Gutter Replacement: What You Need to Know

As a general rule of thumb, your gutters should last as long as your roof. However, not all gutters are kind enough to follow this rule which means that you may need gutter replacement services as they age. Let’s take a closer look at gutter specifics, and what you should know about repairs.

How long do gutters last?

Gutters have different life spans, based largely on their materials. Aluminum gutters, one of the most common options, can last for 30 to 40 years or longer thanks to their resistance to rust and their lightweight, durable design. Aluminum is also easy to paint and comes in many styles.

Galvanized or stainless steel gutters have a similar appearance and lifespan, but they will not last as long as aluminum gutters since their protective coatings will eventually wear out and rust will gain the upper hand. Expect steel gutters to last around 20 to 25 years.

Gutters made of copper are known for their classic appearance. This particular house enhancement will develop a patina but will not rust like steel, and will last as long as aluminum gutters. Due to copper’s innate strength, these gutters can last up to 50 years.

You can also choose vinyl for gutter replacement. Vinyl products are lightweight and easy to set up, but do not have the same longevity as aluminum or copper. These gutters will last around 25 years

How do I know when I need a gutter replacement?

There are several factors to consider when examining the gutters on your house for signs of wear and tear. When gutters start to deteriorate, they become loose (they may rattle in the wind, for example) and start showing cracks. You might even notice gaps in your gutter sections just by looking at them.

You may also be able to spot additional signs of leaking gutters, such as stains on your siding where your gutters are failing and letting rain leak down onto your house. These gutters need to be replaced ASAP before they cause siding damage.

What gutter materials are best for my home?

Take a look at both your roof and your region when choosing new gutters that will not only look good but also last a while. Traditional shingles or tiles will match a number of different gutter materials, but if you have a less traditional roof that is made up of clay tiles, concrete or metal, consider using copper or another type of gutter. Also take a look at your siding and trim. If you want your gutters in a similar color, aluminum or vinyl gutters tend to have the most shades available.

Weather is critical to the longevity of your gutters. Very hot or cold climates are not good on vinyl gutters. Choose aluminum or, if you get a lot of snow and wind, copper or steel. Because of steel’s propensity toward eventual rust, try to avoid this material if you live in a rainy or humid area. Ask your local gutter professional for other recommendations based on your particular weather and roofing material preference.

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