If you’re considering copper gutters, you probably have more than a few questions about this beautiful and unique metal. Copper’s distinctive attributes have made it desirable for thousands of years, especially in building and architecture. And it’s every bit as popular today. When you choose copper gutters – whether you’ll keep them shiny or let them develop a patina – they’ll add a customized flair to your home that no other gutter material can duplicate. Let’s take a look at the most common questions about copper gutters:
Will Copper Gutters Turn Green?
When new, copper is shiny, like a new copper penny. But with time, as the copper reacts with chemicals in the air and the environmental conditions around your home, they’ll begin to tarnish. Aged copper is a very desirable look that most homeowners love. But others prefer to maintain the rich golden sheen as if the copper were new.
How Long Will My Copper Gutters Stay Shiny?
The timeline of how long your copper gutters will stay shiny depends on a number of variables. If salt-laden fog frequently settles in around your beach home, your copper gutters will begin to patina faster than they would on a log home in arid New Mexico. But no matter where you live, within a few days of installation, copper gutters will begin to fade and lose their bright shiny glow. In a month or so, they’ll start developing streaks and discoloration. In a year or two, they’ll turn completely brown and eventually will start to develop their beautiful green patina. Some homeowners even notice that their copper gutters age differently on the shady side of their home compared to the sunny side.
How Can I Revive the Shine on My Copper Gutters?
Don’t worry if you’ve let your copper gutters develop a patina, only to wish they were shiny. You can remove the patina and get the sheen back by polishing them with a copper cleaner. Cleaners and an antioxidant/UV protectant can be applied periodically to maintain a shiny look. Just know that maintaining that warm glow is a lot of work.
Can I Paint My Copper Gutters?
Bottom line – it would be a crime to paint copper. If for some reason you’re tempted to paint your copper gutters, take the time to learn more about this amazing metal so you can appreciate its unique characteristics. Once you understand copper, you absolutely won’t want to paint it.
Are Copper Gutters Long Lasting?
Of all the gutter types you can buy, copper gutters are some of the longest-lasting. If installed properly, copper gutters are known to last an average of 60 years. And depending on the climate and care, they can go on to protect your home from 80 to 100 years.
Are Copper Gutters Durable?
You may think that such a beautiful, high-end material would be delicate and require a lot of TLC. But the fact is – copper gutters are extremely durable. Copper contracts and expands less than aluminum or steel. And this is even less of a problem when you go with seamless copper gutters that only have joints at corners or where downspouts are connected.
Are Copper Gutters Hard to Maintain?
As with any gutter system, you’ll need to periodically clean roof runoff and debris out of your copper gutters. If you’ve decided to let the copper develop its protective patina, copper gutters are fairly worry-free. But if you want to maintain the shiny finish, you’ll have to polish them with a specific copper cleaner at least once a year – maybe more often depending on your climate. Maintaining the shine can be time-consuming, and the cost will add up over time if you hire someone to do it.
Investing in copper gutter guards can help keep debris out of the gutters. Whenever you’re working with copper gutters, use plastic tools and gloves. Other metals react with copper and can stain it. Also, the natural oils in your hands will stain copper so avoid touching it directly so the shine or patina isn’t affected.
Whenever climbing up to maintain your copper gutters, never lean the ladder against them. A ladder can dent and scratch the copper. Be sure to use a ladder stabilizer or ladder stand-off that rests the weight of the ladder on the roof instead of against the gutter.
Do Copper Gutters Rust?
Rust is one of the most common problems that cause most types of gutters to fail. Rusted gutters leak and don’t protect your home from water damage. Repairs can be made, but they can be time-consuming and expensive. Copper gutters don’t rust. This is one reason why they are so long-lasting and a worthwhile investment.
Can Copper Gutter Joints be Caulked?
Copper gutters are long-lasting when they’re installed by a skilled contractor. This is because the contractor solders the joints to prevent them from leaking. A cheap and fast way to join sections or joints is to caulk them. But caulk sets up your gutter system for failure. Caulk eventually gets brittle and cracks, allowing for leaks and problems. There is no caulk that lasts as long or is as durable as solder.
Are Copper Gutters Expensive?
Yes. Copper gutters will cost from four to five times the price of an aluminum gutter system. Added to the cost of copper gutters is the fact that all the hangers, screws, and other fixtures must also be copper or copper-compatible. Other metals react with copper and can begin to corrode it. If all-copper fixtures are used, corrosion is not an issue.
Copper gutter installation is also expensive. An experienced contractor has the skills to properly work with copper and understands copper’s special idiosyncrasies. And it takes more time to install copper gutters than other gutter types because there are more steps involved. The outlets are typically hand-cut rather than punched, as with aluminum gutters, and caps, corner miters, elbows, and downspouts are carefully soldered.
Can I Install Copper Gutters Myself?
A professional contractor who is experienced working with copper will provide the best installation that allows for the longest lifespan of your copper gutters. If you try to install copper gutters yourself, you’ll be working with sections of copper, not a seamless gutter system. That means there will be more connections and joints. Although some homeowners can install vinyl or aluminum gutters, copper is a unique material. Installing it is an art form that most DIYers haven’t mastered. This is why contractors typically don’t have their apprentices handle the trickier tasks like cutting and soldering. So no, it’s not recommended that homeowners install copper gutters on their own.
Will Copper Gutters Increase My Home Value?
Because of their outstanding longevity, durability, and beauty, copper gutters add significant value to a property. Whenever an appraiser, realtor, or potential buyer glances up toward the roof and sees copper gutters, they see value. They know they are looking at a significant investment that is calculated into the home’s value.
Are Copper Gutters Worth the Investment?
Copper gutters are considered a worthwhile investment because of their high-end good looks and curb appeal, durability, longevity, and low maintenance properties. You may pay four to five times as much for copper gutters, but if they last 80 to 100 years, it’s easy to see how your investment will pay off over time.
Will Copper Gutters Work With My Home’s Design?
Although copper gutters are traditionally associated with historic homes, they will add beauty and distinction to any style of home. Obviously, copper gutters are a hand and glove fit with a Victorian home but they also look fabulous on a Prairie Style, Mediterranean, or even on an ultra-modern home. Copper gutters can even add charm and character to a beach bungalow.
What Shapes and Sizes Are Copper Gutters Available In?
The shape of a gutter is called its profile. Copper gutters are most commonly available in K-style and half-round profiles. Although there are exceptions, K-style is more commonly available in seamless copper gutters. Half-round is more commonly available in 10- and 20-foot lengths. They come in standard 5- and 6-inch sizes but they can be custom-sized too. K-style is usually more effective for handling a lot of rain so if you live in an area where rain comes down in torrents, a custom-sized K-style that’s 7- or 8- inches may be your best bet.
If you have more questions about copper gutters, Spout Gutter Pros has the answers! Maybe you’re looking for someone who can clean and polish your copper gutters so they look bright, shiny, and new. Or maybe you’re looking for an expert installer. It can be difficult and a worry to try to find the right person for the job – but not when you use Spout Gutter Pros. We vet every professional in our network to make sure they’re licensed, insured, and totally reputable. When you hire a copper gutter expert through Spout Gutter Pros, you can trust that the job will be done to the highest standards.
You’ll find the best copper gutter experts in your area through Spout Gutter Pros. It’s fast and easy. Get your free quotes now!