Steel VS Aluminum: Which Gutter Material Is Better

June 30, 2024

Gutters play a very important role in improving your house’s functionality. We understand that installing new gutters is a long-term investment. Which is why homeowners find themselves questioning about the choice of gutter material.

In this blog, we will compare the two main gutter materials – steel and aluminum. Other materials such as zinc, copper, PVC gutter material are also thriving in the market. Yet, these two remain a popular choice for a variety of reasons. Let’s explore why!

Comparing The Two: Steel and Aluminum

In order to choose the best gutter material for your home, you must know the primary differences and how they may affect long term outcomes. Let’s dig deeper!

Steel is considered as a traditionally go to material for gutters. It is not only durable, corrosion free but offers unmatched toughness as compared to any other materials. It can be galvanized which means that the protective zinc coating applied onto it can reduce the likelihood of rust and build up over time.

Until the early 60’s, we saw the rise of a new material introduced in the market. That is aluminum. It provided a fine edge alternative to steel options. Aluminum is widely appreciated for its lightweight and durable material that offers similar strength and sturdiness. Both steel and aluminum gutters can handle heavy downspouts and severe runoff.

Cost of Steel Vs. Aluminum Gutters

Steel and aluminum both may differ in cost given the multiple geographic and logistic factors. We have however made a point to present some averages that will help our readers make informed decisions.

Aluminum, as compared to steel, is priced slightly lower than steel. The difference is not stark. Say for instance if aluminum is tagged $2 per linear foot, steel runs at an average of $3 per linear foot.

The initial material cost might not be too much, installation cost might vary for each of these two materials. Aluminum gutters are relatively easy to install given their flexibility. They can be installed with less labor requirement. On the other hand, steel gutters are tougher and require more labor and effort to install.

Durability Of Steel Vs. Aluminum Gutters

When we are considering materials for our gutters, there are some questions around durability that need to be answered. Let’s factor in each point!

  1. Climate/Weather: It is highly important to consider your climate. Steel and aluminum both can withstand extreme weather. But both have their fair share of downsides. Steel can handle extreme weather but tends to rust over time. While aluminum may crack or bend where extreme temperature fluctuations are a standard.
  2. Leaks: Aluminum can be more prone to leakage. This is because they acquire the tendency to expand and contract in varying weather conditions. Steel gutters are not much prone to leaks.
  3. Rust and Corrosion: Aluminum can be easily dented. It is more prone to cracking and breaking with rapid temperature fluctuations. It is, however, rust proof. Steel gutters, on the other hand, are undoubtedly less susceptible to cracks, bends and breakages. Yet, they are not rust free which takes a tad bit more effort to maintain steel gutters than aluminum ones.
  4. Longevity: Steel and aluminum gutters offer similar longevity periods ranging anywhere between 20-30 years. With proper maintenance and lookout, you can easily extend the lifespan of your gutters.

Overall Insight

We understand that choosing a gutter material from steel and aluminum can be difficult. Which is why, taking professional suggestions can be your way to go. Experts at In The Gutter Houston can study your field and recommend the best gutter materials. Call us at (832) 620-7053 to avail top-notch, reliable and cost-effective service in town!