Custom made copper gutters are becoming exceedingly popular, both for their physical benefits as an excellent gutter material, and for their attractive, stylish appearance. Seamless copper gutters, adorning your roof will definitely make a statement, with the sun highlighting their metallic sheen, they will really stand out. This blog post will delve deep into the world of copper gutters, providing you with a comprehensive guide to their advantages, aesthetics, and installation nuances.
- Are copper gutters worth the investment?
- What’s the real lifespan of copper gutters?
- Ready to learn about copper gutters’ maintenance needs?
Why Copper Gutters?
Upgrading your gutter system to copper gutters will significantly increase the curb appeal of your property and will increase the value of your home. Copper as a gutter material is unrivaled in durability and long life. It is easily shaped, weather resistant and will not rust. Its stunning appearance will make your home stand out from all the rest.
Although copper metal itself has so many valuable properties, as a gutter material, it is its bright, characteristic, unique color that really makes copper gutters so distinctive. Over time the distinct color will begin to change. Copper reacts with different chemicals in the atmosphere and oxidizes, resulting in a coating forming on its surface. The copper color changes to a darker bronze and then finally a green color. This green color, or patina, as it is known, varies in tone and pattern. Over time your copper gutters will age and develop their own unique patina on their surface and bring a unique elegant style to your home.
How Much Are Copper Gutters?
The price of copper gutters varies depending on various factors like the region, labor costs, and whether you’re choosing seamless or sectional gutters. As a general estimate:
- Material Costs: As of my last update in 2021, copper gutters typically ranged between $15 to $25 per linear foot. However, keep in mind that commodity prices fluctuate. Checking with local suppliers will provide the most accurate current pricing.
- Labor Costs: The installation of copper gutters requires expertise. Professional installation might range from $4 to $8 per linear foot, but this can vary based on the complexity of the project.
- Additional Costs: Downspouts, hangers, end caps, and other associated hardware can add to the overall cost. Also, custom designs or patterns will typically increase the price.
Always obtain multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting a fair price.
How to Install Copper Gutters
Professional installation is highly recommended for copper gutters due to their unique characteristics and the need for specialized tools. However, for the DIY enthusiast, here’s a basic overview:
- Measure and Mark: Begin by measuring and marking where the gutters will be installed. Ensure there’s a slight slope towards the downspouts for proper drainage.
- Cutting: Using a fine-toothed saw or tin snips, cut the gutters to the desired length.
- Joining Sections (if not using seamless gutters): Use copper slip couplings and solder the joints to ensure a watertight seal.
- Brackets and Hangers: Install copper brackets or hangers every 2-3 feet to support the gutters.
- Installation: Mount the gutters onto the brackets or hangers. Ensure they’re secure and stable.
- Downspouts: Attach the downspouts to the gutter system, ensuring there’s a clear path for water to flow away from your home’s foundation.
- Sealing: Seal any joints or seams with soldering to ensure there are no leaks.
How Long Do Copper Gutters Last?
One of the key advantages of copper gutters is their longevity. With proper maintenance:
- Lifespan: Copper gutters can last 50 years or more. In some cases, especially in milder climates, they can last up to 100 years!
- Patina Effect: Over time, copper develops a greenish patina due to oxidation. This not only gives a historic and attractive look but also acts as a protective layer against corrosion.
How to Clean Copper Gutters
Regular maintenance can enhance the lifespan of your copper gutters.
- Regular Checks: Inspect your gutters regularly for debris like leaves, twigs, or bird nests.
- Cleaning: Gently clean the gutters with a soft brush or cloth. Avoid abrasive materials or harsh chemicals.
- Patina Protection: If you want to preserve the patina, avoid using copper cleaners. For a polished look, you can use specialized copper cleaners available in the market.
- Check for Leaks: Ensure all the seams and joints are intact. If you notice any leaks, address them immediately.
Practically, copper is a durable, strong, malleable, and extremely long-lasting material. Copper gutters can last up to 100 years with minimal maintenance. They are completely environmentally friendly and can be recycled. Added to that is their incredible beauty and the stylish impact they will make on the appearance of your home, what else do you need?