Find an Aluminum Gutter Contractor Near Me
If your home is in need of a new gutter system, you should definitely consider aluminum. Known for durability and versatility, aluminum gutters are long-lasting, good-looking, and easy to install. And if they need repairs along the way, they’re fairly easy to patch and seal as well. Protecting your home from water damage is as simple as deciding which rainwater drainage system is right for you, and aluminum is one of the best choices you can make.
While you might be tempted to try installing and repairing these gutters yourself, it’s always advisable to bring in the pros who will ensure the job is done right from the start. Spout Gutter Pros collects free quotes from licensed, insured gutter contractors in your area in just seconds, making it easy for you to hire a reliable, licensed contractor to do the job properly. Click now for more info on aluminum gutters today!
What Are Aluminum Gutters?
Aluminum gutters are the most popular type of rain gutter. They vary in cost, depending on the quality and thickness of the metal you purchase. Once you’ve invested in an aluminum gutter system, and maintain it, it should last a very long time. Unlike other metal gutters, aluminum won’t rust, however, they are more prone to harsh weather damage like dents and dings. Aluminum gutters are readily available in both sectional and seamless varieties and come in an assortment of colors to match your home’s exterior. The color will not fade over time, keeping your gutters looking new for years.
Aluminum Gutters vs. Vinyl Gutters
Gutters play a key role in the safety of your home. If you don’t have a gutter system or it isn’t working properly, heavy rain and melting snow can cause all kinds of damage to your roof, walls, and foundation. But gutters come in many different materials. Which should you choose? Two of the most popular are aluminum and vinyl. They may be similar in cost but are actually very different in performance and longevity. Spout Gutter Pros outlines the differences so you can decide which is the better option for you.
- Cost: Homeowners on a budget will likely consider both vinyl and aluminum gutters as both provide good value at an affordable price. Vinyl costs a little less to install but wears out more quickly and may not give as good a return on investment as aluminum in the long run. Aluminum gutters provide the best performance for the price and cost less than other metals to install.
- Materials: Vinyl gutters are made of a lightweight PVC plastic material that is molded into any number of profiles. Vinyl will not rust or corrode but is so lightweight that it’s easily damaged. It also suffers in heat and cold, becoming brittle and cracking easily. Aluminum is stronger and won’t usually rust. It also handles harsh weather better despite expanding and contracting in extreme heat or cold.
- Manufacturing: Vinyl gutters are easily installed using a snap-together sectional process. Aluminum gutters are available in both sectional and seamless varieties, although seamless tend to be more popular.
- Installation: Whether you decide to go with vinyl gutters or aluminum, it’s important that they be installed correctly. Any mistake in the installation process can cause the gutter system not to do its job properly and can potentially cause bigger problems over time. Gutter runs must be affixed correctly, and the slope is all-important, directing rainwater towards the downspouts. Even if you have the experience to install a gutter system yourself, you’re probably wiser to hire a professional, ensuring it’s going to function correctly and for a long time.
- Maintenance & Durability: Maintenance of both vinyl and aluminum gutters is key. If they’re treated well (i.e. cleaned out several times a year, patched as needed, and kept in good working condition) both materials can last upwards of 20 years. But you need to take your particular climate into account before purchasing. Vinyl can dry out and crack in harsh sunlight or bend in the cold. Aluminum withstands snow and ice better but needs to be checked for scratches and loose joints.
- Leakage: Vinyl gutters are usually assembled in pieces, leading to the systems having lots of seams. As the cement used to seal the seams ages, it can often crack off, leaving room for leaks. Aluminum gutters, on the other hand, are most usually seamless and have fewer points for leaks to occur. They are joined only at the corners where the long sections meet and typically hold up better.
Pros and Cons of Aluminum Gutters
There’s a good reason why aluminum gutters are the most popular gutter systems on the market today. They are lightweight and easy to install. They look good and last a long time. And they’re not as expensive as other available gutter systems. But they have their downsides, just like anything else. Following, Spout Gutter Pros outlines the pros and cons of this versatile material.
- Lightweight: Aluminum is a lightweight metal and can be installed quickly and easily, cutting down on labor costs. Other metal gutter systems, like steel and copper, are heavier and require larger crews to install, driving up the labor expense.
- Good-looking: Aluminum gutters have a clean, sleek look that works well with all types of home profiles, whether the home is traditional or modern. Because they’re custom-crafted on-site, they can also be fabricated in any style you desire, whether it’s a K-style, half-round, slim Barbie-style, or personally-designed fascia gutters.
- No leaking: Seamless aluminum gutters are much less prone to leaking than their sectional counterparts, although leaks are still possible around downspouts, corners, and end caps if they’re not sealed properly, or over time as cement wears away.
