Find a Galvanized Steel Gutter Contractor Near Me
If you live in an area with especially harsh weather, your home’s rain gutters are probably going to take a beating. Should you need some replacement or repair work done or you are in the market to install a completely new gutter system, you will definitely want to consider galvanized steel rain gutters: the hardiest on the market today. Made of steel that’s been zinc coated for durability, these gutters, if properly maintained, will last you for decades.
Unlike other gutters made of lighter-weight materials, installing galvanized steel is not a task that can be handled by even the most experienced DIYers. You will want to make sure to hire a reliable, licensed contractor to do the job properly. Rely on Spout Gutter Pros to gather free quotes from licensed, insured gutter contractors in your area. Click now for as many free quotes as you’d like in just minutes!
What Are Galvanized Steel Gutters?
Galvanized steel gutters are made of steel, one of the strongest materials available for gutters, that has been coated with liquified zinc. The galvanization process protects the gutters from all kinds of inclement weather and prevents them from rusting over time. Galvanized steel gutters are particularly well-suited for locales that experience extreme weather conditions such as bitter, freezing cold or blistering heat. They come in either 10-foot and 20-foot lengths and in two main profiles: K Style (a square shape) or Half Round (trough-like shape). They can also be fabricated in custom styles to match the look of any home.
Galvanized Steel Gutters vs. Aluminum Gutters
Rain gutters are an important part of your home’s functionality. Their purpose is to divert rainwater away from your roof and foundation. There are many choices on the market when it comes to gutter materials, but two of the strongest are galvanized steel and aluminum. How do you decide which is best for your home and climate? Following is a quick look at the differences:
- Cost: In general, the materials cost around the same for galvanized steel and aluminum gutters: $4-$9 for sectional gutters, while seamless are $6-$14 per linear foot. The difference in cost comes with installation. Labor for galvanized steel is more expensive due to the weight of the material and the number of workers required to lift and hang the gutters.
- Materials: Aluminum is a lighter-weight material that is widely available, comes in a variety of colors and styles, is more rust-resistant, and requires little maintenance. Galvanized steel is more durable, crack-resistant in the heat, and less likely to leak. Both are easily paintable and last about 20 years with proper care. Downsides? Aluminum can dry out and crack in extreme weather, can leak around the joints, and is easily dented. Galvanized steel is less available, requires more maintenance to ensure it doesn’t rust, comes in fewer colors, and is more difficult to install.
- Manufacturing: Aluminum gutter systems typically come in 10’ or 20’ sections that snap together. They are made of lightweight material that is easy to cut or bend. Galvanized steel systems also come in sections that snap together for efficient installation. Both are available in seamless that can be manufactured to custom lengths on the job site, using a portable machine. Both come in pre-painted colors, or you can choose white or brown and paint them to match your home’s exterior.
- Installation: While many homeowners feel like the snap-together systems are easily installed, they often underestimate the difficulty involved in joining the pieces together, adding end caps, corner pieces, and downspouts. Both aluminum and steel gutters systems are held to the roof by brackets or hangers that have to be spaced and pitched perfectly. All in all, it’s important to hire a professional for the install so it’s done correctly.
- Maintenance & Durability: Installed and maintained properly, both types of systems can last 20 years or more. While aluminum won’t rust, it can become easily dented and tends to expand and contract with the temperature, leading to cracks. Steel is a hardier material that can withstand more severe weather conditions, but if scratched, it can rust. Both systems need to be inspected a few times a year, cleared of excess debris, and patched if problems arise.
- Leakage: The biggest drawback to sectional systems, whether aluminum or steel, is that the seams can eventually leak. Seamless gutters are becoming increasingly popular because they don’t leak. Seamless systems join only at the inside and outside corners and at the downspouts, making them much more efficient over time.
Pros and Cons of Galvanized Steel Gutters
Rain gutters come in a wide variety of materials including wood, vinyl, aluminum, steel, and copper, but one of the most durable choices is galvanized steel. Treated with a special zinc coating, galvanized steel is a popular choice for gutters thanks to its durability and versatility. But it also comes with its own set of potential drawbacks.
Following, Spout Gutter Pros outlines the pros and cons of this sturdy material to help you make a better choice when deciding on gutters for your home.
- Cost: When compared to other materials, galvanized steel is not overly expensive at about $4-$9 per linear foot for sectional gutters, and $6-$14 for seamless. If you’re on a budget, it’s well worth considering galvanized steel as it’s strong, long-lasting, good-looking, and less expensive than stainless steel or copper. Some manufacturers even offer more environmentally-friendly gutter systems made of recycled steel which don’t cost much more.
