Are Aluminum Gutters Better than Steel?

July 20, 2022

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Aluminum Rain Gutters
If you live in South Florida, you probably know about the appeal of Aluminum Gutters. For homeowners and business owners alike, aluminum is the perfect material to guarantee a high-quality guttering system as it provides flexibility while remaining in one piece for decades. However, aluminum gutters are far from the only option available, and this is more obvious as new installation techniques become the norm.

Steel gutters come close to aluminum gutters in many people's minds. They are slightly sturdier, but not as heavy as copper gutters and other metals. They also have a very similar look and allow nearly the same guttering profiles for their installation.

As such, there's a lot to say when we attempt to compare aluminum and steel gutters. They're both a viable choice for large buildings and complex roof designs since they're two of the most appropriate materials to build custom guttering systems. Let's start with a quick overview of their main appeal:

Aluminum Rain GutterAluminum Gutters: Aluminum gutters are popular for many reasons, like their versatility and resistance to harsh weather conditions. Aluminum is a durable material, but it's also malleable enough to expand the options available when it comes to custom-made gutters, allowing a wide range of sizes and designs.

Aluminum gutters are lightweight, but this doesn't affect their durability. Some of them can even last 40 years in perfect condition before you have to replace them, but regular cleaning and maintenance are essential, especially in locations affected by strong winds and constant rainstorms.

Steel Gutters: Steel gutters have been around for longer than aluminum gutters, standing out for their durability and endurance. Galvanized steel in particular is known as one of the sturdiest materials for rain gutters, capable of lasting an average of 20 years with proper maintenance.

Galvanized steel gutters are also more common than gutters made of stainless steel. This is understandable as stainless steel gutters are much more expensive, but they also enhance the material's resistance to rust, which is a huge plus if you want your gutters to keep a specific look for decades. Galvanized steel has similar benefits, but the gutters can gradually become prone to rusting once the protective layer of zinc wears off their surface.

Aluminum vs. Steel Gutters

The main difference that makes people go for one option, in particular, is usually the fact that aluminum is more flexible and easier to work with. A heavier metal makes the installation more difficult, but many people still choose steel for this exact reason.

We will now look at each difference separating aluminum gutters from steel gutters, and hopefully, you'll get an idea of what comes closer to what you need for your property:

Installation: Neither aluminum nor steel are recommended for DIY jobs. The popularity of both materials has grown in the last few decades partly due to all the advantages they bring to the installation of seamless gutters. As such, they deliver the best results when the manufacturing is done by a professional metal bending machine.

Because they're less heavy, aluminum gutters are easier to install, but both materials provide a quick job when you have a seasoned professional on board.

Costs: Both materials are fairly affordable, with costs that range between $4 to $9 per linear foot. Aluminum gutters are usually the least expensive of the two, especially if you compare them to gutters fashioned out of stainless steel.

Galvanized Steel Rain GutterResistance to corrosion: Both materials have a lot to offer on this end, with aluminum owing its resistance to a total lack of iron. However, it's important to avoid combining aluminum and steel while assembling your gutters as it may cause corrosion in the areas where the components come together.

Durability: The sturdiness of steel gutters works as an advantage against impact and extreme weather changes, but ultimately, aluminum isn't too far behind in terms of durability. Both materials are also fairly easy to upkeep, holding their good looks and functionality for years with only basic maintenance and yearly cleaning services. Some gutter designs can still make maintenance more of a chore so don't be afraid to seek a contractor's informed opinion on the matter.

Colors and appearance: Both aluminum and steel gutters can be built in many different colors. There are over 25 colors available to make the gutters blend in with the building's layout. Aluminum and steel can also be painted once the original color starts to fade, just make sure to have the old paint scraped off in advance and apply high-quality, acrylic paint.

Resistance to thermal expansion: It's not rare for metal gutters to expand or contract after going through extreme temperature changes. Neither steel nor aluminum gutters are impervious to thermal expansion, but an apt gutter structure can stop the material from warping for a long time. Your contractor can help you with accessories to keep the gutter from stretching and expansion joints in case the gutter runs for longer than 50 feet.

Rain Gutters Solution offers all you need to keep your gutters in optimal condition, from efficient installation to all the repairs you may need along the way. Our specialists have all it takes to help you with all your guttering maintenance needs, and you can always come to us if you want to make improvements to your current drainage system. In addition, we offer the most durable materials to withstand all types of weather without effort. Just call (305) 270-7779 or fill out the contact form to schedule an appointment. You can trust Rain Gutters Solution to deliver the best results!

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