Gutters serve an important purpose in the everyday maintenance of the American home. Gutters help direct water and debris safely away from the home, which prevents damage to the structure and foundation.
Of the materials available in today's market, steel carries a reputation for both durability and affordability, especially hot-dip galvanized steel gutters, which are coated in zinc which protects against corrosion. Galvanized steel is the preferred material in colder climates, as the coating offers more protection in both snow and ice. In addition, galvanized steel gutters offer lower maintenance options for homeowners, and are one of the least-expensive types of gutters available.
When purchasing galvanized steel gutters, expect to spend between $4 and $8 per linear foot. Stainless steel gutters are available as well; however, they carry a much higher cost at $20 per linear foot. While steel gutters hold up well to weather conditions and debris, they do show problems with rust over time.
While some galvanized coatings carry a 50-year guarantee, many forms are not as durable, lasting between 5 and 10 years. If selecting a coating without a long-term guarantee, homeowners must take extra steps to care for their gutters over time.
Choosing and Installing Steel Gutters
Experts recommend selecting the thickest gutter design that your wallet can afford, and suggest gutters that measure .032 inches. While thinner models are available, they damage more easily.
Two options exist for steel gutter installation, stick and seamless. Stick installation includes piecing together individual gutter lengths, often installed by homeowners or local contractors. Seamless gutters are sold only through custom gutter installation specialists using truck-mounted roll-formers to individually fit each home.
Steel Gutter Suppliers
Steel gutters can be found commonly through most home improvement outlets. There are also companies that specialize in the sale of steel gutters online.