Aluminium gutters are a long lasting, effective way of protecting your business or home. It has quickly become the most popular rain water gutter system used to fulfil many residential and commercial needs. This is because of the range of benefits that aluminium guttering can provide compared to other materials used for guttering like steel, PVC and cast iron.
With its low cost in comparison to other materials, light-weight, long durability and its availability in many different colours from purchase. It is easy to understand how aluminium is getting its reputation as the perfect choice to be used for a rain water guttering system.
While aluminium is not the cheapest nor most expensive option, it is widely considered to be superior value for money, due to the numerous advantages that aluminium can give. Whilst PVC gutters are cheaper than aluminium they are far less durable when it comes to the long term. PVC often requires a lot of repairs which can reduce the overall functionality of the guttering.
While aluminium offers low maintenance cost and if it does become damaged, it can easily be repaired without a need or replacement. Which helps to restore the guttering system back to perfect working order. Therefore, aluminium is more cost efficient in the long term and would be considered a wiser investment over PVC.
Strength and Durability is where Aluminium stands out well compared to most other materials that could be used. Whilst steel is a strong material which could be used for guttering, aluminium is stronger in harsh weather environments. Meaning it can cope better than steel when it comes to heavy rain or snow.
Another benefit which aluminium offers is that the majority of all aluminium systems in use are rust proof. This is due to the aluminium systems having a polyester powder coating that protects them from long exposure to harsh elements. Whilst steel guttering does not have this option and would rust over time in the same environment.
PVC is another well used material for guttering systems. But when compared to aluminium, PVC systems weaknesses become more apparent. Whilst being cheaper, they are very weak and brittle. With low quality PVC gutter system decaying under intense direct sunlight or through simple wear and tear over a short period of time. Aluminium on the other hand, whilst being more expensive than PVC, can endure all these issues which would make PVC systems unusable within a similar timeframe.
When comparing physical resistances, aluminium can withstand physical damage from natural falling objects such as hail or tree branches. Compared to PVC which cannot make the same claim because of its brittle nature. Hail over time will deteriorate a PVC gutter system and simply leaning a ladder against it will cause it to break. Another problem with PVC guttering is if weight is applied it will them to flex, crack or break. Whilst aluminium will retain its shape and only in extreme cases will it bend however, it is possible to reshape back into position.
There are ways to extend the already longevity of an aluminium gutter system. An average domestic aluminium system can last at the least 25 years using the traditional range of styles available. This includes joints along the corner sections and some straights of the system. Using a seamless style will increase the life expectancy of the gutter system as there are less parts for issues to arise such as leaking.
This style would mean that the system would last at least 30 years on average but, would mean that any damaged that could not be repaired. For example if a large object collided with the guttering due to heavy wind, this would mean larger sections of the system would have to be replaced.
Regardless of this, the aluminium’s longevity and durability in harsh weather, its rust proof qualities and ability to endure physical damage is a great reason to use it for guttering. With little to no repair or real maintenance compared with other materials. Aluminium has proven to be a great option for many domestic and commercial needs as well as a wise investment.
Due to the light-weight nature of aluminium, installation of the gutters is extremely easy depending on the type of gutter system used. If a system uses segments, it is very simple and easy to be installed by one person. While a seamless gutter system is equally as easy to install, it would require multiple people to lift and fit it into place due to its length. Despite this, fitting a seamless system would still require very little time compared with other materials and would be inexpensive to be fitted professionally.
Style and Finishes
Aluminium systems are very easy to shape and create to fit many different styles from Victorian designs to modern ‘half round’ to fit many different commercial and domestic requirements whilst coming in a wide arrange of colours readily available.
To determine how eco-friendly an item is would mean you would have to consider the materials and other resources used to develop and manufacture the object. Compared to PVC, timber and steel gutter systems, aluminium gutter systems are extremely eco-friendly. As they are often made from recycled materials and can be recycled once again after use. Its production creates no harmful by-products unlike PVC manufacturing. It is nontoxic and does not break down into shards or pieces that could create environmental concern like PVC.
Its lack of reactivity to natural rain fall means that the water taken away by the system does not change its PH. Unlike other gutter systems which may cause this, the water which is passed through aluminium guttering will not damage the environment. If parts are replaced or the entire system is removed, the material can be recycled to be used for other aluminium products.
Who Does It Suit
An aluminium guttering system can fit many requirements for both commercial and domestic needs. Its light-weight means that they are easy to install at a low price with a short install time for either segmented pieces or a seamless piece. Its durability means that it will endure both weathering and physical damage for long periods of time without the need of repairs or replacing making them very cost efficient. Often providing the best long term investment option for many people, especially when considering its reasonable retail price compared with other material options.
Using aluminium often increase the desirability of a house or building due to its many benefits and without having to sacrifice aesthetic design. This causes more interest in properties with aluminium guttering compared to other properties using other gutter materials like steel or PVC.
Aluminium guttering does not require constant maintenance compared to other gutter options like steel or PVC, but still requires maintenance. It is best to perform maintenance on an aluminium gutter at least once every 6 months to ensure optimal performance. This also helps to catch any issues before they become a problem or to stop anything from causing an issue later down the line. It is important to regularly check and clean an aluminium gutter system like any other type of gutter. Remove all debris like leaves, twigs and dirt from the system into a bag to be disposed of later.
This ensures that any water caught in the gutter system is quickly and efficiently taken away before it overflows the system and causes water damage to exposed areas of the house. This is more important for aluminium gutter systems that are in segments, because small pieces of dirt can force their way into the joints over time. Causing them to open slowly which can not only reduce the systems overall efficiency, but can lead to leaks during heavy use. These leaks would cause damage over time to houses or building.
Whilst clearing the gutter of debris, it is best to also check all joints are still firmly sealed and secure. As well as any points where the system is fixed to the building. This ensures that the system is still working as intended and helps to prevent the risk of pieces coming loose. Checking for deterioration or corrosion will also mean that you’re able to catch any issues before they arise to aid in increasing its longevity.
Despite aluminium being resistant to physical damage, it is still not wise to place ladders against the system, especially around the joint areas. Doing this may not cause any initial damage however, repeatedly leaning the ladder against parts of the gutter system may weaken its structural integrity. This can lead to bending or warping which must be fixed after.
Leaning a ladder against joints may lead to breaks of the seals. This can cause the guttering to become ineffective and leak. The weakening of the joints can cause segments of the gutter to become loose which is can be a big health and safety hazard.
A mesh over the gutter may also be considered to aid the system from a large amount of debris from clogging the system. It would be useful to consider this if you house or building is surrounded by a lot of trees. Maintenance can either be done by yourself or by hiring a professional.