A Property Manager’s Guide To: Aluminum Gutters
Rain gutters have a long and evolving history, dating back thousands of years to the Indus Valley civilization that thrived during the Bronze Age. There are records of Romans engaging in early forms of guttering before taking the practice north, where the invention of rain gutters continued to grow and expand along with the Norman Empire. From gargoyles to wooden V-shaped troughs to hefty steel half-rounds, gutters have changed dramatically throughout the years.
During WWII, steel became a much harder material to come by, forcing manufactures to search for alternatives and eventually landing on aluminum. By the 1960s, seamless aluminum gutters had taken the market by storm, and to this day, remains one of the – if not the most – popular gutter options available. But what makes the aluminum gutter such a mainstay and why, as a property manager, should you invest in aluminum gutters?
- Affordable: installing gutters can get expensive quickly, especially if you’re having to cover several buildings or properties. Luckily aluminum is one of the most inexpensive gutter materials out there and far sturdier than it’s cheaper equivalent, vinyl.
- Long-Lasting/Durable: aluminum gutters, on average, can last upwards of 20 years with little to no maintenance besides having your gutters cleaned annually. Thanks to the metal’s – warning for science mumbo jumbo – molecular structure and the chemical reaction that occurs when brought into contact with water, these gutters are rust resistant. The thin layer of hard oxidation that naturally occurs with aluminum, helps to prevent the thinning and rusting of your gutters over the years. This means your investment will have a better value and carry you further than other options out there.
- Better Water Capacity: The Pacific Northwest saw, on average, roughly 37 inches of rainfall last year. Nothing too dramatic compared to rainfall levels in places like New Orleans or Boston but during peak rainy periods, Oregon rainfall can fall in torrents creating flash flooding and overwhelming drainage systems. Due to aluminum’s strength, the gutter channels can be made larger, allowing for higher volumes of water to flow through – ideal for those torrential downpours.
- Lightweight: while being very strong, aluminum is also lightweight, meaning you won’t have to worry as much about gravity causing your gutters to sag or dip and ultimately damaging your property’s exterior.
- Customizable: aluminum gutters come in many shapes, styles and colors. Seamless aluminum gutters are incredibly popular thanks to their longevity and can be custom made to fit your requirements. If you’re in search of a cheaper option, plain aluminum gutters can also be painted to match the exterior of your property, or the general color scheme of the complex.
- Susceptible To Thermal Expansion: when temperatures hit a certain level, metals will naturally expand and as the temperature drops, the metal contracts. This process is called thermal expansion and due to the incredibly thin nature of aluminum gutters, they can suffer the consequences of this normal occurrence. Typically, this is not an issue that needs considering for most home owners or property managers. However, if you live in a climate that experiences extreme weather, such as 115° F days in Phoenix or -17° F nights in Fairbanks, you will need a stronger material such as steel for your gutters.
- Prone To Dings: while being lightweight is a benefit of aluminum, it also means that the thinness of the material is prone to dings and dents. Using a hammer, you can always knock out the dents that occur, leaving your gutters looking almost as good as new but depending on where your property is, this may not be an option. Many years ago, while living in California, I got to see firsthand, how detrimental the combination of eucalyptus trees and Santa Ana winds could be for many a home. When debris is flying through the air at 40 miles an hour, your aluminum gutters don’t stand a chance and oppose to reshaping one gutter after the other, selecting a heavier material may be wise.
- Leaks: sectioned aluminum gutters do tend to leak along the seams and can become worse with age. However, applying a sealant to your gutters can help prevent this but the better option is just installing seamless gutters to begin with.
Remove The Guess Work
Don’t risk an improper job by selecting and installing your gutters yourself. Rather, rely on a professional gutter installer with years of experience in the field. At Snugs, our dedicated gutter installation and repairs team have the knowledge and training necessary to make quick work of your gutter installations no matter what time of year it is. Over the years, we’ve perfected our standards and equipment and now have the ability to make custom aluminum gutters on site, making the process as smooth and stress-free as possible. With their durability, longevity, lightweight nature and customizability, aluminum gutters are a great, affordable option for property managers looking to outfit one or several buildings. So when you’re ready for some new, quality aluminum gutters, go ahead and give the professionals at Snugs a call and schedule your installation!
Snugs Pro Wash, Inc, dba SNUGS Services, has been providing high quality Pressure Washing Services in Portland, OR since 1995. Started as a residential pressure washing and roof cleaning service, SNUGS is now one of the leading exterior cleaning companies in the Northwest. From our humble beginnings as a man with a truck and a trailer we have grown to become a multi-million dollar company serving corporate customers, name brands, and mom and pop companies alike.