Construct This: A Contractor's Blog

Construct This: A Contractor's Blog

3 Things You Need To Know Before Installing Copper Gutters

by Joyce Rivera

Copper gutters are arguably one of the most luxurious exterior additions you can make to your home. Copper is a heavy-duty, durable, and long-lasting material that can provide you with many years of service. A properly installed copper gutter system may last up to a century, making this versatile metal a true lifetime material.

However, copper gutters also come with some complexities that don't exist in other gutter systems. Since these gutters are so expensive, getting your installation right the first time is crucial to ensuring your investment pays off. Before upgrading to copper, it is important to know these three critical facts about copper gutter installations.

1. Mixed Metals Are Troublesome

Mixed metals can be responsible for many problems due to a process known as galvanic corrosion. Dissimilar metals can cause both materials to corrode prematurely, leading to costly damage or failures. If you have parts of an old gutter system using aluminum or steel, adding copper to your existing gutter may lead to major corrosion problems.

Replacing your entire gutter system at once is always the best option when installing new copper gutters. Not only will replacing your gutters help tie your home together and give your gutters a unified look, but it will also prevent galvanic corrosion that can potentially shorten the lifespan of your new copper gutters.

2. Copper's Patina Is a Good Thing

One common concern among copper gutter owners is the patina that will inevitably form. This patina is the blueish-green tint you may have noticed on copper objects, including the Statue of Liberty. If you are unfamiliar with copper, you might worry that this patina is a sign of wear. Copper patina is a corrosion product, but it doesn't mean your copper is failing.

Unlike the rust you may be used to seeing on steel or iron surfaces, copper patina is a stable product. In other words, it creates a protective shield around your copper gutters that will not worsen over time. Instead, the copper patina stops the underlying copper from corrosion, making it an essential part of copper's long lifespan.

3. You May Want to Consider Seamless Installation

Seamless copper gutters are similar to other seamless gutter systems. Instead of installing precut lengths, your installer will use custom-sized pieces matching each gutter span's length. Seamless copper gutters have the same advantages as other seamless gutters, including improved appearance, fewer weak points, and potentially longer lifespan.

However, seamless gutters may make even more sense for copper. Copper joints are much more complex than joints in aluminum gutters, and copper is heavier. Installing seamless copper gutters reduces the number of joints and helps to minimize the potential for sagging due to weight. While not strictly necessary, changing to a seamless copper gutter installation can be an excellent choice to upgrade your home's gutters further.


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Construct This: A Contractor's Blog

When you want something built, who do you turn to? Okay, maybe you answered that question with a particular person's name, and that's an acceptable answer. But the answer we were really looking for was "construction contractors." This profession is full of people who can build this and that, and who can customize the things they build to meet your unique needs. Working with a construction team is like working with a bunch of people who just want to make you happy. We love that aspect of the industry, and it's something we plan on focusing on more as we write this blog.