- Styles/Availability: Galvanized steel gutters are widely available in most markets and come in an extensive variety of colors, styles, and sizes. They are manufactured primarily in two styles: either K Style (named for the shape of the gutter when viewed from the side) and Half Round (which look like you took a pipe and cut it in half lengthwise) profiles. They can also be fabricated in 10-foot sections in custom profiles to meet any homeowners’ specific needs. Half-Rounds come in two styles: Double Bead Half Round with a curled bead in the front and backside of the gutter or Reverse Bead Gutter with the front bead curling in an unfinished back.
- Durable: Homeowners like galvanized steel because it is strong and weather resistant. It can withstand temperature fluctuations without cracking or warping, giving your rain gutters longer life than many other materials provide. Galvanized steel is coated with a thin layer of zinc, which strengthens the metal and makes it highly resistant to rust, if well-maintained.
- Seamless: Galvanized steel gutters come either in sectional or seamless varieties which can be customized to fit your home perfectly. Sectional gutters are cut and fitted to your home’s measurements, while seamless gutters can be manufactured on the spot to your home’s precise specifications.
- Dent-resistant: One of the reasons galvanized steel is so popular is that it’s not easily dented by flying objects or hail. This is especially useful in parts of the country that see extreme weather conditions.
- Long-lasting: If well-maintained, galvanized steel gutters should last for more than 20 years.
- Cost: Other gutter materials, such as vinyl and aluminum, can be cheaper, but come with their own set of problems. While you might be paying more upfront, you will see a longer life span and a better look from galvanized steel. The downside to galvanized steel is that it is a heavier material and will cost more in labor when being installed as more manpower is required to lift and secure the gutters into place.
- Maintenance: Galvanized steel, although specially coated, can rust under certain conditions. It’s vital that homeowners know they’re going to be performing routine maintenance on their new gutters at least twice a year if they go with galvanized steel. This includes removing leaves and debris, washing the gutters down, patching any holes, and making sure they don’t sag.
- Rust: Zinc can wear off, leaving the steel prone to rust. Even the smallest hole can expose the metal underneath, leaving it open to the elements and susceptible to rusting. This is one of the reasons routine maintenance is so important with galvanized steel. Applying an additional rust coating to the material before installation can prevent many of these problems and extend the life of your new system.
- Installation: Galvanized steel gutters are a little heavier than other materials, making them harder to install. They are also less flexible than other systems, which makes the job more difficult and time-consuming. This adds to labor costs as contractors need more time to secure brackets, lift the sections, and screw them into place.
- Leaking: Sectional galvanized steel gutters may corrode at the seams leaving them prone to leakage around the joints. They may also rust in areas that have gotten scratched, resulting in the need for repair or section replacement.
- Sagging: The heavier metal makes galvanized steel gutters prone to sagging if they become full of leaves, snow, ice, or rain. Checking and clearing them regularly is important to ensuring their longevity.
- Leaf guards: Leaf guards help extend the life of any type of rain gutter. They’re especially important with galvanized steel gutters, as wet clumps of fallen leaves hurry the onset of rust. There are many styles of leaf guard available to fit any galvanized steel gutter profile including: K-Style lock-on gutter screens, staggered K-style guards, hinged gutter screens, Half-Round hinged gutter screens, foam, mesh, and plastic gutter guards.
How Much Do Galvanized Steel Gutters Cost?
Galvanized steel is one of the sturdiest materials for gutters, but it is slightly more expensive than aluminum. Galvanized steel gutters come in two types: sectional and seamless. The cost of galvanized steel gutters is around $4-$9 for sectional gutters, while seamless are $6-$14. You will pay more in labor to install galvanized steel due to the weight and expertise required to install it properly. Most professional installers charge from $3-$8 per linear foot. If you have a home that requires 150 feet of sectional gutters, you can expect to pay $600-$1350 in materials and $500-$900 in labor, totaling $1100-$2250.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Galvanized Steel Gutters
Galvanized steel gutters can be a very cost-effective way to go if you’re considering replacing worn-out gutters or simply installing a new system on your house. The materials are affordable but the following are some factors that will affect the overall cost.
- New install vs. replacement: If you see holes in your guttering, or it’s hanging off the wall, you’ll have to decide whether to repair or replace the entire system. Holes and cracks can be fixed by caulking, patching, or replacing sections. But if you decide it’s time to update your system, there will be costs in addition to the materials, such as old gutter removal/disposal, labor, and delivery.
- Roof configuration: If your roof is exceptionally high, has a steep slope or unusual pitch, you may pay more in installation costs. The installation team will need more safety equipment to reach those locations and insurance, resulting in extra fees.
- How much guttering?: Another major issue affecting the cost of your gutter job is the size of your home. If your home is exceptionally large, you will pay more in both materials and labor.
- Other components: Gutter systems are put together with components other than the gutters themselves. When calculating the cost, account for such items as gutter hangers, downspout extensions, flashing, splash blocks, and drains.
- Leaf or gutter guards: Protecting your gutter system with leaf or gutter guards will also add to the overall cost but will potentially save you money over time.
