Photo by: Charles Bickford
Aluminum is the most common material used for gutters, and for good reason: It is widely available, lightweight, rustproof, durable, and relatively inexpensive. It is made from stock ranging in thickness from 0.018 in. to 0.032 in., with the thickest stock providing the greatest resistance to damage from snow, ice, falling tree branches, and ladders. The aluminum gutters sold in most home centers are painted white or brown, but they can be found elsewhere in other colors; of course, they can be repainted in any color. Traditional aluminum gutters carried by home centers come in 10-ft. sections that can be joined by slip-jointconnectors and sealant.
Aluminum gutters can be installed in several ways, including strap hangers that attach to the roof sheathing, hidden brackets, exterior brackets, or 7-in. screws or spikes with ferrules. Aluminum expands and contracts with temperature changes, but expansion joints in long runs can prevent wrinkling or seam failure.
Aluminum gutters should not be used where the roof is covered with algae-resistant shingles, whose granules are covered in a thin coating of copper. In areas with little rainfall or in coastal areas with frequent salt fog, runoff from the shingles can remain in the gutters and lead to galvanic corrosion. Cost:
$9 to $12 (0.027 in.)