Why Aluminum Gutters are The Most Popular Types of Gutters
Gutters are essential to keeping your property safe from water damage as is directs drain water to specific areas instead of letting it build up around your foundation and cause all sorts of potentially expensive issues. So it’s no surprise that gutter companies across the United States offer gutters that are made of several different materials. With all the choices on the market, it may come as a surprise to hear that aluminum gutters are by far the most popular option, and it’s not even close. 80% of gutters installed in the US are made of aluminum. So why are aluminum gutters the most popular types of gutters?
The Most Common Types of Gutters
Gutters are made from a variety of materials depending on the client’s budget, the style of their property, the desired durability of the product, and more. While aluminum is far and away the most common material used for gutter systems, other materials have staked a claim in the gutter industry and have proved to work well over the years. Some of the most common types of gutters include:
- Aluminum — the most common material used for gutters. Performs well, easy to work with, and affordable.
- Copper — incredibly durable and beautiful to look at, copper is an expensive option for a gutter system.
- Zinc — long-lasting, customizable, and in the middle of the price range makes zinc gutters a good option.
- Vinyl — made of plastic, vinyl gutters will never corrode and are incredibly affordable. They can be made of cheap plastic and be low-quality.
Why Choose Aluminum Gutters?
Now that you know of some of the most common types of gutters available on the market, you’re probably asking yourself why aluminum is the most popular. Vinyl gutters are cheaper and zinc and copper are more durable, so why are aluminum gutters installed on 4 out of every 5 homes in the US? We’ll take a look at some of the most important aspects of gutter systems to see what makes aluminum so popular overall.
Cost Differences Between Gutter Types
Let’s start with one of the most important differences among gutter types when you’re looking into getting a new system or having a repair done — cost. The differences in cost between the gutter materials have the biggest effect on the total project cost. Here we will take a look at the cost to see how it may be part of the reason why aluminum is such a popular choice for gutters.
Costing an average of $5-$10 per linear foot, aluminum is one of the cheaper options available for gutter systems. That number doesn’t have much meaning until it is compared to other options. Zinc gutters are a step above aluminum in terms of cost, coming in at $15-$20 per linear foot. The most expensive option we have is copper, which will run you an average of $25-$30 per linear foot. Lastly, don’t forget about vinyl gutters, which can cost as little as $1-$3 per linear foot.
As you can see, when compared to the other metals that are typically used to make gutters, aluminum is incredibly affordable. Looking at copper gutters vs aluminum, you can expect to pay 3x-5x more for a copper gutter system compared to aluminum. That is no small amount! Of course, there is the option to go even cheaper and choose vinyl, but then you can run into performance issues as you’ll see next.
Just by looking at the cost differences alone, you can start to see why aluminum gutters are so popular in the US!
Gutter Performance Differences
Outside of cost, you are probably most concerned with the actual performance of the gutter system. You want gutters that are durable enough to withstand the elements and last a long time so you don’t have to replace them very often, if ever.
When it comes to durability, aluminum gutters are somewhere in the middle — not the best, not the worst. Due to its rust-free nature, aluminum gutters will typically last up to 20 years if well-maintained. Compare this to vinyl, from which you would be lucky to get 10 years out of depending on the climate you live in. However, copper and zinc last far longer. If they’re properly maintained, zinc and copper gutter systems can last 60-100 years or more, a far cry from the 20 years aluminum will give you.
The question then becomes, do you really need a gutter system to last 100 years? The answer that most people have is for that question is no. With the median duration of home ownership being less than 15 years, a gutter system that lasts upwards of 20 is usually more than enough for most people to accept. People often don’t feel the need to pay extra for a system that they won’t be in that home long enough to see its entire lifespan.
At this point, it’s becoming pretty clear why aluminum gutters are so popular. Not only is it an affordable option, but it also will more often than not outlast how long someone stays in their current home.
Aluminum Gutters are the Most Popular
As you can see, there are several things that come into play when people are deciding on the types of gutters that fit their home or business best. You can’t just focus on one factor when looking for gutters. If all you focused on was cost, vinyl would likely be your choice and you’d sacrifice quality. If your only focus was on durability, you would probably choose copper gutters, which would cost you an arm and a leg. The reason why aluminum gutters are the most popular types of gutters is because of the total combination with all things considered — affordable, durable, and easy to work it — aluminum is a great choice for gutter systems.