Galvanized Steel Gutter Installation
Galvanized steel gutters are affordable and convenient. The material is sturdy and durable but weighs more than aluminum. For that reason, when installing galvanized gutters, you’ll want to use a mounted bracket system that can handle the weight. It’s important to hire a pro so the installation is done correctly.
Can You DIY Galvanized Steel Gutters?
While it may seem easy to install sectional galvanized steel gutters yourself, small mistakes can end up costing you more in the long run. Even the most experienced DIYers can choose the wrong size gutters for their home, pitch them incorrectly, place the downspouts in the wrong direction, or not use adequate bracing to hold the gutters in place. All of these errors can result in extensive damage to your home and its foundation. You are better off hiring a professional who has a solid track record of installing gutter systems and knows the intricacies of working with galvanized steel.
How to Install Galvanized Steel Gutters
Installing a galvanized steel gutter system requires a level of expertise that is best left to the pros. You’ll want to make sure you work with a contractor who has plenty of experience so there’s no room for error. Following are the steps to follow when installing galvanized steel gutters:
- Measuring: The first step, whether you’ve decided to go with sectional or seamless steel gutters, is to measure the lengths of the eaves. Most traditional gutter systems come in lengths of 10’ per section. An additional 2” needs to be added to each section to account for coupling. Downspouts also need to be measured separately and added to the equation.
- On-site fitting: If you’re installing a seamless system, the pieces will be cut exactly to your specifications at your home and won’t require coupling. In either case, you’ll want to make sure that the gutter pieces will fit snugly under the eaves and don’t hang or sag anywhere.
- Placement and installation: The next step is to mark a chalk line on the fascia, just below the flashing. The gutter requires a downward pitch of 1/2 inch per 10 feet, directed toward the downspout. Steel gutters are usually held to the roof by exterior brackets, hidden brackets, or straphangers. These need to be carefully measured and then anchored through the fascia into the rafter tails. Then, gutter sections are cut to length and joined together with rivets and caulking (unless they’re seamless). At the end of each gutter, an end cap is attached and sealed with caulking.
- Downspouts: The final step is to cut downspout holes in the low end of the gutters. The gutters are laid into the brackets and secured with screws. Joints are formed at the gutter corners with strip miters; pieces of metal that are cut and riveted into place, then sealed with caulking. Then downspout outlets are attached to the gutter with screws. The elbow is attached, and then the downspout, pointing the water in the direction you want it to flow.
- Addition of gutter guards: If you live in a seasonal area, and don’t want to perform a lot of maintenance, you might want to consider adding guards to your gutter system. These protect against clogs and backups by putting a mesh or wire guard over the gutters to catch twigs, leaves, and other debris as it falls.
Galvanized Steel Gutter Repair, Replacement & Maintenance
While galvanized steel is one of the strongest materials for rain gutters, it does have its vulnerabilities. If you’re considering going with galvanized steel for your new gutter system, you should take into account common repair and maintenance issues you might encounter. Most small repairs can be done by a handyman for $20-$50/hr, while more complex repairs should be performed by a contractor (prices will vary).
- Clogged/blockages gutter or downspout issues: Good maintenance of any type of rain gutter is the key to its longevity. Even with galvanized steel, you’ll want to make sure the gutters and downspouts are checked and cleared of all debris at least twice a year. Then, the entire system should be flushed out with a hose and any damaged sections identified and cleaned.
- Denting: As with any metal, dented gutters can usually be fixed by pulling the dents out manually. One way is to pound lightly on the inside of the dent with a rubber mallet until it pops out. The other way is to drill a tiny hole, place a washer on the other side, insert a screw with pliers and pull out the dent. Then, fix the hole(s) with fillers and caulk.
- Leaking: Leaking gutters are dangerous as they can cause water to backflow, damaging your home. Check for rust spots, holes, and cracks periodically and if you notice any, repair immediately. Small holes can be filled with plastic roofing cement or silicone caulking. Larger cracks can be fixed by cutting lengths of metal flashing to size and affixing with roofing cement.
- Joint separation: Joints are one of the most common areas you’ll see leaks on gutters. First, disassemble and make sure they are completely clean, removing existing caulking with a stiff wire brush. Then apply silicone caulk to the joint area and reassemble.
- Gutter slope: If the gutters aren’t sloped to the correct pitch, they won’t be able to drain properly. If you’re noticing backups, it may be due to slippage. Have your contractor check to see if the slope is correct, and if not, reaffix the hangers at the correct angle.
- Sagging/pulling away from the house: Substantial snow, ice, or full gutters can cause them to become heavy and pull away from the house. Your contractor will need to clean out the gutters and then reaffix the brackets to the fascia so they can function correctly.
Galvanized steel rain gutters are a great investment for your home and installed correctly, they will last for decades. With Spout Gutter Pros, get free estimates from fully licensed, bonded, and insured gutter contractors near you, compare the quotes and hire an expert today!