The first question you may be asking is “What in the world is galvalume?” Galvalume is a type of building material that consists of metal sheeting coated by a 45% zinc and 55% aluminum coating.
The coating is used primarily as a protective coat to prevent oxidation and rusting. While galvalume was originally thought to have many benefits and is used widely in gutter installations, it does come with its drawbacks. Let’s dive into why we don’t recommend galvalume gutters for your home.
Also read: Winter Plumbing Issues.
Why are gutters such a big deal?
Gutters are one of the most important external items you can purchase for your house. They are the first line of defense from moisture creeping into your house and damaging the facia boards, walls, and foundation.
Without properly maintained gutters, you may be looking at some costly repairs from water not properly being diverted away from your house.
Choosing the right gutters made from the right materials will help save you money in the long run from not having to repair the damage that would have been caused by rain and moisture.
The good and the bad about galvalume gutters
Before recommending to buy or not to buy something for your next home renovation, it’s important to look at both the benefits and drawbacks. Galvalume gutters are widely used today, but let’s compare the pros and cons to see if they’re really the best option out there.
- High strength to weight ratio. Galvalume gutters have a strong structural element and are resistant to sagging over time.
- Reflective material reduces heat absorption. By reflecting most of the sun’s rays, galvalume gutters tend to stay cooler than their counterparts.
- Coating can be scratched easily. While the coating for galvalume gutters makes them more corrosion and rust resistant, it’s also easily scratched and damaged. This can be the beginning for rust to form and reduce the lifetime of your gutters. Even the most careful professional can damage galvalume coating from the day the gutters were installed.
- On the pricey side. While its matte finish may look nice, your wallet won’t be happy. Galvalume, while not the most expensive material to use for your gutters, tends to be more expensive than most of its material counterparts.
- Limits to coating thickness and the thickness able to be coated. Through the process of creating the galvalume coat, it only leaves a thin layer of protection which makes it more susceptible to damage.
A better alternative to galvalume gutters
Ok, so you’re looking for something that won’t break the bank, has high corrosion resistance, and can be customizable. We’ve already established that galvalume gutters may not be the most bang for the buck. The most popular type of gutter in the market today is aluminum gutters.
Aluminum gutters are less expensive than galvalume gutters and can provide the same value, if not more. One of the advantages of using aluminum gutters is not only that the aluminum itself is corrosion resistant, but can also come in varying thicknesses which can compensate for its more malleable structure.
Here are some benefits of using aluminum gutters instead of the more expensive galvalume ones.
- Corrosion resistant: When metal alloys contain iron, they are more susceptible to oxidizing and rusting which can damage the integrity of the gutter. Aluminum doesn’t contain iron and is therefore much more resistant to rust.
- Durable: Despite some numbers out there, with the correct gutter maintenance and cleaning schedule, aluminum gutters are able to last you up to 30 years.
- Temperature resistant: For the same reason aluminum is used to construct planes, it’s also used in gutters due to its heat resistant nature. The natural expansion and contraction of metals when they heat up and cool down can cause stress and cracks over time. Aluminum is especially designed to mitigate that ebb and flow and reduce wear and tear from temperature changes.
- Affordable: If you’re looking to install new gutters with financial peace of mind, aluminum gutters are the way to go. Aluminum is less expensive than galvalume and provides a great value to homeowners for their money.
- Eco friendly: Aluminum is an in demand material. The great thing about aluminum is that when the time comes to replace your gutters again, it can be fully recycled. Aluminum promotes sustainability and the desire to help the environment in an industry that is actually terrible for it.
Luckily most reputed companies such as Ned Stevens uses aluminum gutters. The material’s durability and rust resistance ensures that rainwater won’t enter your house (at least not from the gutters).
While most installers use thinner gauge aluminum, Ned Stevens believe in durability. Ned Steven uses 0.032 gauge for gutters (except in southern states – NC, GA, and SC). The aluminum gutters are custom made on site for your house so you can rest easy knowing they’ll fit like they’re supposed to.