Gutters, Downspouts and General Roof Flashing Material – What’s Recommended

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Copper

  • Durable through generations
  • Natural patinas that improve with age
  • No need to paint – ever!

Galvanized Steel

  • Tough and strong material for painted applications
  • Excellent value
  • Solid and professional appearance

How About Aluminum?

Low cost installation, pre-painted materials, and a promise of rust free gutters attract many homeowners to the idea of using aluminum; however, in the long run, the benefits of using copper or galvanized steel make them a better value in terms of durability, appearance, and pride of ownership.

While aluminum may be a useful material for vent and flue caps, it is not recommend for gutters, downspouts, and general roof flashing work for a few simple reasons:

  • Aluminum cannot be readily soldered, so typical aluminum installations depend on adhesives or caulking at joints, mitres (corners), ends, and outlets. Over time, these adhesive materials are much more likely to result in leaks than a professionally soldered installation.
  • Rollforming alloys of aluminum used in gutter making are soft and are easily bent with the weight of a ladder or impact of a ball.
  • The lightweight material often rattles in the wind, and its excessive movement sometimes causes fasteners to work loose.