Gutter Materials: Do I have options and what do they mean?!
If you're like most people, this might be the first time you've really put any mental effort into choosing gutters for your home. Your first thought was probably "I just need gutters" because you ran from your car to your front porch and got drenched running in. But now that you're really considering making the investment into your home, you're wondering "is there more to it than 'just' gutters?". There are tons of different profiles out there, but the one thing you'll have to choose right away is the material that you want your gutters made of. Luckily, you have quite a few choices based on your style, your roof, your budget, and your goals with the home.
Vinyl/Plastic/PVC: Doomed from the start
Pros: Inexpensive, can be purchased from big box stores and installed yourself.
Cons: 1-2 year life span, becomes brittle in the Texas heat, NOT seamless and leaks at the joints, no professionals will install it so you'll have to do it yourself, undersized.
I think most people can agree that any Vinyl, PVC, or plastic gutter will look bad on the home and will need to be replaced sooner than later. It's a disservice in Texas to install it at all because it can't withstand the brutal heat of summer and becomes brittle, cracks, and breaks. Since these are almost never installed by gutter professionals in Texas, it's likely you'll be doing this yourself in dangerous conditions and an improperly installed system can often cause more damage to your home than not having gutters at all.
Aluminum: The Industry Standard
Pros: Aluminum is durable, never rusts, comes pre-finished with a range of colors and textures that never need to be painted, light-weight,& seamless.
Aluminum is the industry standard in gutters in Texas. It's affordable, lasts a LONG time, is light-weight and easily formed so most companies can run it seamlessly or custom form it to any shape you want. Because it comes pre-finished with baked-on enamel paint, the finish lasts well over 50 years and can be matched to your existing house trim. Austin Gutter King uses the Senox line of colors.
Galvalume-Steel: The "Metal" look
Pros: Steel is heavy duty, maintains it's shine and doesn't rust or dull like Galvanized Steel. Heavy-Duty, seamless
Galvalume is the industry's response to the request for galvanized steel. Galvanized steel rusts and dulls over time, eventually causing gutter failure and an unsightly roof-line. Galvalume comes in a coil and is most often installed seamlessly.
Copper Metallic: The copper look at aluminum price
Pros: Affordable, never patinas, seamless
Cons: Never patinas, which some customers prefer
Copper can be out of reach for a lot of budgets but for customers wanting a copper look, the Copper-Metallic material can be a great choice. It's technically and aluminum gutter, but gives the appearance of copper. It's price is just above the cost of traditional aluminum colors, but nowhere near the cost of copper. For customers who prefer the look of copper than never patinas and always maintains its "new" look, this is a great choice.
Copper: Classic Elegance
Pros: Considered the most beautiful material, generally done in a custom profile
Cons: Cost. Will patina, but many customers prefer that, requires very skilled installation.
Nothing brings a roof-line to life like true copper gutters. On large houses, we normally see them with big, bold profiles like quarter round or custom half rounds. On smaller arts & crafts style houses, we see them in half-rounds to add an old world, classic look. In Austin, the copper will generally fully patina in about three months. Our installers use gloves when installing to make sure there are no finger prints on the copper. There are a lot of custom options when it comes to copper as well, so be creative with your project consultant and find something that really makes your home stand out!
There are loads of options in Texas when it comes to materials, and really, you won't be wrong with any that a professional company will install. It comes down to your personal taste, your home style, and your budget. For a quote on any of these materials installed on your home, make sure you set up an appointment with one of Austin Gutter King's project managers today!