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Many home renovation shoppers are familiar with traditional gutter materials and types: vinyl, aluminum, and stainless steel. However, galvalume is a specific type of coated metal that offers added benefits when compared to conventional gutter materials. Galvalume refers to a specific coating that is made with a mix of zinc and aluminum and is then applied to a base metal, typically steel. It was invented in 1975 but was primarily used in flat roofing materials until contractors discovered its many benefits in gutter manufacturing.
Galvalume gutters offer several benefits over competing materials. Galvalume offers impressive lifetime longevity, which few other gutter materials can offer. While similar to galvanized metals, galvalume offers greater durability and toughness in a highly durable one millimeter thick coating. This coating also has enough flex that it resists stress cracks and chipping.
Galvalume coating is corrosion resistant, protecting the steel or iron base metal and adding strength. Galvalume gutters can last upwards of 75 to 150 years. With galvalume gutters, you likely won’t have to worry about the expense of gutter replacements in the future.
The appearance of your home’s exterior contributes to its curb appeal, potentially increasing resale value and speed of sale. Galvalume gutters achieve the elegant appearance of treated copper at a fraction of the price. They can also be painted to match the look of your home’s exterior and customize your home’s appearance.
Galvalume gutters achieve a high strength-to-weight ratio. In other words, galvalume has superior structural integrity in a relatively lightweight form. If you live in an area that is wooded or experiences harsh winter, adding structural strength to your gutter system is important. Strong gutters can resist bowing over time, and the slightly flexible nature of galvalume coating makes these gutters resistant to long term cracking and chipping.
Galvalume has reflective properties that can reduce heat absorption around your roof. Diverting heat away from your roof can reduce hot weather wear and can potentially impact the thermal efficiency of your home. Its high thermal resistance and fireproof properties make galvalume ideal for resisting higher temperatures.
While they may sound similar, galvalume and galvanized gutters have substantial differences. Galvalume is coated with a combination of zinc and aluminum, while galvanized steel is coated with 100% zinc. Galvalume is more corrosion-resistant than galvanized steel, making it slightly more expensive. Galvanized steel will corrode much more quickly, typically within 20 years. In contrast, galvalume won’t show signs of corrosion after even 50 years.
Because it is a specialty item, galvalume gutters require skilled installation. They cannot be used in conjunction with soldering, and gutter contractors have to use specific bonding agents. The effectiveness of galvalume is also highly impacted by damage to the coating’s surface. While scratches likely won’t happen from regular wear and tear, the coating can be scratched during installation. It’s important that your gutter installation contractor handle and connect galvalume gutter pieces carefully.
While galvalume is a wise choice for nearly all climates, it is important to note that there is one type of environment that is not recommended for galvalume. Any high alkaline environment can contribute to quicker wear and tear of your galvalume gutters. An alkaline environment is highly basic (rather than acidic) and can cause certain types of metal like zinc to corrode. Hot, dry climates are typically more likely to be alkaline. Western areas of the U.S. tend to be more alkaline, with the exception of the Pacific Northwest.
Galvalume gutters have a slight price increase when compared to aluminum or galvanized steel gutters, but remain much more affordable than stainless steel and copper gutters. Keep in mind that installation costs and any old gutter removal will increase your overall project cost. Be sure to ask your contractor for an upfront estimate so you know what to expect for your specific project.
If you are interested in the installation of galvalume gutters on your property, contact the gutter experts at TruTeam. Our local contractors are happy to provide you with an estimate for materials and installation services. When you choose TruTeam for galvalume gutter installation, you can be sure that the entire project will be completed on schedule, cleanly, and safely.
Contact TruTeam today to learn more about our galvalume gutters and our gutter installation services.