Find a Stainless Steel Gutter Contractor Near Me
Stainless steel rain gutters are prized for their indestructibility, shining good looks, and long life span. Made of an alloy of steel and chromium, they are rust-proof, resistant to all kinds of harsh weather corrosion, and guaranteed to last anywhere from 50 to 70 years. If you have the budget to go with stainless steel, as opposed to galvanized steel, it’s well worth considering the investment. But if that’s the direction you choose, you should definitely hire a stainless steel gutter contractor to do the job properly.
Whether you need a completely new gutter system installed, or some replacement or repair work done, be sure to find an expert, reliable contractor who understands the material and has plenty of experience working with stainless steel. Spout Gutter Pros offers free quotes from licensed, insured stainless steel gutter contractors in your area. Call or click today for free estimates in just minutes!
What Are Stainless Steel Gutters?
Stainless steel gutters are some of the strongest, most durable rain gutters available on the market today, similar to copper and zinc in their indestructibility and ability to handle all types of inclement weather. Stainless steel gutters are very low maintenance, won’t rust, don’t need painting or special coatings, and can last for many decades. While they come with a higher price tag than galvanized steel or aluminum, both in material and installation costs, the investment is considered to be exceedingly worthwhile as they resist the elements better than most other materials and will maintain their good looks for years.
Pros and Cons of Stainless Steel Gutters
Stainless steel rain gutters are among the strongest on the market today and will remain shimmering and spotless for decades with just a little care. They have a distinct shine that’s highly valued by proud homeowners and a resilience that’s unequaled by most other materials. But they are much less common than galvanized steel, or even aluminum, gutters. All that style and durability comes at a cost with stainless steel gutters amongst the most expensive on the market. They are an investment, to be sure, but one that’s highly worthwhile when it comes to your home’s overall functionality, curb appeal, and value. Following, we’ll explore some of the pros and cons of stainless steel rain gutters:
- Indestructible: While galvanized steel and stainless steel gutters are both made of steel, the two materials are very different. Stainless steel is a heavier, stronger material that won’t rust, corrode or dent. With its mix of chemical elements—including nickel, iron ore, silicon, and chromium—stainless steel becomes almost impervious to wind, rain, snow, and hail making it ideal for homes in hurricane- and snowstorm-prone areas. And, one happy side note, you don’t have to worry about leaning a ladder against them when cleaning…they won’t dent.
- Temperature resistant: Warping and sagging can happen to gutters made of other materials when the weather fluctuates from severe cold to extreme heat, but not stainless steel. While they do expand and contract with the temperature, it’s nowhere near to the degree of galvanized steel or aluminum, so they are considered much more temperature resistant. This makes them perfect for harsh climates, handling heat and cold equally well.
- Low maintenance: Once installed, stainless steel gutters are very low maintenance. They only require regular leaf and debris cleanouts, like any other gutter, and cleansing with a mild detergent and water. Unlike galvanized steel, you will not have to watch and take care of the zinc layer. With stainless steel, you just need to make sure you do not use any kind of abrasives or chlorine-based solutions which will ruin the oxide layer that protects the metal and keeps it looking pristine.
- High-shine: Stainless steel shines because the chromium in its makeup forms a surface layer that protects it from oxidation. That shiny finish will never dull or diminish as long as you care for your gutters. All you will need to do is keep them clean and, if you’re feeling ambitious, polish them with products specifically formulated for stainless steel.
- No rust: Unlike non-stainless models, stainless steel gutters will not rust. The interaction between its alloying elements and the environment causes a thin, stable film to form that prevents rust from developing. This makes stainless steel gutters highly desirable in harsher environments.
- Expensive: Stainless steel gutters cost an average of $20 per linear foot and up, which is about two to three times more expensive than other types of gutters. You will also want to install these gutters with stainless steel screws and fittings that will stand up to the elements better and safeguard your system over time, adding to cost. But many homeowners feel that the higher price tag is worth paying for the longevity you get with stainless.
- Heavy: Gutters made of stainless steel are heavier than those crafted from other materials. While this makes them stronger, it also means that they are more difficult to install than those made of vinyl or aluminum, for example. They also require heavier fittings and joints which adds to the overall cost. The additional labor, plus the higher cost of materials, means that you will pay more in time and money to install stainless steel rain gutters. Conversely, stainless will last much longer so you should not have to repair, paint or replace your gutters nearly as often over the lifetime of your home.
- Limited availability: Because steel gutters are more expensive, and less in demand, they come in a more limited array of colors and styles than vinyl or aluminum. Additionally, finding a contractor who has the experience and ability to manufacture seamless stainless steel gutters can be challenging. If you don’t like the metal look of stainless steel but want the strength, you always have the option of painting the gutters to match your home’s color. This, of course, will get you the look that you desire but will add to the overall time and money that you’re investing in your gutter system.
- Friction: While stainless steel is considered to be the most durable material around, it does have its own form of kryptonite in friction. Materials that are resistant to corrosion tend to sustain surface damage when they are subjected to prolonged friction. For this reason, it’s advised to keep your stainless steel gutters clear of anything that might cause active and ongoing friction.
How Much Do Stainless Steel Gutters Cost?
There’s no getting around it, the cost of stainless steel gutters is more than other materials. But if you’re looking for durability and long-lasting shine, stainless is the way to go. Stainless steel gutters typically cost about $20 per linear foot, or $2,400 for 120 feet and $5,000 for 250 feet, which is about 2-3 times more expensive than other types of gutters. There are fewer contractors who specialize in stainless, and it’s a heavy material to handle so the installation expense will be higher. Also, don’t forget to factor in the cost of additional materials like downspouts and brackets.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Stainless Steel Gutters
There are several factors that influence the cost of stainless steel gutters, including materials, labor, and any additional items required. Let’s take a look at some of these factors to help give you a clear picture of what to expect if you go stainless.
