Gutters and downspouts are a very important part of a house as without them, the water could collect on the roof and cause damp and water damage. It is the job of gutters to carry away the water from the house, channelling it to the downspouts and further into the ground. It is therefore very important that they are installed correctly and regularly maintained. When it comes to purchasing new systems, there are different materials to choose between. The most common ones are aluminium, galvanised steel and vinyl but this is totally up to you and you can defiantly do your research on this to know which type will match with your house better.
The benefit of working with aluminium gutters and downspouts are that they are very lightweight and therefore easy to move around and work with. They are more resistant to the weather than their steel counterparts but unfortunately more prone to dents and damage. You can purchase aluminium gutters and downspouts in two different finishes: painted or unfinished. The factory applied enamels are obviously the more durable one. You can choose between standard and heavy-gauge metal.
Just like aluminium gutters and downspouts, the galvanised version comes in an unfinished or painted finish and just like them, the factory applied enamel version is the more durable one. If you go for an unfinished version and leave it unpainted, bear in mind that it will deteriorate more quickly. They come in a standard and a heavy-gauge steel version, the latter one being the more expensive one. Galvanised steel gutters and downspouts are very strong but this also means they are quite heavy and therefore a bit more difficult to work with.
A bit surprisingly perhaps, is that vinyl gutters and downspouts are more expensive than both the aluminium and galvanised steel version. The reason for this is that vinyl is very durable and it will need minimum amount of maintenance. Unlike the other two, vinyl does not need painting and it does not rust or rot either. The only maintenance needed it a regular cleaning. Unfortunately they only come in two colours at the moment: white or grey. The other negative is that they can expand and contract quite significantly by the joints due to a change in temperature. This can however be avoided if you install expansion joints between the two lengths.
Whatever material you decide to go for, remember to keep your gutters and downspouts in a good condition and have them cleaned on a regular basis. You can try to do this yourself if you have everything needed for it – or you can contact a professional to do the job. Either way you choose, it’s a good idea to keep up to date with these to avoid any leaks going to your roof. Decide if you would like to do it yourself or someone to come over and have the job done for you to save you time. Good luck!