- Very little maintenance: While aluminum requires very little by way of maintenance, it is still important to clean and inspect your gutters for wear and tear at least twice a year and fix any damage you find. First, you’ll want to clean the leaves and twigs out of the gutters. Then, you’ll hose them out, taking note of any problem areas. Make sure to seal any holes or cracks as soon as you see them so bigger problems don’t develop over time. With just a little love and care, your aluminum gutters can last for many decades.
- Durability: When comparing gutter materials, you’ll find that they most commonly come in a wide variety of metals, as well as vinyl. Aluminum, steel, and copper gutters tend to be long-lasting choices when compared to sectional vinyl gutters (PVC plastic). Aluminum won’t rust or shatter as opposed to vinyl which may warp or crack with age and weather.
- Perfect fit: Most aluminum gutters are of the seamless variety which is custom-cut at the job site to perfectly fit your home. The fact that they don’t have seams where the sections are joined leads to a nicer overall look and fewer leaks over time.
- Colors: Aluminum gutters have a factory-applied finish that comes in anywhere from 12-24 colors, depending on the manufacturer, guaranteed to match your home’s exterior or roof. The finish doesn’t typically wear off or fade with the weather. The only touch-ups you may have to perform are cleaning up scratches from flying branches, hail, or baseballs.
- Can be painted: If none of the factory colors appeal to your taste, these powder-coated gutters can also be painted, making them a very versatile choice for your unique home.
- Expense: While aluminum is less expensive than copper or steel, it is more expensive than vinyl. Homeowners will want to weigh budget issues with other concerns such as the overall look of their home, resale value, the durability of the gutter system, and the amount of maintenance required. Vinyl may be less expensive, but it is more easily damaged and prone to costly leaks and cracks. Aluminum also comes in different thicknesses, which can add to the overall expense.
- Can dent, expand & contract: Unlike steel or copper, aluminum can dent and large dents will have to be fixed. Aluminum is also sensitive to wide swings in temperature, expanding and contracting in the heat and cold. This can lead to cracks and splits that will also need to be fixed. If you live in an area that has extreme temperature fluctuations, steel might be a better gutter material choice for you.
- Professionals must install: It is possible, but not encouraged, for DIY enthusiasts to install sectional aluminum gutters as they’re lightweight and fairly straightforward for an experienced layperson to handle. Seamless aluminum gutters are not DIY friendly given the amount of material and specialized machinery required to manufacture them. They are also harder to install because they are in singular, long pieces that must be lifted and installed by a professional crew, especially on a larger or taller home.
- Replacement: Aluminum can be repaired if the gutter is damaged by soldering or affixing strips of metal flashing to the hole or crack. But if the damage is more extensive, the entire run must be replaced, not just the bad section. That can be costly, given that the contractor will need to bring the machine back to create a whole new custom-created section.
- Chipping: The enamel that aluminum is factory-coated with can chip over time, leading it to eventually needing repainting. Missing enamel can leave the metal bare, resulting in rusting which will also need to be repaired.
How Much Do Aluminum Gutters Cost?
The average cost of aluminum gutters is between $6-$12 per linear foot installed. Additional materials, like downspouts, are around $5-$8 per foot. Seamless gutters cost quite a bit more—between $10-$14 per linear foot installed—as they are mounted in one continuous run, cut from a single roll of aluminum at your home. Installation of seamless gutters costs more than sectional due to the added manpower needed to lift and hang the longer sections. You can expect to spend about $2000-$2500 (with labor included) to install a seamless aluminum gutter system on an average 2000 sq. ft. single-story house.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Aluminum Gutters
Once you’ve decided that aluminum’s the way to go, you’ll find there are quite a few factors affecting the overall cost of your new system. Following we’ll discuss some of the most common:
- Size: Gutters usually range in size from 3”-7” with the most common being 5”. The larger the gutters are, the more they’ll cost. You can determine the size you need based on the size of your roof and how much rain typically falls in your region.
- New install vs. replacement: Are you replacing an older gutter system that’s falling apart? If so, you’ll have to factor in the cost not only to pull it off your home but to haul it away and dispose of it in an environmentally friendly fashion.
- Roof height: Installing gutters on a 2-story house is more dangerous and complicated than a 1-story home. And if you live in a home that has a highly sloped roof, that will cause more safety issues that could incur extra fees.
- How much guttering: A larger home requires more guttering material and labor than a smaller home. If your home is large, with more than the average number of corners (complicated to install), you can expect the cost of labor to be higher.
- Other components: Additional components necessary to complete the job, such as gutter hangers, downspout extensions, flashing, splash blocks, and drains, also add to the materials cost. And special add-ons such as leaf or gutter guard systems will as well.
