Pros and Cons of Galvanized Gutters

Galvanized gutters have been a popular choice for some time, and continue to remain one of the most widely ordered gutter systems in the United States. They are inexpensive, offer a long lasting gutter option, and are easy to maintain. If you are considering adding galvanized gutters to your home, here are a few simple things to keep in mind.

Pro: Cost

Galvanized steel gutters are one of the most inexpensive options available for guttering systems. In most cases you can expect to pay an average of $6 per linear foot. Other materials can cost in excess of $20 per linear foot, making galvanized one of the most popular options for saving money. Coatings are available for galvanized materials that will extend the life and prevent rust. You can expect to dig into your wallet a little deeper for the different coatings available.

Pro: Durability

Galvanized steel has a reputation for being an extra durable material. Adding a zinc coating to the gutters will protect them in ice and snow better than an untreated steel. But even without the coatings, the gutters can still hold up well to most environmental conditions. Galvanized steel will also show less damage with debris as compared to other material options.

Many companies now offer a more 'green' version by offering secondary or recycled galvanized gutter systems. This won't cost you any more or less, but will allow you to get the same benefit of galvanized steel while using post-recycled materials.

Con: Shape Concerns

Galvanized gutters can lose their shape with time. While this can be corrected before it becomes a major problem, it will require you to check the gutters every few years for sagging and loose connections. If the gutters are allowed to sag, you can risk damaging your home and needing to replace the gutters. It's much less expensive to change rusted or loose hardware as needed.

Con: Rust

If you choose to use an uncoated galvanized material to save money, you can expect to need to replace the system in as little as five years. This is especially true if you live in an area that sees lots of precipitation throughout the year. If you live in an area where there is lots of snow, ice, and rain, you can extend the life by decades by spending the extra money on a specialized coating.

Con: Installation

Galvanized steel gutters are lightweight, but they don't give much for installation purposes. It can be done without a professional, but it can be a time consuming job. Paying for professional installation will add to your overall bill, but will save a lot of hassle and time in the long run.