There are four general types of gutters and downspouts that help to protect your home from potential flooding during downpours. You could buy gutters and downspouts made from vinyl, steel, or aluminum. You also could opt for copper gutters that have a higher initial cost but last many years longer than the other types.
You might notice that your internal water pipes are made from copper. That is because copper is durable and holds up very well to water flowing through it without degrading and eventually failing. For similar reasons, copper gutters are very much worth the cost.
Are Copper Gutters Better Than Aluminum?
Aluminum is the most commonly used material to create gutters and downspouts. Aluminum is widely available, lightweight, and can last for many years. Aluminum has seams, though, and is more prone to damage and corrosion than copper. Seams are prone to leaking, and aluminum does not hold up well to high or rapidly changing temperatures.
Copper gutters last a lot longer than aluminum gutters, which helps to offset their higher cost. Aluminum gutters are coated with enamel to protect against corrosion, but that enamel layer wears away. You need to re-apply the enamel that wears off to get the best service life from aluminum.
Copper does not require that level of maintenance. Copper gutters mostly just need to be kept clean of leaves, twigs, and other debris to flow freely. Mounting hardware might occasionally need maintenance, but that is the case with all types of gutters.
What Are the Advantages of Copper Gutters?
Copper gutters last much longer than any other type of gutter. Copper gutters can last between 50 and 60 years, which is longer than most people own a home. Copper gutters are specially made for each home, which raises its costs but ensures a perfect fit and function for your house.
By comparison, vinyl gutters last about ten years and aluminum or steel gutters about 20 to 30 years. The seamless nature of copper gutters makes them superior at catching and moving rainwater and snowmelt. Copper gutters also hold up well to extreme temperature variations and will not deform in the summertime sun.
Why Should I Get Copper Gutters?
Copper gutters are a sound investment for the lifetime of your house or other property. Copper gutters are seamless and far less likely to leak than any other type. Copper also holds its value better than steel or aluminum. If you eventually remove your copper gutters, the metal would still be valuable, while vinyl would have none.
Aluminum and steel gutters might hold some value as scrap metal, but they would be reduced by any decay, rust, or other imperfections they might have suffered over the years. You also are more likely to need to replace vinyl, steel, or aluminum gutters