Gutter Showdown: Zinc Gutters Vs. Copper Gutters

zinc gutters

Whenever it comes to gutters, most people tend to think about just getting the cheapest gutters in the store and that’s about it. However, the materials are pretty important when it comes to having the best gutters for your house, and most of the time people find themselves at odds when it comes to two particular gutter types. That’s the point of our gutter showdown series, to help you weigh the options for your needs.

Today we are going to be looking at the pros and cons of both Copper and Zinc gutters. While there isn’t one that is better than the other, the gutter you need can depend upon your situation. Some of the changes might be cosmetic and others functional, but you need to know about them all before you get started with getting the perfect gutters for you.

The Longevity and Durability

Having the best gutters for your needs often means one thing, not having to climb up to reinstall or repair your gutters every few years. After all, no one likes to get on the ladder more than they have too. Both of these materials are very durable and last for quite a long time, and the main difference between them depends on where you live.

Zinc has a particular weakness that copper doesn’t have, and that is a vulnerability to salt water. If you live on the coast, then you have a lot of salt water in the air and that can easily cause permanent stains to develop on your gutters. If you have zinc gutters on the coast, you need to be willing to power wash them regularly to prevent the buildup of salt on your zinc. This also causes the gutters to break down as well, drastically shortening the life expectancy.

Zinc can also be very sensitive and vulnerable to temperatures, so if you live in an area where sudden changes in temperature or bitter cold temperatures are common, zinc might not be the best idea for you.

If you don’t want to do that much maintenance on your gutters, then you might want to focus on getting copper gutters on your house near the coast. Copper tends to last long when exposed to the elements, and it also becomes stronger whenever it weathers due to the salt water in the air. How cool is that?

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The Appearance

Of course, the cosmetic factors from the copper and the zinc tend to factor into a lot of homeowner’s choices. For most people, copper is the go to when it comes to appearance because of the rustic finish. It looks good and screams elegance and wealth, while also looking better with age.

The patina, or the blue-green oxidation, that comes from the oxidation of the copper only adds more charm with age. However, you don’t want to knock zinc out of the equation, due to the extreme customizability of the gutters. While copper is great, it also can’t be changed easily so you tend to see what you get. Zinc gutters, on the other hand, tend to be very customizable and you can use them to match the color and style of your home. Depending on what you want your gutters to look like, you can either pick the reliable copper or the customizable zinc.

Do You Want An Eco-Friendly Gutter System?

If you want your gutters to be eco-friendly, then you don’t need to worry about these materials causing you problems. Both of these gutters are recyclable, and most of them are made from recyclable content. In the case of the copper gutters, some of the gutters are made from 100% of recycled content! So if you want your gutters to go green at the end of the day, either material works the best for that.

The Installation

Whenever it comes to having these gutters installed, copper is going to run you up a bill. The metal is expensive and can also be very hard to install. You don’t want to go around making mistakes and wasting copper, so it’s important to work with a trained and competent company to make sure that your copper gutters are installed correctly.

If you end up getting zinc gutters, then you will be paying less for the material but also more for the soldering. Zinc can be very hard to solder, so it will take a bit longer to get installed. Both of these materials are not as cheap as regular stainless steel gutters, so you will need to weigh the cost over the advantages of both metals.

The Maintenance

Finally, both zinc and copper gutters require very little maintenance unless you are in an area unsuited to them. For example, zinc gutters tend to get better with age due to the patina, and also require no paint as well. As long as you keep an eye on your gutters for leaks and other damage, and also clean them to prevent the buildup of leaves and debris, you will be fine.

Copper gutters are also resistant to rust, warping, and don’t need much maintenance either. You can let it get better with age due to the patina and don’t need to worry about keeping up with the painting either. Again, making sure you have seamless copper gutters as well as clean gutters reduces the chances of damage.

In both cases, you don’t need to worry about a ton of maintenance for your gutters, so that is certainly a plus!

Which One Is Better?

This isn’t a case of which of these rain gutters types can be called the best gutters. They both are solid choices to keep the rain away from your house. The choice you make for your gutters really depends on where you live, what you want to pay for your gutters, and the style of your house. You’ll know all that with a bit of research and some more information, and then you can make the best decision for you.

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