Rain gutters protect your home against the whims of nature. They collect the runoff from rain and melting snow and direct it off your roof, away from your siding and the foundations of the home. Rain gutters help maintain the structural integrity of the home by avoiding unnecessary water damage. Because they serve such a vital function, it is important to make the best decision in the style of material to use. However, it is equally important to find an option that won’t break your budget.
Aluminum is the most commonly used material for gutters, and they are among the least costly gutter systems. They are lightweight, rust-proof and easy to customize for your home. Unlike vinyl, aluminum is weather resistant even in winter and is especially effective for cold climates. In addition, aluminum gutters hold paint much better than vinyl gutters. Aluminum gutters can be manufactured in seamless models.
These gutters are extremely flexible, but must be handled with some caution. They may dent easily and can become damaged by misplaced ladders. So, care is advised during installation. To reduce the likelihood of unintentional damage, purchase gutters made of primary aluminum. Primary aluminum is thicker than secondary aluminum products, which are made mostly of recycled materials. Stock ranging in thickness from 0.018 to 0.032 inches is recommended, with thicker stock providing the best protection against damage from snow, ice and rain as well as from wind-related damage from falling branches and storm debris.
Aluminum is widely available, durable and relatively inexpensive, so is often the most ideal choice for your gutter system. Typically, an aluminum rain gutter system sold at hardware or home supply stores is painted white or brown. However, with some effort, they can be found in other colors. They can also be easily be repainted in any color. Traditional aluminum gutters are sold in sections that are 10 feet long, which can be combined with connectors and sealant. Aluminum rain gutter system Sterling Heights MI can be found in most home supply centers.
Whether or not you are doing your own installation, it is important to understand the process. Aluminum gutters can be installed in the following ways.
- Strap hangers that attach to the roof sheaves
- Hidden brackets
- Exterior brackets
- 7-inch screws
- Spikes with ferrules
Aluminum expands in the hot weather and contracts when temperatures drop. Therefore, use expansion joints in long runs to prevent wrinkling or seam buckling.
As a final note of caution, as versatile as aluminum gutters are, there are circumstances when they should not be used. For roof coverings incorporating algae-resistant shingles, avoid aluminum gutter systems. These shingles have granules covered with a thin coating of copper. This could lead to galvanic corrosion when used with aluminum gutters.
When aluminum is not the best option, other materials that can used for gutter systems include vinyl, copper, stainless steel and wood.