to even 150 years if maintained properly.
What Are Aluminum Gutters?
Aluminum gutters are among the most popular gutters on the market today and are made up of purely aluminum. Galvalume gutters have some aluminum in them but aluminum in itself is plenty enough to make a good gutter.
It is fairly cheap and easy to come by without it being structurally weak like cheaper gutters such as vinyl. It is very malleable and easy to install and the metal itself will never rust.
Many aluminum gutters are half round gutters, which are gutters with a distinct U-shape that is particularly popular in modern homes.
Aluminum gutters will usually last you around 20 years if maintained properly while the downspouts tend to last a bit longer (around 30 years).
Why Choose Galvalume Gutters?
Touched on a bit in the previous section, galvalume gutters have great structural integrity while also being flexible. This is not all it has though, it looks wonderful and is great for curb appeal when trying to sell your home.
It has a fairly neutral color that goes with a lot of home décor and paints. Plus, it does not fade over time like copper or other metals that change color after a fair amount of use.
Galvalume is also usually much cheaper than copper and makes for a gutter that is well worth the money long-term.
The only knock against it is that it is not very easy to install. A lot of gutter installers don’t even offer it because its parts are difficult to find and sealing the seams and joints is something only a professional could feasibly do the correct way.
Why Choose Aluminum Gutters?
You may be thinking that aluminum gutters are just simply the worse one of these two gutter types because they do not last anywhere close to galvalume gutters. However, aluminum gutters have their merit and are popular for a reason.
First off, they are way cheaper than galvalume gutters. If you are looking for a very reasonably priced gutter system, aluminum gutters are probably the best value on the market coming in at sometimes only $6.00 per foot.
Also, much unlike galvalume gutters, these kinds of gutters are easy to install. Contractors will install them for cheaper and some people will even choose to install them themselves if they have the DIY spirit in them.
The structural integrity of aluminum is nothing to look past either. It can hold plenty of weight from heavy rains and, while you should absolutely clean it fairly frequently, it will not break with just a little clogging.
However, the disadvantage of aluminum gutters is that they can easily be damaged by impact. If there is a hailstorm or a tree branch falls on the gutter, you can best believe it will get dented or bent. They are best used for homes that do not experience strong winds or hail.
The Best Pick
If you have the extra cash, I would say the best pick is going to be the galvalume gutter. It will last you for much longer, it will stand up to pretty much any weather you throw at it, and it looks fabulous along your home.
However, the best pick for those that have the money is not going to be the best pick for everyone. Aluminum gutters prices are much cheaper, which makes them a lot more popular than galvalume. Because of this, people still choose this over the longer lasting option.
Aluminum is cheaper, more colorful, and much easier to install than galvalume. So, the common man’s best pick is almost certainly aluminum and if you are on a budget, this type of gutter will surely make you happy you got it.
Keep in mind that both of these gutters are readily available and a quick search of “gutter companies near me” will get you right on the right track.
Now that the showdown is over and the dust has settled it seems like the better gutter left standing is galvalume. It is expensive, but there is a reason it is that way. It looks great, works great and lasts a lifetime.
Strangely enough though, it uses aluminum in its structure. So, in its own way, galvalume does acknowledge that aluminum has plenty of benefits and is a gutter that can certainly stand on its own two feet.
The people’s champion remains aluminum as well. More and more folks take aluminum gutters as their choice to keep their home safe from water damage and for good reason. Although, both of these gutters are great choices and no matter who you bet on, they both win in their own ways!