San Antonio Roofing: Article About Gutter Materials
A gutter system is one addition to a home that many homeowners typically don't think about. However, the gutters help protect both the roof and foundation of a home from harmful moisture damage. Due to this, many San Antonio roofing contractors offer services that include installation and repair of gutters and downspouts. Before homeowners hire a contractor for gutter installation services, they need to be familiar with the types of materials from which gutters are made.
Vinyl is a commonly used material for the exteriors of homes, and the gutter system is one place where it can be found. However, vinyl gutters aren't very sturdy and could be torn down if a tree branch fell on them. They might also crack in very cold weather and don't offer support when ladders are laid against them. Vinyl also comes in a limited array of color options, and the color eventually fades from exposure to sunlight.
The most widely used material for gutters and downspouts is aluminum because it's lightweight and moderately priced. Aluminum gutters come in different thicknesses and various colors, and homeowners can even paint them to match their home. Aluminum gutters are also resistant to rust. Additionally, this material is used to make seamless gutters, which can reduce leaks that cause damage to the roof or foundation. However, aluminum is a relatively weak metal, and it cannot withstand much pressure or weight.
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Aluminum also expands and contracts with the weather, potentially resulting in warping.
Steel is consistently used as a gutter material because it's strong and doesn't expand or contract, which reduces warping. It's also available in various colors and can be painted. Although galvanized steel resists rust, this ability may only last for the first five to 10 years. Steel is also heavier and requires welding at the seams and joints, which takes longer to install and increases labor costs.
Long lasting and durable, zinc is a popular choice for gutters and downspouts in Europe, and it's a high quality option. Complementing slate roofs in particular, zinc gutters don't require any paint and develop a patina with time. However, zinc expands and contracts with temperature changes and becomes brittle in extremely cold weather. Like steel, installation takes longer than some other options because the seams and joints have to be welded.
Copper is another prime material that homeowners can use for their roof and gutters. The high quality metal is attractive and ages well, developing a patina. It also doesn't rust, and copper doesn't require painting. However, the joints and seams must be welded together, which a process that is a bit more labor intensive.