- New install vs. replacement: Stainless steel rain gutters range between $15-$30, averaging about $20 per linear foot. Add to that the cost of other components, like stainless steel hangers, downspout extensions, and flashing and you’re looking at a lot of materials costs. Then, there’s the expense of labor. These will vary according to location and the size of the job.
- Old gutter disposal: If you’re embarking upon a whole new gutter system, your contractor will have probably need to take down and safely dispose of your old gutters at a cost of between $100-$300.
- Home size: The size of your home will dictate the amount of guttering that will be required. You can expect that the average contractor will take around seven hours to install a 50-foot section of guttering, so you can estimate the cost based on the home’s size.
- Roof height: The pitch of your roof can affect installation pricing, based on any safety issues it might incur. If it’s super tall or complex, your contractor may need additional equipment, insurance, and labor which will add to the overall costs.
- Leaf guards: Leaf guard or gutter guard systems added to the gutters will also increase the job price.
Stainless Steel Gutter Installation
Stainless steel rain gutters are highly prized as they last forever and look great too. But the installation of this heavy-duty material can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive. Installation of stainless steel gutters requires precision and expertise and should be handled by a contractor that specializes in this type of material.
Can You DIY Stainless Steel Gutters?
Stainless steel is a heavy material and can be difficult to work with. All of the joints need to be soldered as most stainless steel gutter systems are sectional (seamless are a little more difficult to find). And like all metals, steel expands and contracts with heat, which means contractors need to understand how to install these specialized gutters correctly so they can breathe through all seasons. All of these factors make handling stainless gutter installation yourself inadvisable. If you’re going to go to the expense of investing in stainless steel, it’s best to let the experts handle the job.
How to Install Stainless Steel Gutters
The name stainless steel refers to the alloy of steel and chromium that makes the metal rust-proof and high-shine. Stainless steel rain gutters are incredibly strong, manufactured to resist all kinds of corrosive environments and weather conditions. Once polished, these gutters will maintain their attractive, shiny, “stainless” appearance for years, even decades, with very little maintenance. While they are among the priciest gutters out there, they are also some of the longest-lasting and if installed correctly, should last a lifetime.
Following are the typical steps service professionals take to install stainless steel gutter systems:
- Measuring: The first step is to measure the total length of gutter needed for each gutter run. The contractor will also mark the slope of the gutter which will help to carry the water toward the downspout. He’ll need to mark the high point and then calculate where to mark the low end. The low end is where the downspouts will be installed for drainage. With high and low points marked, the installer will create a line from one to the other with a piece of string, and then trace that line with chalk on the fascia board so he knows where to install brackets.
- Attaching brackets: Next, they will look for the rafter tails behind the fascia. They are usually spaced about 16” apart. They will then make a chalk mark over every other rafter tail along the chalk line made previously. Then they will install the mounting brackets, using long enough screws to extend through the fascia into the rafter tails.
- On-site fitting: The next step is to cut the gutter pieces to fit. With stainless steel, this will probably be in 10’ sections that need to be cut to size.
- Downspouts: Once the gutters have been sized, the contractor will cut notches in the gutter pieces where the downspouts will go (at the lowest nail).
- Placement and installation: With all of the brackets in place and everything marked, they will install the first gutter piece. These are attached by screwing a stainless steel screw into the mounting bracket. Then, each section is added and soldered together until the run is complete. The final step is to add the downspout elbows and drains.
- Adding gutter guards: A final option is to add gutter guards as a safeguard against leaf and debris accumulation in your brand new gutter system.
Stainless Steel Gutter Repair, Replacement & Maintenance
Homeowners invest in stainless steel gutter systems because they are long-lasting and require little by way of maintenance. But, like any gutter system, they do need to be watched for any issues that may arise. Because stainless steel is such a unique, specialized type of metal, you’ll want to hire experts to perform maintenance and repairs to ensure that no damage is done to your system. Each stainless steel contractor charges independently for their services, so you’ll need to get estimates in advance.
- Clearing gutters and downspouts: At least twice a year, you’ll want to have your gutters and downspouts cleared of all leaves, twigs, and other debris that may have gathered. These can cause clogs, especially at the seams, resulting in water overflow. Once the vegetation is removed, they will want to clean the system with water and a mild detergent. Make sure you hire a contractor experienced with stainless steel to handle this task as you don’t want your gutter material damaged by careless cleaning.
- Leaking: If you notice leaks, you’ll want to first clean out anything that may be caught and then have the joints or holes soldered. Typically, a contractor will take a piece of stainless steel flashing and solder it inside the gutter to prevent further water leakage.
- Joint separation: Over time, the soldering holding the gutter pieces together may weaken or become damaged. Again, you’ll need to make sure the gutter is clean and then have those joints reinforced by re-soldering them.
- Gutter slope: The gutters are mounted to the fascia with screws and over the years, as gutters become full of debris, snow, or ice, they can become heavy, pulling downwards and changing the slope. If rainwater isn’t flowing, have your contractor check and correct the slope as it may have shifted.
- Sagging/pulling away from the house: Similarly, if the gutters are noticeably sagging or pulling away from the home, they’ll need to be cleared and the brackets or hangers re-affixed to the fascia. Clogs and ice dams can be very heavy and cause the screws that hold the gutters to loosen.
- Improper draining/downspout issues: If the downspouts aren’t draining water away from your home properly, they may be clogged inside. A contractor will need to get up on a ladder and pull any stray material out of the drains, followed by a good rinse with a hose.
Installing stainless steel gutters requires a level of expertise not commonly found on the market. To locate experienced, licensed stainless steel gutter contractors in your area, visit Spout Gutter Pros today to request free quotes in just minutes!