As homeowners, we are always looking at what is best for the home and to keep up the maintenance. When it rains or storms, we want the water to be able to go off the house and into the yard, but not puddle. You also want to protect the foundation, prevent erosion from happening, keep water out of the basement (if you have one) and also protect the landscaping of the home. You can do this by having gutters on the outside of your home. There are all different types of gutter materials and one of those is aluminum. How long do aluminum gutters last? They can last 20 years or more as aluminum is a durable material that does not rust.
Let’s take a look at aluminum gutters and why they may be a good choice in material for your home.
What Are Aluminum Gutters
Aluminum gutters are a reliable and durable material that helps water flow from the roof, and then through the downspouts and away from the home. If you don’t have gutters, the roof can accumulate leaves and cause water to overflow the house. Installing gutters is a good idea to avoid problems in the yard with an overflow of water and changing the landscape.
How Long Do Gutters Last
Gutters come in many different materials and last for various amounts of years, varying from 20 years to over 100 years. The good news is they are not something that needs to be replaced often if you maintain them and we will address that in a little bit. Let’s look at aluminum gutters and how they compare to other materials.
Types of Gutters
Material: one of the strongest and most durable that you can have on your roof.
Lifespan: Average about 20-25 years with maintenance of cleaning them twice a year. Sometimes, they need more cleaning depending on the weather and trees near your home. Additionally, it also depends on the climate in which you live.
Cost: Average in 2022 $4-$9 per linear foot
Seamless gutters come in an aluminum material as well and are one long piece of material, instead of breaks in-between gutter pieces. This means that they will bend less and may last longer.
Cost: Average in 2022: $4-$30 per linear foot
Zinc gutters are also highly durable and made well. Made of 99% metal, they don’t rust and are just as strong as seamless. However, if you live near the coast, they will stain from the salt air.
Lifespan: Usually about 50 years
Cost: Average in 2022: $3,000-$12,000
These are made mostly of steel but also have zinc. The zinc layer is added so that rusting is minimal over time.
Lifespan: 15-20 years and this includes proper maintenance as well as reapplying a seal every 5-10 years. However, if you live in heavy rain or snow areas, you may need to reapply more often.
Cost: Average in 2022: $4-$9 per linear foot
Stainless Steel Gutters
This material is rust-resistant but because it is steel, it is heavier thus more expensive.
Lifespan: Up to 50 years with maintenance
Cost: Average in 2022: $25 per linear foot
if you happen to live in a mild climate that doesn’t see much rain or snow, you may be able to choose vinyl gutters. This material is not good in the southern U.S. as it is not durable and can bend or snap in very hot or very cold temperatures.
Lifespan: 10-15 years so not as long as other materials.
Cost: Average in 2022: $3-$5 per square foot
Not a common material or the most durable for gutters, but gives the rustic look that many people love. Additionally, more expensive than other materials and the reliability doesn’t match the extra cost. Lastly, there are not a lot of companies that provide this material as an option.
Lifespan: 20-25 years for pine, fir or cypress materials. Redwood may last up to 50 years in the right climate.
Cost: Average in 2022: $20-30 per linear foot
A great alternative to aluminum if you like the look of these better. High heat and cold resistance and last forever if maintained properly.
Lifespan: Can last up to 100 years with maintenance and depending on the climate.
Cost: Average in 2022: $20-30 per foot. Cost more than other materials, but is aesthetically pleasing with a longer lifespan.
Signs That It Is Time to Replace Your Gutters
All gutters need maintenance so cleaning gutters twice a year at a minimum is a good rule of thumb. It is difficult to tell how old gutters are on a house but you can keep an eye out on these warning signs so you protect your home from any damage to the roof, fascia rot, or even water leaks.
- Fasteners are broken and gutter is sagging – this may be the gutter pulling away from the wall and it won’t allow the water to flow freely. Unfortunately, this can cause pest infestations or mold.
- Water pooling next to the home after a storm
- Yard has sections that are washed out
- Siding is showing mold or water stains
- Rust on the outside of the home
- Gutters have holes or cracks or leaking- this you can see during and after a rainstorm. If you install seamless gutters, this is less of an issue.
- Gutter connections have gaps or loose
- Finding nails on the ground that came from gutters that are loose or breaking – this may be due to gutters overloaded and can’t hold the debris.
- Rust – this will show at the bottom of gutters that are old and need replacing.
Other Recommended Maintenance
In addition to taking care of your gutters, here are some other areas to think about.
Maybe you have thought about gutter guards. Are gutter guards worth the money? Not really, the best thing to do is leave the gutters open and let water flow through so make sure you are cleaning them out after storms so this can happen.
Another area to take a look at is the roof. If you are noticing that the roof leaks when it rains, then locate and identify the leak, assemble the materials needed, and install the replacement pieces. Taking care of this as soon as possible is important before there is mold or structural damage.
Lastly, take a look at your windows. If you have been thinking about replacing the windows with awning windows, know that they are good for ventilation. They pop out and allow for a cross breeze and great air circulation.
When Do I Call A Professional
Gutter installation takes a lot of time and work and it may be easier for you to call a professional company to do this for you. Choosing the material that works best for your home and climate is key.
If you aren’t sure who to call, reach out to your local home inspection team. They can do a home inspection and check the gutters or give recommendations to you so you know what is best. Also, your local home inspection team can refer you to a reputable gutter company so you know you are getting the quality you need.
Aluminum gutters are a great material to choose for your home. As mentioned above, it does depend on what is best for the climate in which you live, as well as the price you want to pay. Gutters will help keep your landscaping looking nice and keep the rain from accumulating on the roof.
Your local home inspection team can inspect your home and talk to you about what works best for a gutter system. Also, they can recommend the best gutter company for you. Reach out to Avalon Home Inspections, we conduct home inspections in Atlanta, GA.