Copper Gutters: Elegant, But Worth It?
Rain gutters are one of those mundane things around the house that most people rarely think about. They certainly never dream of spending thousands of dollars on them. But some homeowners have found that a copper gutter system is one of the best home improvement decisions they ever make. I’d like to talk about how copper gutters will improve your home’s appearance, last longer, and save you money in the long run.
Most people I talk to are amazed with the elegant looks and longevity of copper gutters, but they are put off by the price. It’s true that copper is a very expensive material. Because dissimilar metals will cause corrosion when in contact with copper, the mounting brackets must be made of copper as well. In addition, installing copper gutters is not a do-it-yourself job. Special procedures and equipment are necessary for proper installation; this adds to the already hefty price tag. It is not uncommon for copper gutters to cost four and a half times more than gutters made of cheaper metals.
Copper has some very unique physical properties. It is easy to shape into fixtures such as rain gutters, but it resists sagging, breakage, and deformation very well. While steel or aluminum gutters may occasionally break at the seams or come loose from their mounting points, copper gutters will keep it together for decades.
The brilliant shine of brand new copper gutters is sure to turn the heads of passers-by. Over time, the copper will tarnish and take on a brownish-green color. This tarnishing is not detrimental to the copper. In fact, it acts as a protective coating and insulates the metal from the elements. There are special sealants available that will prevent this change from taking place, but they are quite costly and time-consuming to apply. Just make sure that both the new and aged appearances of copper gutters match your home’s decor.
Steel and aluminum gutters require periodic rust removal and repainting. Copper is naturally corrosion resistant and requires no such measures. Copper gutters must be cleaned from time to time just like any other type of gutter, but devices can be installed that filter out solid matter, thereby lessening the amount of cleaning required.
Copper gutters are known for lasting much longer than gutters made of steel or aluminum. Copper has a very strong resistance to rust and corrosion, even when exposed to the outdoor elements. Other metals may rust away and break apart, but copper gutters will be going strong for ages. I have seen houses from the turn of the century with the original copper gutters still in great condition.
A Sound Investment
Most people find that they get their money’s worth with copper gutters. If you are going to be living in the same home for the next several decades, you will appreciate the resilience and low maintenance of copper gutters. If you are selling the home soon, the copper gutters could add considerable value and a “wow” factor to the home.
Copper gutters are a very high-end home improvement. However, the sooner you have them installed, the sooner they can start paying off. They may be expensive, but everyone I’ve ever known who installed them felt that they were well worth it.