When gutters need to be replaced, it can be tough for homeowners to sort through all of the information out there about the different gutter systems that are available. And then there are choices that need to be made – gutter material, style, size, and colour. For homeowners who want to ensure their green choices are the right ones for their home, it can be even more confusing. The temptation at this point might be to choose the least expensive gutters. However, the impact of low-quality gutters can have negative effects on our homes and the environment.
Impact on Your Home’s Exterior
Economical is good. But getting the best deal you can find on aluminum gutters, for example, is different from selecting poor quality gutter materials. Low-quality gutters won’t last as long and are often manufactured from thinner materials, resulting in constant clogging, leaking, and overflowing. When they start to fail, a gutter system that doesn’t work properly puts your home’s exterior at risk. Worst-case scenario, a failing gutter system can compromise a house’s structural integrity. It can also do other types of damage including:
- stained siding
- flooded basement
- wood rot
- cracked windows
- damp roofing tiles/underlayment/deck
Curb appeal is very important. It defines your place in the community; presents a welcoming appearance for people passing by and the visitors to your home; and contributes to a family’s emotional well-being. Low-quality gutters can detract from a home’s exterior, even when new by looking out of place (too large), not the right size (too small), or being installed incorrectly. Poor quality gutter systems typically don’t retain their beauty and tend to age faster. Because low-quality gutters might have cheaper protective finishes, as the gutter system ages, the colour can fade, the gutter face become streaked, or gutter sections might become pitted, cracked or corroded.
Impact on the Environment
As people are becoming more concerned about how human activity is affecting the planet, homeowners are reducing a household’s carbon footprint and doing anything they can to ensure that their home’s exterior is as green as possible. While a person might not think choosing aluminum gutters over vinyl gutters will do anything to save the planet, even the smallest changes can help address environmental concerns.
When the gutter system starts to break down, it has to be repaired or replaced. Most homeowners try to make repairs a number of times before considering replacement. Attempting multiple repairs on a gutter system that will end up being replaced anyway uses resources that could be better spent on maintaining a seamless aluminum gutter system or copper gutters.
High-grade quality aluminum gutters and copper gutters last anywhere from three to five times longer than low-quality gutter materials. Both aluminum and copper are sustainable. Copper is naturally produced. Using quality metals and composite materials that can be recycled to manufacture new gutter systems are more eco-friendly than producing gutters from low-quality gutter materials.