Gutters are an often overlooked yet critical element of your home, because they divert rainwater from its foundation. With numerous gutter types on the market, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for your home. Though steel is a popular choice, aluminum reigns supreme, serving as the best material for smart and efficient gutter construction.
Let’s break down the characteristics of aluminum vs. steel to get a full picture of why you should choose aluminum:
In comparing aluminum to steel, aluminum is by far the more popular selection for gutter installation, as installers have long deemed it their material of choice because it is easier to install compared to steel. Plus, aluminum comes in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and styles, opening up endless avenues for customization.
Aluminum is also more resistant to rust than steel, and gutters constructed with aluminum require minimal maintenance. In comparing aluminum to. steel, the latter can be prone to expanding and contracting, which can potentially harm the hangers and screws holding gutters in place. And steel’s zinc coating means that it’s vulnerable to scratching, which can lead to more rust.
Overall, aluminum gutters last longer than steel ones. In the aluminum vs. steel debate, consider that steel gutters require regular inspection for missing zinc and rust. It’s also likely you’ll need to repaint steel gutters more often than aluminum. This equates to a repainting every few years for steel compared to once a decade for aluminum. It’s a bonus that the average life span for steel gutters is five to 10 years, whereas aluminum gutters can last double that amount.
While the cost for aluminum vs. steel gutters is fairly comparable, aluminum comes out on top in affordability. They’re between $4 and $8 per linear foot, while steel gutters are between $4 and $9 per linear foot. Aluminum installation also comes out cheaper, as it costs $2 per linear foot for aluminum gutter installation compared to $3 per linear foot for steel gutter installation. Another consideration comparing aluminum vs. steel: Since aluminum doesn’t rust, it comes out more cost-effective long term.
How Aluminum Stacks Up
We know gutters probably aren’t the first thing you think of when you think of home. But your home is likely your biggest investment - you need to protect that investment with gutters. Aluminum gutters. 🙂