Aluminum Gutter Installation
Aluminum gutters are extremely popular because they are so lightweight and easy to install. The joints don’t need to be soldered, except where they meet at the corners. But there are many installation steps—including measuring, fitting, adding end caps, brackets, elbows, and downspouts—to ensure the system functions properly.
Can You DIY Aluminum Gutters?
While experienced DIYers might see the installation of aluminum gutters as a relatively easy weekend job, they should not attempt the project themselves. Properly installing a rain gutter system is one of the most important tasks a homeowner can perform in order to safeguard their most prized possession. Directed the wrong way, excessive water can leak into a home’s walls and foundation, causing mold, rot, and other problems that are much costlier down the road. Even the smallest installation mistake can prove to be catastrophic. Taking everything into account, installing rain gutters is a job best left to the pros.
How to Install Aluminum Gutters
While aluminum gutters do come in sectional varieties, most homeowners these days prefer to have seamless aluminum gutters, simply because there are fewer leaks and maintenance issues. You will definitely want to hire a professional to perform the following steps as it is not safe, or advisable, to do this job yourself.
- Inspect fascia: First, you’ll want to make sure the contractor inspects your fascia to make sure nothing is rotting or damaged in any way. The brackets will be attached to the fascia, so you want to make sure it won’t give way once the gutters are attached.
- Measure: Next, they will measure the full length of the fascia carefully to ensure that the guttering will fit tightly. The gutters will be cut to your specifications on-site, so it’s important they match the length of the side before they’re installed.
- Create the gutters: The workers will feed the sheets of aluminum through the machine forming the gutters in whatever shape and size you’ve ordered. Once they’re trimmed to the right length, they’ll attach end caps and cross braces every 36” or so to hold the gutter’s shape.
- Cut downspout holes: Most contractors like to figure out where the downspouts will go and cut the holes for the downspouts before installing the gutters.
- Placement and installation: Then, they will lift the gutter runs into place, drilling screws through the brackets into the fascia board to anchor the gutters. The pieces will be pitched so they drain down towards the downspout. All the corners where they meet will be sealed with roof cement or caulking.
- Downspouts: Downspouts are created with elbows and straight sections that are affixed to the downspout holes, sealed, and screwed into the wall of the house. These will direct the water well away from the home’s foundation.
- Addition of gutter guards: A final step, which many homeowners choose to do, is to add gutter guards which keep leaves and other debris from falling into and clogging up the gutters. These can take many forms from brushes that sit in the gutters like the spikes that keep birds away, to metal mesh covers that snap into place over the gutters.
- Painting: Aluminum gutters come in many colors so they don’t necessarily need to be painted, but if your home is a custom color you may want to paint them after installation.
Aluminum Gutter Repair, Replacement & Maintenance
Aluminum gutters are highly popular because they are lightweight and cost-effective. But they come with common repair and maintenance issues that have to be addressed. Following are some of those issues, along with the average cost to repair:
- Clogged/blockages gutter or downspout issues: Clogs and blockages are the number one reason gutters leak or overflow. Aluminum gutters, just like those made of other materials, need to be cleared of vegetation at least twice a year, if not more often, just to make sure they continue functioning as designed. Downspouts are also places where debris gathers, causing your whole system to back up. A handyman can clear both gutters and downspouts for $20 to $45/hr, depending on where you live.
- Leaking: Leaks can develop around seams if you have a sectional aluminum gutter system or joints where the corners meet on seamless gutters. It’s important that you check for leaks after you clear out the gutters, usually in the spring and the fall. Depending on the severity, small holes and cracks can be soldered or fixed with metal flashing and roofing cement. Anything larger may require replacement of the immediate section (with traditional gutters) or the whole run (if seamless). Those costs will have to be quoted by a gutter contractor.
- Joint separation: Over time, joints on a sectional system can pull apart, especially if the gutter system is overloaded with heavy materials like snow or ice. If you notice leaks or overflow at the joints, it will be important to have any blockages cleared and the joints repaired immediately. A handyman should be able to make these repairs.
- Gutter slope: Gutters work by being installed at an angle, running toward a downspout. If the slope is off, the water won’t flow to the downspout to drain. An experienced gutter contractor can correct slope that has slipped and isn’t working correctly.
- Sagging/pulling away: Clumps of leaves and other debris can be heavy when wet and lead to lighter-weight aluminum gutters sagging or pulling away from the house. Other factors like rain, ice dams, or snow can also weigh the gutters down, putting stress on the brackets and fascia holding up the gutter system. If you notice the gutters drooping, or too far away from the wall, you’d be wise to call a gutter contractor who can reinforce the entire system, maintaining the proper slope and functionality.
Do you need aluminum gutter installation or gutter replacement? Visit Spout Gutter Pros today for a free estimate on seamless and sectional gutter systems, installed by trusted, licensed professionals.