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These are the 4 Most Common Gutter Materials

Close Up of Gutter System Material | K-Guard St. Louis

Shopping for a new gutter system is a process that shouldn’t be taken lightly. A gutter system is one of the single most important components of a home; it protects the home and roof from drainage issues. Homeowners need to research gutter systems and compare their top choices just like they would if they’re shopping for a home – you want to make sure you choose the right one.

Whether you’re the homeowner of an older home that needs new gutters or if you’ve recently purchased a newer construction home that needs them installed, there are numerous gutter systems to choose from, along with different gutter materials. From aluminum to vinyl, there are plenty of gutter material options available on the market. How do you choose which one is right for your home? 

Keep reading as we explain the differences between the 4 most common gutter materials so you can be prepared to make a decision that complements your home’s beauty and saves you money in the long run.


1. Aluminum

Aluminum gutters are the most popular among homeowners—and commercial properties—across the country, especially here in the St. Louis region. For one, they’re often less expensive than other materials like copper, and they don’t corrode as other materials do. The lifespan of a traditional aluminum gutter system is around 20 years give or take, so the investment will last you decades.

Depending on the quality of the aluminum gutters you have installed on your home, they could wear down quicker than other materials. While aluminum gutters don’t rust, if the aluminum itself isn’t heavy-duty then it will dent easily. 

Living in the St. Louis region means all sorts of weather patterns that can wreak havoc on a gutter system. Weather patterns like heavy rain and hail can dent them easily, causing them to wear down quickly. Storms that produce hail and heavy snow will leave dents and can cause the gutter system to pull away from the home resulting in sagging gutters.


2. Steel

The runner-up to aluminum gutters, steel gutters are also a popular choice, mostly for their durability. Steel is one of the strongest man-made materials and a gutter system that’s made from steel will hold up well to severe weather. Although they’re extremely durable, steel gutters will rust over time if they’re not stainless steel. Galvanized steel has a protective layer to protect from rust, however, it will rust and warp with time.

In addition to galvanized steel gutters being prone to rust over time, they can sag if that protective layer isn’t applied. Stainless steel gutters can be about four times more expensive than other gutter materials on the market, so use caution when considering them.


3. Vinyl

Homeowners love a good DIY project. Whether it be replacing the flooring in your home, fixing a leaky faucet, or tackling a DIY landscaping project, the challenge of a do-it-yourself project can be rewarding. Unfortunately, some homeowners opt to install a gutter system themselves using vinyl – the results could be disastrous.

Although vinyl as a material and tackling a DIY project can save you money initially, a vinyl gutter system is not a wise choice for homes in the St. Louis region. Vinyl gutters are lightweight and shouldn’t be exposed to heavy rain, high winds, and snow and ice. They’ll most likely crack and pull away from the home as a result of severe weather which we experience often.

In addition to being lightweight and not heavy-duty, vinyl gutters are only available with seams, meaning they are not seamless. Seamless gutters offer superior protection compared to gutter systems that have seams. The seams often leak, resulting in water damage, damage to the soffit and fascia boards, and even foundation damage.


4. Copper

Copper gutters aren’t very common and are usually seen on older homes or homes with unique designs. While copper has some advantages and disadvantages, it’s ideal for more vintage homes versus modern homes. They are eye-catching and add personality to a home, however, they require regular maintenance to keep them looking their best.

Whenever copper is exposed to the elements like heat, rain, and snow, the metal will transform due to oxidization. Copper gutters are beautiful once they’re first installed but over time will fade from that shiny gold color into a more bluish hue, giving a tarnished look. They also cost roughly five times more than other gutter materials on the market, so keep that in mind.


Aluminum, steel, vinyl, and copper gutters are the 4 most common materials that homeowners compare when shopping for a new gutter system. All of these gutter materials offer advantages and disadvantages, however, none of them can compare to the durability and effectiveness of The K-Guard Leaf Free Gutter System.

Gutter systems on homes across the St. Louis region are exposed to high heat and freezing temperatures, heavy rainfall, snow, and ice storms (all of which can cause ice dams), and high winds. Homeowners need a gutter system that can withstand all of these weather conditions and look its best with little to no maintenance. K-Guard requires zero maintenance and can withstand all weather conditions. It’ll hold up so well that it’s guaranteed transferable for the life of the home!

Our gutter product is a complete gutter system that has many components that work together to keep debris out and water flowing through the system at a rapid pace. Our complete high-functioning gutter system is made from heavy-duty aluminum that will not corrode, dent, or pull away from the home. The K-Guard System will protect your home from drainage issues and will look good as new for decades to come.

We offer free in-home estimates that include a detailed analysis of your current gutter system along with estimated costs for installing your K-Guard Gutter System. K-Guard proudly offers our gutter installation service to homeowners in St. Louis and surrounding areas including, but not limited to, the following locations:



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