Should You Get Aluminum Gutters?

By Amanda Lutz Updated February 29, 2024

Gutters are essential to your home’s roofing system, keeping your roof, siding, and foundation safe from water damage. Gutters sit under your roof’s fascia, collecting rainwater and snow runoff and then diverting it through the gutter system to your downspouts. The downspouts then direct the water away from your property, where it can be safely reabsorbed into the ground.

Aluminum is one of the most popular gutter materials for residential and commercial properties, proving to be a durable and cost-effective solution. But are aluminum gutters the best gutters for your home? Let’s explore their pros and cons, alternative gutter options, and how to maintain your new gutters so they can protect your home for years.


Advantages of Aluminum Gutters

The advantages of aluminum gutters make them a popular choice for homeowners. Consider these three key benefits when comparing them to other gutter types.

Affordability

Aluminum gutters rank high on affordability, as they are less expensive per foot than copper or steel gutters. The cost of aluminum gutter installation is often significantly lower because the aluminum gutter system is easy to install. The pieces are lightweight and come in longer sections, making them quicker to put up, even with end caps and downspouts to install. Plus, because aluminum gutters are so durable, upkeep and repair costs tend to be lower. 

Customizability

Not only are aluminum gutters affordable, but you can also find aluminum gutter systems to suit your home’s style. Opt for K-style gutters to blend in with your roofline or half-round gutters for contrasting detail. Unlike other materials, you can paint aluminum rain gutters any color you wish so they can blend in with or stand out from the rest of your home. Gutter colors can greatly impact your home’s overall appearance and significantly enhance its curb appeal.

Durability

Your gutters need to hold up to severe weather conditions. They will be exposed to the elements 24 hours a day and must withstand falling branches, hits from ladders, heavy hail, and the occasional frisbee. Aluminum gutters are long-lasting—they can last 20 years or more with minimal maintenance. They resist corrosion well and will still do their job, even with a small dent.


Disadvantages of Aluminum Gutters

Aluminum rain gutters aren’t always the right choice in every situation. Here are a few disadvantages to keep in mind:

Ultimately, the disadvantages of aluminum gutters are similar to other gutter types. However, compared to other gutter systems’ cost and longevity, aluminum is often a winning option for property owners.


Cost of Aluminum Gutters

According to Fixr, the average cost of aluminum gutters is between $5 and $13 per square foot or between $6 and $20 with installation. Homeowners can expect to pay around $1,500 on average for their new gutters, but the following factors can influence your final price:


Life Span of Aluminum Gutters

You can expect your new gutters to last for around 20 years. They may last for a longer or shorter time depending on the following factors:


Aluminum vs. Other Gutter Types

Are aluminum gutters the best option for your home? Learn more about the other types of gutters, including their pros and cons, before you decide on a material for your home improvement project.

Copper Gutters

Copper gutters are a unique option for your home. You can maintain the copper material to keep the coppery shine or allow it to take on a green patina over time. Copper gutters are one of the more expensive options for your home, but they will last 50 years or more and can incentivize buyers who won’t need to worry about replacing them.

Pros:

➕ A unique option to add character to your home
➕ Average life span of 50 years or more
➕ Durable material that won’t easily dent and works in most climates

Cons:

➖ Most expensive gutter material
➖ Require regular maintenance if you don’t want the patina

Steel Gutters

Steel used to be the standard gutter material for residential properties, but less expensive, lighter aluminum options have replaced it. Steel gutters are highly durable, so they are less susceptible to dents or damage from hail or debris but could be vulnerable to rust. They require soldering, so you’ll need to hire a professional installer. However, you’ll get a lot of life for the extra cost because steel gutters can last 30 years or more.

Pros:

➕ Long-lasting gutter material
➕ Super durable

Cons:

➖ More expensive
➖ Prone to rust
➖ Require professional installation

Vinyl Gutters

Made from PVC and plastic, vinyl gutters are becoming increasingly popular. They are one of the most inexpensive gutter materials and are perfect if you want to do the installation. While these gutters can last up to 20 years, they can become brittle in extreme temperatures. If you live in a very hot or wet climate, your vinyl gutters may only last about 10 years.

Pros:

➕ Easy to install yourself
➕ Last up to 20 years
➕ Low in cost

Cons:

➖ Become brittle in extremely hot or wet climates


Installation and Maintenance of Aluminum Gutters

The correct installation and maintenance will ensure your aluminum gutters protect your home from water damage for many years. You can avoid expensive repairs and replacements in the future by investing your time and effort into their upkeep and installation now.

Here are a few helpful tips and basic upkeep practices you’ll need to know.

Installing Aluminum Gutters

Unless you have a lot of home improvement experience, you’ll probably want to hire a professional to install your new gutters. The installation process is complex, requiring sealants, rivets, caulk, and specialized tools to create watertight seams and space for downspouts. You’ll then need to lift it all into place using fasteners and other building products while standing on a ladder.

If you don’t get it right, your home could be vulnerable to leaks and floods. Sometimes, installing gutters yourself may also void a warranty on your roof or other parts of your home. Plus, you’ll be doing all of the installation work from a ladder, which puts you at increased risk for falls and injuries.

Hiring a professional gutter installation company can allow you to take advantage of warranties and give you peace of mind that your home is protected from water damage. The installation cost will pay for itself when you have beautiful new gutters that you won’t have to worry about for the next 20 years.

Maintenance Tips for Aluminum Gutters

Want to make your new aluminum gutters last as long as possible? You’ll want to:

With regular cleaning and maintenance, your aluminum gutters can keep your home safe and dry for years.


Our Recommendation

Aluminum gutters are popular for residential and commercial properties thanks to their durability and affordability, and you can customize their appearance to match your style. While debris, ladders, or a misplaced frisbee could dent them, small dents won’t stop the gutters from working, and you can repair or replace any damaged pieces at minimal cost. The installation process is pretty complex, so you’re better off hiring a professional to tackle this home improvement project.

If you want gutters that will last 20 years or longer with minimal maintenance, aluminum gutters are an excellent option.


Aluminum Gutters FAQ

What are the disadvantages of aluminum gutters?

The most significant disadvantage of aluminum gutters is their susceptibility to damage. Falling branches, heavy hail, or a carelessly placed ladder can easily dent this thin, lightweight material.

Are aluminum gutters any good?

Aluminum gutters are good for residential and commercial properties thanks to their durability and low cost. While other materials may last longer, aluminum is a reliable material that can help protect your property from water damage for up to 20 years.

Which is better, vinyl or aluminum gutters?

When deciding whether vinyl or aluminum gutters are better for your home, you’ll want to consider your budget and climate. Aluminum gutters may be slightly more expensive to install, but they are more durable in wet, hot climates and will last longer than vinyl options.

How do I maintain my aluminum gutters?

To maintain your aluminum gutters, you’ll want to clean them out at least twice a year to ensure water can freely flow through the gutter system. Inspect the gutters periodically to check for damage and replace any broken or cracked gutter pieces immediately to prevent water damage.