How Long Do Gutters Last - When Should You Replace

Written by Ivy

Jan 06 2023

How Long Do Gutters Last - When Should You Replace

To safeguard your home's foundation if you live in an area where it frequently pours cats and dogs, you need durable gutters. How long do gutters last, though? The average lifespan of gutters is around 20 years, but depending on the gutter material and whether you go seamless, they can last as long as 100 years. Continue reading to discover how to prolong the life of different gutter types as well as their lifespan.

Gutter Lifespan by Material

The material that your gutters are made of will have a significant impact on how long they last. In contrast to more durable materials like copper, which can last up to 100 years, vinyl gutters have the shortest lifespan, lasting only 10 to 15 years. However, even though copper is the most durable material, copper gutters may not be the best option for your home because they are also quite expensive. It's best to speak with an experienced contractor who can suggest the best fit for you in order to narrow down your options.

  • Aluminum: 25 years
  • Zinc: 50 years
  • Galvanized Stainless Steel: 15–20 years
  • Stainless Steel: 50 years
  • Vinyl: 10–15 years
  • Wood: 20–50 years
  • Copper: 100 years

"Ultimately, the more expensive the materials, often the longer lasting the gutter system," says Jose Figueroa, Expert Review Board member and crew supervisor and sales representative at Artisan Quality Roofing in Apex, North Carolina. "However, seamless aluminum is a cost-effective, dependable option unless you intend to live in your house for more than 20 years."

How Do You Maximize the Lifespan of Gutters?

Maintaining your gutters' cleanliness and upkeep will help them last as long as possible. This entails cleaning your gutters at least twice to four times a year, more frequently if you have a lot of trees in your yard. Gutter guard systems can also be installed, which stop debris from building up in your gutters and eliminate the need for routine gutter cleaning. If you notice any signs of damage to your gutters, call in a local gutter repair contractor ASAP to prevent further harm.

Clean Your Gutters

Regular gutter cleaning will lengthen their lifespan. Ideally, you'll want to clean your gutters twice a year, but you may need to do it up to four times a year. If you want to ensure the gutters are cleaned properly, hire a gutter cleaning service near you.

Gutter Guards

Installing gutter guards will help keep gutters clear of debris if there are several tall trees close to your home.

"Another way to extend the life of your gutters is to install quality gutter guards," says Figueroa. "In addition to allowing for proper water flow, they prevent debris from clogging the gutters, which could cause them to deteriorate and sustain damage."

Reapplying Sealants

To increase the durability of your gutter sealant, you can also reapply it. This entails reapplying a seal to the gutters every five to ten years, though you might need to do so more frequently if you reside in an area that receives a lot of rain or snow.

How To Choose a Gutter System That Will Last

When choosing a gutter replacement system, it's crucial to consider the climate in your area. Always conduct thorough research before investing. To help you get started, here's an overview of the most common gutter materials:

  1. Aluminum – The most common kind of gutter on the market is aluminum for a reason. Aluminum is corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and strong. Aluminum gutters are also offered in a huge range of colors.

  2. Zinc – 99% pure zinc and trace amounts of copper and titanium are used to make the alloy used to make zinc gutters. Zinc gutters are a good option if you're looking for a more robust substitute for aluminum because they have a twice as long lifespan as aluminum gutters.

  3. Galvanized steel – Galvanized steel gutters are an additional popular option. Zinc is applied as a protective layer to galvanized steel to prevent rust.

  4. Copper – One of the priciest, but also one of the most robust, options on the market is copper.

When is It Time to Replace Gutters?

It is probably time to replace your gutters if they are cracked, leaking, overflowing, or not flowing at all. The ideal time to inspect your gutters is when it is raining outside. This allows you to check for any trouble spots or determine how well (or not!) things are going.) your gutters are doing their job. Other indications that it's time to replace your gutters include sagging, the presence of nearby watermarks, and chipping paint around the gutters.


How Long Do Seamless Gutters Last

Seamless gutters can easily last over 20 years, even with low maintenance. A typical sectional gutter will only last 20 years on average (assuming regular maintenance) and needs to be resealed every one to five years.

How Long Do Plastic Gutters Last

As a general rule of thumb, guttering that has been installed within the past decade can last for up to 30 years due to advanced formulations during the manufacturing process. It may be necessary to replace plastic gutters that have been in use for more than 20 years.

How Long Do Copper Gutters Last

If maintained properly, copper gutters can last up to 50 years without needing to be replaced or repaired. However, there are some drawbacks to copper gutters, with cost being the main one. Additionally, copper gutters are more expensive—by more than 50 percent—than aluminum gutters.

How Much Do Gutters Cost

Aluminum gutters and downspouts—the most frequently installed type of gutter system—cost about $3,000 per home, on a national average, translating to about $20 per linear foot. Costs for the entire project can start at $1,000, or $7 per linear foot, and can reach a maximum of $5,000, or $33 per linear foot.