How Long Do Gutters Typically Last?
According to the National Association of Home Builders, galvanized steel or aluminum gutters have an average lifespan of 20 years and copper gutters 50 years, nevertheless, there are several factors that will determine how long your rain gutters will last, such as weather conditions, maintenance frequency, and material, among others.
Dangers of an Inadequate Gutter System
Bad for Your Roof & Siding
Without prompt attention, clogged gutters (like the gutter pictured below) allow water to collect on your roof and can cause the wood fascia, soffit or sheathing, or to weaken and/or rot over time.
Bad for Your Health
Water pooling in gutters can be hazardous to your health outside as well as inside, as pooling water can attract mosquitoes around your home. An article entitled “Practical Advice for Homeowners”from the University of Kentuckys Ag School cautions homeowners to keep their gutters clear and reduce water pooling, thereby reducing the risk of mosquito breeding grounds: “Clogged rain gutters are one of the most overlooked breeding sites for mosquitoes around homes. Remove any standing water on flat roofs or around structures.”
Bad for Your Wallet!
As we mentioned above, bad gutters left unmaintained are bad for your home and your health, two of your most important lifetime investments. Cleaning your gutters now could mean prolonging the life of your roof or keeping water damage out of your basement.
Ugly gutters can be bad news for potential buyers visiting your house. Houselogic.com strongly recommends repairing and maintaining your gutters in its “8 Tips for Adding Curb Appeal and Value to Your Home”: “Nothing sets off subconscious alarms like hanging gutters, missing bricks from the front steps, or lawn tools rusting in the bushes. It makes even the professionals question what else hasn’t been taken care of.
Choose the Right Material
The material of your rain gutters is crucial when it comes to durability. There is a wide variety of material to choose from in the market with a number of features that provide good performance, from the cheapest to the most expensive gutter.
- Galvanized Steel
This material is very popular in the gutter market thanks to the high-resistance characteristics of this metal. Galvanized steel gutters are coated with a layer of zinc and its joints need to be soldered together by professionals, which don't let them be easily dented by blunt objects. They have a lifespan of 20 years or more.
- Stainless Steel
Stainless steel rain gutters are known for being extremely sturdy and durable. They won't rust, in fact, they preserve their shine and resistance for 20 years or more.
Along with stainless steel, copper is another high-end material, as well as one of the most durable for rain gutters. It doesn't rust, and because of its elegant appearance, it is very demanded by homeowners everywhere.
Aluminum rain gutters are the perfect combination of durability and price. They are one of the homeowners' favorites because of their lightweight which makes them easy to handle, as well as being rust-proof. Another plus is that they can be manufactured seamless to minimize leaks. The only disadvantage of aluminum rain gutters is that they aren't as sturdy as other materials and they can dent easily.