The chances are pretty high that the rain gutters on your house and made from aluminum. Aluminum is by far the most popular material for manufacturing gutters. It is used so often in gutter manufacturing that some consider it the universal gutter material.
You may find this strange given the popularity of viny land plastic. You could also be forgiven for thinking that steel would be a better metal than aluminum. But when all is said and done, aluminum checks all the boxes for rain gutter installation.
From the manufacturer's standpoint, aluminum's biggest advantage is that it is extremely easy to work with. A manufacturer can take as ingle sheet of aluminum, place it in a hydraulic form, press a button, and have a completely formed gutter in seconds. Other materials just aren't as easy to turn in the gutters.
We installers find aluminum pretty easy to work with as well. We can cut it to length when necessary. We can attach it very easily with gutter nails or screws. And because it's so light, we don't need a crew of 5 to10 people to install gutters along the entire length of the house.
Aluminum's relatively low weight doesn't just make for easy installation, it also minimizes the amount of stress put on the fascia. Vinyl is even lighter, but it doesn't offer the rigidity you get from aluminum. On the other hand, steel is heavier. Steel gutters require a bit more reinforcement to keep them in place.
In terms of flexibility, an aluminum gutter will move and flex with the house. That is important because houses don't remain still. In the first few years, they settle. After that, they move a little here and there every time the soil shifts a little bit or a severe storm blows through. Aluminum is flexible enough to deal with these types of issues without coming apart.
Steel is not the best material for rain gutters because it is prone to rusting. Aluminum does not rust. Untreated aluminum naturally oxidizes when exposed to fresh air. That thin layer of oxidation prevents corrosion. If you paint aluminum, you double your protection.
As a side note, aluminum is a popular material for rowboats and canoes for the same reason. It just doesn't rust. When you are talking about a boat that spends a lot of time in the water, rust is something you want to avoid.
Aluminum is a fantastic material for gutters because it's durable. Its a strength-to-weight ratio isn't as high as steel and carbon fiber, but it's high enough that a new gutter installation should provide reliable service for decades. A well-designed and properly installed gutter system can last the life of the house, provided serious storms don't take the system down.
For our money, there is no better material than aluminum for a new rain gutter installation. However, the one downside is that it is prone to dents and scratches. Impact with projectiles during heavy storm can lead to less-than-optimal aesthetics. Functionally however, a few dents and scratches do not mean much.
Whether you are looking for a new gutter installation or repairs to your existing gutters, aluminum is a fantastic choice. If you would like to know more about our gutter installation and repair services in the Livermore, CA area, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We love gutter sand gutter guards. And we love to do the high-quality work our customers have come to appreciate.